Every year we go on assignment and every year we come home from our assignment at Young Life camp.
This year is no different.
We will arrive at home in less than 24 hours.
And the conversation has begun.
What will be our "bag of potatoes" this year?
About six years ago we came out here to Crooked Creek, and we came home to an awful smell in our house. When I say awful, I mean the worst smell you can imagine.
After a month away from your house, the possibilities are endless and so you have to do investigations. But there are also about 4,000 other things you have to attend to like mail, messages, yard work, spider webs throughout your house, you realize the a/c has been set to 62 for a month, your garden is shot to you know where, a tree might have fallen in the yard and you have no groceries in your house, you have come home with 6 tons of laundry to do because it was too hectic leaving camp to do it AND you leave for your summer camp trip in something like six days and kids are dropping off the trip left and right. Plus your mom and dad call right when you walk in the door.
All of this happened to us six years ago. Well, not all but say 75% of it. We didn't have a/c. And a tree didn't fall. Everything else? True.
AND WE HAD A TERRIBLE DEAD ANIMAL OR ROTTING LIFE FORM IN MY HOUSE.
So I had to find it because Matt was on the phone with his parents.
It didn't take long.
A bag of potatoes had rotted into pure liquid form while we were gone, thanks to the no a/c thing.
They had leaked into the wood in the cabinet, onto the floor and was dripping into the main part of the kitchen. (We were lucky to not have lost our deposit over that thing.)
I started to clean. For about 3.2 seconds before dry heaving. I thought I was going to puke and had to walk through the house, past Matt (on the phone still) to go stand over the toilet.
I regained my strength and went back.
Nope. Dry heave again.
Again the walk of shame past Matt on the phone.
I repeat this about six times before he comes to investigate and HELP FINALLY.
It was filthy.
Every person on Young Life staff has their version of the rotten potatoes story.
It could be a tree fell on their house and no neighbor called.
It could be a toilet ran for the whole month and the house had to be gutted.
It could just be that the power went out for three days and all the food in the freezer was ruined but they had no idea and got food poisoning and ended up in the hospital only to later find out what happened.
(all true stories by the way)
It is also a great metaphor for things in our lives that probably need to be different when we come from a month away from our lives.
Like less work, more play.
Less TV, more reading.
Less other people, more family.
Or for summer staff and work crew, less people that aren't good for them and more people that are good for them.
The big question of the night and for the next few weeks for us is:
What's our bag of potatoes going to be this year?
What changes are we going to see that our marriage needs to make after this month away?
What changes do we need to make in parenting?
How can we do Young Life differently, better, more passionately? How can we love Jesus more?
I am excited to see what comes from it. But it is always scary. Always intimidating. Cause, I don't like the dry heaves. It ain't pretty. But you have to get in there and clean 'em out or else it stinks.