Worship Fully: Family attended Jason’s work Christmas extravaganza, minus the real worship aspect of it (too bloomin’ cold!). But I think connecting with friends, watching kids decorate cookies and go bizerk, and reflecting on the season counts.
Spend Less: Money – not so much. After my grocery shopping trip, my husband asked, “What? Did you buy out the whole baking section?” To which I responded: “Yeah.” Cookie baking is my love language, and now is a great time to stock up the potential blessings. 🙂
Give More: Normally I use the self check at the grocery store, but today I decided to take the baking isle, I mean, my cart to a “normal” checkout line. I enjoy the self check because I can keep my ear buds in, listening to the word puzzles on A Way With Words while scanning to my heart’s content. But today: not so much. Instead, I chatted with the clerk and found out that a) she has two daughters very close together, one that wants to bake cookies all the time, which she had a problem with (I had to share why that’s a good thing); 2) she makes an awesome homemade pizza (sometimes using a Pillsbury box mix marketed as cinnamon rolls – hmmm); iii) she’s eaten at the pizza shop that my husband worked at in high school – small world! So, I gave of my free ears, and my attention, and I think that made the few minutes of shopping closure enjoyable for both.
Love All: Instead of talking about how I did or did not love all today, I’d rather focus on a woman who is known for her love.
When I first attended Women’s Bible Fellowship, I hadn’t participated in a group activity for some time, and I’m certain I had spitup on my shoulder. I was late, having to sneak in and take a seat up front at a table with women I didn’t know, which almost had me run for the hills, but then women started sharing about how their summers were. One woman stood up and talked about her breast reconstructive surgery and how women had thrown her a party when it was done, complete with a cake shaped like a boob. My two thoughts: I can’t believe these pillars of the church community are talking about things like boobs – they must be real people after all! and if they can talk about boobs within five minutes of the gathering starting, then I can be okay here.
This wonderful woman had had cancer, fought it, won, and then had a relapse. Recovery, and another relapse. And now she’s within days of leaving us physically. Our women have prayed over her, the church community has prayed over her, friends have experienced insomnia and deep soul groanings over her suffering and imminent passing. She is a woman I did not know well personally, but she embodied warmth and acceptance and love that only comes from knowing Christ. She persisted in praying for everyone, loving them even if they didn’t appear to want to be loved. She walked with people through hard times, and she allowed us to walk with her through these past years of pain.
I’m sure I saw her as a tyke. Her uncle was my childhood pastor, and her family was known for their musical abilities, so I’m sure they came to my church and performed. Such beautiful harmonies I’ve heard her family blend together, most recently as they’ve sung hymns and songs of praise to her in her sun room to help ease her pain and do the thing they seem to love best: worship the Lord together.
This evening an update was given stating that she now has the “death rattle”: a sound in the chest present hours or days before passing. To think that a body capable of creating such beautiful sounds is now involuntarily giving off that kind of noise: I don’t want that to be the last thing her family hears!
But then I realize that it’s only for a short while, and hopefully their memories of her past songs, words, actions – the natural hum of her true self will reign dominant as she’ll be singing as she was created to with the other saints. And I hope, oh I hope, her family and loved ones will feel that hum in their daily lives, because you know she’ll be interceding like nothing else. Lord, transform that rattle into a hum; thank you for letting Christ love us through her; may we continue with the melody today and everyday.