Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July - Fast But Long...

The 4th feels like it was forever ago. So the month must have been long.

But I can't believe it's ending. Where did it go? What did I do? Hmm... let me see.

1) Celebrated the 4th with many of the family members in Morrisville at their annual parade. Meandered around the countryside and had fish-in-a-bucket at The Fishbone Cafe on Black Lake. We laughed, celebrated, ate great food, enjoyed the lakeside. En route home we took back roads to see Amish farms, toured Pickens Country Store, and finally called it a day. Ah! A lovely 4th of July!

2) Watched my youngest daughter become engaged! And buy a wedding dress. And talk about wedding plans. A few tears, lots of smiles and laughter, and tons of joy!

3) I attended two home births: one after the fact (Jess was really quick!) and one with time to spare (slow and steady!) Both beautiful reminders of the preciousness of every life created individually by God Himself. Amazing. Absolutely.

4) Saw one son head to Spain for three weeks to help a local church near Malaga run an English camp. Sent two daughters to Honduras for a week of serving in orphanages, hospitals, and rehab houses. And the youngest son spent four days in Rochester, NY working at a national outreach hosted by Operation Save America, a pro-life organization in the States. Wow. Busy.

5) Rick and I spent ten days traveling to and from Florida, packing, cleaning, and loading a U-Haul truck with my parents' belongings. Driving home, we were able to visit some friends. It was honestly a wonderful time together in every way!

6) We hosted Andrew, Cathy, and John Eastmond, our dear friends from Louisiana. They are musicians and ministers of the gospel who travel here every summer. It's always a treat to see them!

7) I gardened, enjoyed fresh produce from our local CSA, and continued the Literature class that I lead for students.

And tomorrow will bring the conclusion of this most summer-y of all months. Unbelievable. Loved it all. I just wish it could hang around a wee bit longer. That's all.

OH! I almost forgot!

8) I turned 58 on the 23rd. Nothing amazing OR unbelievable about that!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

We Are A Motley Crew

A summer evening of hot sun, humid air, and no breeze. A pool with clear sparkling water. And people. About 79 people. All kinds of people.

Families, singles, young adults, children, and plenty of us older models.

Plain church folk, contemporary church members, repentant alcoholics, little girls with braids, tattooed ladies, moms in long skirts and head coverings, others in shorts, city bred, country bred, European bred, black and white. Mechanics, grocers, salesmen, teachers, preachers, homemakers.

A motley crew.

Why were we together? Together we witnessed the baptism of 9 from our midst. Christians - believers confessing their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior - entered into the waters of baptism as an outward sign of the spiritual reality of passing through death and being born again into newness of life in Christ. Children, teens, young adults, and even a couple of "old models". All embarking on a journey of faith in Jesus, of declaring His Lordship in their lives.

Is there anything more wondrous? We are family - all who put their trust in Him. We represent every stripe, tribe, nation, color. Together we share a common goal: eternity in His presence.

I smiled as I watched. Ladies in denim jumpers and head coverings hugging women with nose piercings and short shorts as they came up out of the water. Tattooed and tanned guys wearing Harley t-shirts embraced men in pleated polyester dress pants in celebration. Fathers held daughters and sons close, friends wept for joy with friends, mothers brought towels and wiped tears. Joy, joy, joy!

We are His. His love makes us one.

This motley crew? We belong to each other. We belong to Him.