Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
So taking a cue from him, I thought I'd post a run-down of some of the things keeping me busy.
There's the usual "trying to make a little money" thing. Trust me, I'm gooood at making little money. I'm working on beefing that up so I can pay my gas bill. (rolly eyes). Eh, that's another story for another day.
Most of my time is spent at church lately. I've been serving as a facilitator for a Grief Share group for a couple of months. There's another month or so left in this group. I won't be helping with the Divorce Care group this session -- after helping lead three series of Divorce Care, I'm taking a break.
It's a little hard to keep identifying myself as a "divorced person" 17 years after the fact. I don't feel "divorced" in the same way I did years ago. Sure, yes, I remember I was married for a brief time, but I more identify myself as a single midlife adult now. In all honesty, I cannot remember what my ex-husband looked like without going back to the photos. I don't know where he lives, what he does for a living or anything at all about his present life.
I'm also the chairman of the Care Team this year. We have a team of 12 members plus the associate pastor. Recently we have divided the congregation into "pastorates." Each care team member is responsible for their own pastorate, making sure everyone in the church has someone staying in contact with them, especially in a time of illness or loss. The care team also prays daily for those in their pastorates.
In my role I often make hospital visits and try to do followup care with those who have had losses (hence the implementation of the Grief Share course.) I had a hospital visit last night after the class ended, as a matter of fact.
I have a couple of other projects on my agenda this spring. The first is an auction set for April 22 -- the "Tie One On Chairity". I've challenged the congregation to rehab worn-out, old, ugly chairs into works of art and then bring them to be auctioned. They are limited only by their imaginations. I expect some fabulous contributions! Some of the men are being very secretive about their projects. I think some of them have some side bets going!
Even the kids in the church are getting into the challenge. Our preschool kids took one of the chairs, and one of the Sunday school classes took another. They have been working on sanding their chairs to get them ready to paint. I cannot wait to see what they come up with!
Besides the chairs, a second component of the auction is aprons! Yes!! Like my chicky apron in my avatar! I'll be making a few or 20 aprons for the auction myself. One will be made of men's neckties and I have some pretty interesting designs in mind for others.
All the money we raise in this auction will be given to a nonprofit group I'm familiar with that will use it to rehab housing for those who need affordable housing. I don't know how much money we'll raise, but I am optimistic and I know God will use whatever we raise and multiply it many times over. I'll keep you posted as things develop!
The other project is producing a couple of CDs with musicians in the church. One will be a CD of lullabies which we will give to new parents and grandparents. The other will be a CD of hymns which we will take to people in the hospital (along with a loaner CD player with headphones). I'll be working to find the right songs for vocalists, the handbell choir, a harpist, clarinet player and flutist. I may even be able to get the OCU brass quintet to help.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Breakfast at McDonald's
I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called, "Smile." The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.
I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was "smiling". His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.
He said, "Good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, "Coffee is all Miss" because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).
Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting s pot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you."
I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "God is here working through me to give you hope."
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope."
We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give. ; We are not church goers, but we are believers.
That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.
I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it.
Then she looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?"
I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.
She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn: UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.
Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.
To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart. God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into its nest.