Like Waking Up In Oz, Except Not Very Much Really


When it comes to government officials decided what’s best for me, I’m fully against it.  That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to a mandatory Sunday nap law.  We could nap every week and never worry about appearing rude or the need to come up with some lame excuse just so we could go snuggle up with a blanket and drift off into a sweet sleep.

So there I was about four months ago, fulfilling what I now consider to be my civic duty.  Lunch had been cooked and eaten, I had recently finished my Masters and was still acclimating to the lack of paper-writing, and I wasn’t overly concerned about my basket of laundry in the next room.  I was blissfully adjusting to our new life routine.

And then Travis woke me up.  To tell me he had just received a phone call.  About a job.  In Louisiana.  Louisiana, one of the four states I had decided early on I would never live in.  That Louisiana?  I didn’t believe him.  I actually spent about ten minutes trying to convince him to quit lying to me.  Then I believed him and assumed he wasn’t taking it seriously.  Then I realized he was.  Then he left to go do some research.  There went my nap.  Hard to sleep when your future is suddenly nothing but hazy blurs.

Here’s the thing: that wasn’t the plan.  We had a plan.  It included Europe and Africa and school and, at the right point, kids.  It definitely involved watching my sister play her last two years of high school basketball.  And it was chock full of all things exotic and adventurous.

But we decided to check it out, see if there was any promise there.  And we met the people…ah, the people.  Everyone we met and spoke to prided the congregation on the unity they had with each other.  I thought it might be one of those overblown things that people just like to say.  But it wasn’t.  We had several whirlwind weekends full of meeting as many people as possible and every time I left amazed by what I had just experienced.  Rarely in my life have I met a group of people that so embodied a spirit of oneness, unity, support, and love.

I love stories.  All formats.  Books, television, movies, all of it.  And while a good plot can make or break a story, that’s never been  what I really cared about.  It’s always been the characters.  It’s about Emma Woodhouse going from spiteful mockery to sweet humility and not about her attempts at playing cupid. It’s about sweet, nerdy Chuck Bartowski and the hardened Sarah Walker falling in love and not the evildoer of the week.  The stories don’t mean anything if the characters aren’t the heart of it (I’m looking at you, movie version of Prince Caspian).

We’re moving next month.  I’m excited, scared, happy, nervous, intimidated, and open to possibilities.  Yes, we’re moving to a place where one of the first questions asked is if we hunt and fish. I don’t.  And the nearest Whole Foods is at least three hours away.  But there are amazing people.  And after 25 years in the same place, there’s a whole parish of new opportunities.  And our plans might not be the same, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be as good.  As fulfilling.  It’s still a story about us, wherever we are.

And then I remember that it’s not about me.  It’s not really our story at all.  It’s God’s.  Whether I’m in Texas or Oklahoma or Louisiana or Tanzania or Wyoming or Venice, my purpose is to serve Him.  And I know the most exciting, adventurous story in the world means nothing if through it nobody ever learns the name of Jesus and what He did.  We truly believe that our best opportunity to serve God right now is in Louisiana.  By the bayou. (For the record, I’m going to incorporate the word “bayou” into as many conversations as possible from here on out.  Until I forget.)

So there we go.  There’s so much more to say but the the moment I’m feeling like that’s enough.  He’s enough.

In Him,


Lauren Bookout
About Lauren Bookout 48 Articles
I'm an Oklahoma girl living in Louisiana with my amazing husband Travis, and our sweet, busy son Oliver. My Masters is in school counseling and I love using that background to work with girl of all ages who are trying to find their place in the world and, more importantly, in God's church. When I'm not doing that, I stay busy as a photographer, speaker, and general preacher's wifery. I love my family, Oklahoma and Texas, being outdoors, wanderlusting, college football, and whatever whimsy is currently on my mind, but I try to live my life serving God in all that I do.

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