I am overwhelmed by God’s love revealed in such sweet and tangible ways lately. While I was away, I experienced blessing upon blessing. I want to say at the outset, that it is only because Jesus came and lived the perfect life that I could never live; and suffered the wrath that my sins deserved when He died on the cross, that I am now reconciled to God. Not only that, I am a child of God and therefore His disposition toward me is one of love. The gospel is the primary evidence of this fact. But there are seasons when God seems to go out of His way to pour out tangible expressions of His love on me. They often come when I am most obviously unworthy – which just magnifies His grace and love all the more.
Here are some examples:
1. Vacation in North Carolina with my family.
2. Marriage retreat in Chatham, Massachusetts with Aron Osborne’s region of pastors. (photos of Nantucket and Chatham are here.)
3. The privilege of attending a funeral for Ann Fleischman, a dear lady from Chesapeake who went to be with the Lord after suffering for a few years from Parkinson’s disease. Ann excelled in hospitality and used her gift for years at CCC’s guest reception, which used to take place weekly after the service. I still remember the paper-thin sugar cookies cut in shapes of autumn leaves and hand-dipped in chocolate – just so the edge was covered. They were as delicious as they were beautiful. It was such a blessing to be at her “home-going” celebration in MD.
4. The privilege of attending my niece, Iris’s, kindergarten graduation. Too cute! Reminded of my boys’ graduation(s) that seemed like just yesterday.
5. The privilege of typing a hand-written document for Granny (Jason’s grandmother, Edith Lewis). Granny wrote a paper called “While I Wait” which tells what she is doing as she waits to go home to be with the Lord. Granny is 90 years old, and I felt like I was on holy ground just listening to her dictate this precious letter. I will ask her if I can publish it on my blog for your benefit once we’ve finished with the editing.
6. Being able to attend my Sister-in-law, Abby’s 30th birthday. What a blessing to honor this well-deserving friend. Abby is known for the beauty of her voice, but I have seen her up close and personal – in everyday life – and I will tell you that the beauty of her life lived in quiet demonstration of the gospel is even more compelling than her singing voice!
7. Time with Karen. What a joy to watch our children hit it off just like we did back in the day.
8. Time with Briana. It was a miracle that we were uninterrupted for two hours. My boys played with hers the entire time. (I love seeing my big boys serve moms by entertaining their little ones…so sweet!)
9. Time at a playground with a few moms. I was able to catch up with several good friends while our kids climbed through tunnels and played in a wet sand box!
10. Time with family, Jason’s and mine. This is where I spent most of my days – just hanging out with my family or his. This commonplace activity has become so cherished now that we live in Ohio.
11. Time with staff wives from Chesapeake. This was a precious ministry time for me. It was so good to hear from Cindy and Marilyn who both had relocated before I did. They were a source of wisdom and encouragement. The prayer time was particularly dear to me.
12. Hearing my three favorite preachers three Sundays in a row: My Dad, My Brother, My husband.
13. Seeing and being greeted warmly by so many dear friends on Sunday morning at CCC.
14. Knowing Kathy Stewart would be here when I got here. Kathy moved in (less than a mile down the road) while we were gone. She is already a dear friend – another evidence of God’s kindness to me. She had the house cooled, and food in my fridge and pantry for when we arrived home. We LOVE the Stewarts! and thank God for bringing them to Ohio!
15. Coming home to our beloved, new church: Covenant of Grace. We were overwhelmed by their love when we came home to this sign hanging on our garage door. My kids have been studying the signatures for the past few days! The only thing that makes leaving such dear people in MD easier, is coming home to such dear people here in Ohio. Thank you COG for caring for us so well. For expressing constant gratitude to my husband. For missing us while we were gone. We are happy to be back. We truly consider COG the dearest place on earth. We are home!