Saturday, May 26, 2018

Day #1606

May 25, 2018

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Baptism Birthday! Happy Birthday to me!!!

In a pond, in jeans, on a beautiful Sunday morning, I became an official adopted Child of God through the water and Holy Spirit's word. It was the best day of my life!!! Absolutely!! And a beginning that has led me through many ups and downs and joys and sorrows. Oh, the people who have come into my life directly because of that day, who I would probably have otherwise NEVER known. I can't imagine life without them. 

I am so grateful for these many years and God's presence in every single one. Thanks be to God!!!


Day #1605

May 24, 2018 

Dismantling misunderstanding, learning more about one another, being welcoming - when two vastly different events overlap, it makes me sit up and take notice. 

I am grateful for the speaker at the final Early Risers across the alley to benefit Family Promise. She had us do an eye-opening exercise - work together to name as many groups of “others” as possible. Groups like homeless, immigrants, young mothers, etc. were shared. Then, she asked us to place a stereotype on those groups - lazy, threatening, unwise, etc. Do those stereotypes fit each individual? Never! Yet how do we get to know this as fact? By learning more about the people who are in those identified “groups,” some of whom may be the person beside us, yet we don’t realize it. Good exercise - good thoughts!

Then, the women's circle study included being welcoming. Are we? Do we? What could we do better? How are we not, but don’t realize it? And how can we be more tolerant - not only as a congregation, but as the world - with those who seem different? Tolerance - it's a good word!! And a good beginning. 


Oops - I almost forgot, today marks ten months our "baby" has been with us. What's that around his neck. A towel DIY for trying to prevent him from bothering his surgery area. Doesn't really work, but after destroying TWO store-bought "cones of shame," we were desperate. 

Doesn't seem to bother his cuteness, though, does it? ;-)

Day #1604

May 23, 2018 

Another busy - and awesome - Wednesday! Lots of coffee and conversation and study.

But what a joy to end the day attending the High School Baccalaureate. The speaker did a fine job of helping students think about what is important verses what they might think is important. Yet, I wonder how many could really hear what he had to say. Oh, the things I have learned since graduating those many years ago. However, I imagine I would not have learned as many of them as well if I had just listened to the wisdom of someone else. Sometimes experience really is the best teacher. Painful, but best.

Yet the highlight of the evening was the duet sung by one of our graduates and her friend. WOW! I’m so grateful she’s using her God-given talent in such a beautiful way.

Halfway through and the week has been filled with God’s presence and blessing. My heart is full!


Day #1603

May 22, 2018 

In the midst of a week thinking about, planning with and for, and celebrating the youth, I had the honor of presenting prayer shawls and gifts to the High School seniors of our congregation. They are both talented, caring, funny, and devoted young adults. They grew up together in the congregation, playing Mary and Joseph one year at Christmas, were in confirmation class together, and have been faithfully enjoying time early on Wednesday mornings with the High School Youth these past two years. I will miss them! But…they will also be attending the same college. So, I’m thinking road-trip!

You will go far, I believe, both of you. But I KNOW you will not go alone - God is with you, prayers are with you, and the love of family and friends is with you! Always!


Friday, May 25, 2018

Day #1602

May 21, 2018 

A prayer for this week:
Almighty God, you give each of us gifts and talents unique to who we are and what you have for us to do in helping build up the Kingdom of God. None of us has all the gifts needed. None of us has better gifts than another's. Help us to identify the gifts you give, find ways to utilize them to give you glory, and be tolerant and supportive of the gifts of others. Amen.
Also I can’t help but share a little “royal” fun on the heels of the latest wedding. This came from an unknown source on FaceBook, but I have to admit my “royal” name brings a smile to my face: Lady Cumie Saint of Pisgah. What is your royal name for the week?


Day #1601

May 20, 2018

The day finally arrives - Affirmation of Baptism. Five youth affirm "they do, and they ask God to help and guide them" to continue in the promises of faith - to live among God’s faithful people, to share in the Lord’s Supper, to learn the scriptures and the prayers and the creed, and more. 

This is a powerful moment in the life of faith of these young people, whether they really know it or not. It's a moment of gratefulness, also, for all those who have helped them arrive at this moment, especially the commitment and sacrifices of their families.

All in all, a great day!!! 


Day #1600

May 19, 2018

What can be more fun than a little one’s dance recital?!?! Actually, LOTS of little ones. And some older one’s acting made for icing on the cake.

Too cute! Just too cute!! So sad the photo didn’t turn out better, but you get the idea. Lots of ruffles and smiles - and proud families and friends!!


