It is still adorned with the same ceiling tile and pendant lights from when I was young.
Isn't the tile gorgeous?
The same clock times the minister's sermons.
The same green-cushioned benches (different carpet today). I remember when I was young when these benches didn't have cushions.
I've never seen stained glass quite like the glass in Luctor. Did you ever make melted crayon stained glass windows when you were a kid? The kind where you spent hours shaving crayons and then putting them between waxed paper and melting it with an iron? They kind of remind me of those.
This is the window I sat next to for most sermons for many, many years. It is the back window on the left-side of church when you are facing the pulpit.
I assume they still use the hymn boards since they still have them hanging up.
The front of the church with the pipes from the old pipe-organ that once filled the church with music.
They used to be their natural brass but when I was young, someone suggested painting them to preserve the metal. It was a very controversial step.
Don't you love the gorgeous woodwork?
I remember this banner from 1985 when the church had a huge centennial celebration.
It was good to be at Luctor and sing the old hymns with Billy's bass voice booming behind me. It was refreshing to hear a Calvinist sermon.
|Mom and the Girls|
|My brother Dustin with K.|
|My sister April (mother of the twins)|
|My Uncle Daryl - Mom's youngest brother|
|My Uncle Melvin, who farms the family farm.|
|My cousin Lauren.|
|My cousin Harlan.|
|My cousin Lavonne.|
|My Uncle Daryl visits with my Cousin Rex|
|Jr Bayens. He is doing poorly.|
As a doting aunt, I think the best part was my sister bringing the twins to lunch to visit with everyone.
The word Luctor is from my Dutch heritage. The motto of Dutch province of Zeeland is Luctor et emergo which literally means "I struggle and emerge."
I will not bore you with what life on the plains can be like - there are many good books and novels that would fill you in on the details but the motto from a strictly pioneer perspective is accurate. It is certainly accurate from the perspective of the Christian life.
It fits my life too. I've always been rebellious. When I was a child and a young member of Luctor's congregation I fought my faith and heritage. The song Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing has the following lyric "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." When I was a teenager and we sung those words in church they resonated deeply with me.
I've struggled through the years. Even after asking God in my heart as a teenager at TFC. I fought God. I fought Him at Dordt College even as He used my professors to teach me the Christian truths I would turn to repeatedly through the years.
I fought Him through the early years of our marriage and the years of working before the girls came.
I fought him hardest the first two to four years of the girls lives. I wandered and wandered and He kept pulling me back. Pulling me back like the hound that dogged the poet Francis Thompson his entire life.
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Six years ago, I returned to Luctor. I wrote extensively about my thoughts at that time. I was still finding my way. I still am. But today, I am at peace in my family and home. At peace with Tim and with homeschooling. I rejoice daily in the blessings God has showered on me. He is, as the banner celebrating Luctor's centennial states, Faithful.
Seeing those who surrounded me as I grew reminded me of His Faithfulness and filled me with joy.