Day #1599

May 18, 2018 

At the end of a busy week, there is much gratitude for a day to relax a little, rest, and to help care for Boomer - who had some surgery yesterday. He’s doing well, and we are grateful for a dedicated veterinarian and his steady hand. 

It sure is difficult to keep this dog calm, however. Yikes - it will be a LONG 10 days!!


Day #1598

May 17, 2018

What a privilege to be asked to speak at the Early Risers event at the congregation across the alley. This annual event includes speakers, music, and a ministry chosen to help support financially through the collection of an offering. This year's ministry is Family Promise, hence the invitation I received.

I really appreciated the support of those who came out so early in the morning, the sharing from one of the former guests, and those who listened intently to my brief telling of God’s presence in my life. I hope the blessing (God’s face directed toward me) came through clearly - and gave each one something to think about of how God’s blessing is upon them, too. 

Then later that evening another privilege, to help serve dinner for some of the Special Olympians in town for the annual games. How grateful and polite each one was for their dinner. How filled with joy they were in telling about their accomplishments. Quite a fun time!!


Day #1597

May 16, 2018

Wednesdays are busy - that isn’t news. At least they are during the school year. From early breakfast with High Schoolers, to men’s Bible Study, to women’s Bible Study, to the end of the day with Middle Schoolers in Confirmation Class, time is well spent. And today was no exception. 

This was the final Confirmation Class for the school year, so I met individually with each confirmand and their families. The same question was asked of every one, “Are you ready?” An emphatic “yes” came from each one. They are ready to make the promises/commitments for their own lives of faith. 

I always wonder, however. Would I have said yes at that age, if I had been in the same situation? Probably, but then I would have really had no idea what yes meant. The places God would lead, the things God would ask, the decisions and choices that would need to be made were a mystery then - and sometimes still are. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is their ultimate guide. May that Holy Spirit always blow strong in their lives.

Speaking of places God would lead, there was one more step to take on this evening. A time of holy ground spent with a family as their loved one neared death. The thin veil of the space between life and death hangs heavy in those moments. What is the person really facing? What words of hope need to be spoken to the family? To the person? What prayer can be said? With the help of the same Holy Spirit that guides us all, there is hope spoken and shared. Thank you for allowing me to walk briefly in that space with you. God is good!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Day #1596

May 15, 2018

Happy Birthday to the mother of our Godson!!!!! 

We love you!!! 


Day #1595

May 14, 2018 

With Mother’s Day still on my mind, a prayer for women:
Mothering God, thank you for those in this world who nurture others. Those in professions of care such as nurses and teachers. Those who have children and grandchildren they love and cherish. Those who struggle to care for their loved ones. With your love and grace, surround them with peace, endurance, tolerance, and the support they need. Also, we pray for you to be with those who experience the pain of hurtful nurturers, those who are sitting with nurturers as they near the end of life, those who are unable to nurture due to illness, etc. You are our strength and our loving example. We are grateful! Amen.

Day #1594

May 13, 2018 

Mother’s Day. A day set aside to celebrate all those who nurture, care, and share of themselves for the sake of others. Mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, sisters, daughters, nieces, etc. While there are many who celebrate joyfully, this can also be a day that carries pain for some who have not experienced that nurturing as a mother, daughter, etc. 

Yet, while I am one with no close female relatives that are "blood," I am grateful for the women who are in my life. You are as important to me as anyone could be. Thank you for loving me, nurturing me, caring about me. I hope I do the same for you!!! 


PS A very special thank you to the woman who made me a godmother to the one this blog is dedicated to - I am grateful for you, love you and am proud of you!! Happy Mother's Day!

Day #1593

May 12, 2018

We saw something today we had never seen before - a huge shipment of beehives! 

As we pulled up to a stoplight, I said “BEES!” Hubby is used to the tone I use for bees - I am allergic. Where?, he asked, looking all around the car. There!! I pointed to the back of the 18-wheeler in front of us. Bees!!

More than once he (former trucker extraordinaire) has reminded me that most everything we touch, eat, wear, etc., has been transported by tractor trailer at some point in its production. But I had never thought beehives might be included. 

All I could think was, I would NOT want to be the person who pulls off that screen when they are delivered. Yikes!!!

I will also add, I am thankful for those beehives. Where would we be without them?!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Day #1592

May 11, 2018

What a surprise I received when we picked up Boomer after some time at “doggy daycare!” "He" had made his “momma” a Mother’s Day card. 

Isn’t that just the cutest thing!? What good care they take of him - another reason to be thankful.