Traveling Gently

My love for driving fast is well-known around the little circle I call home.  So are the results of that fast driving:  speeding tickets.

But the thrill of taking those curves, the quick arrival time — well, that last one is a bit of an oxymoron.  I realize that.  Me… quick arrival time.  That seems to indicate that I arrive in a timely fashion.

Therein lies the problem!!  Or joy!!!  All in the perspective.  My love for the furious and fast delivery has been predicated by my lack of punctual ability; therefore, I must go fast. Ah, yes.  That sounds so much better than, “I’m always late because I can’t get it together.”

Back years ago there was this little number that I drove around.  A fun little ride.

But now, post-Steve, I have come to appreciate the joy of traveling gently.  Driving casually down the road, enjoying the view, noticing my surroundings.  He has helped broaden my horizons, to see the forest instead of the tree.

I like that.  A lot.

Advertisements

Don’t Teach Your Children To Go To Church

Don't TeachLately, I’ve been thinking a lot about church attendance:  why people go or don’t go to church.

It dawned on me this past Sunday, as I listened to our pastor preach about John the Baptist, what the answer was.  He talked about the way John the Baptist lived, eating locusts and honey and wearing rough clothing because all he cared about was bringing the message that God had ordained him to bring to the world.  He cared for nothing but the job set out for him.  His love and focus was to do that job well because he loved the God who had called him to do it.

And that, my friends, is why we steadfastly attend church.  Unless, of course, you are a Sadducee or a Pharisee.  If that is the case, then you are attending church to be seen and let all your “good” works be known to the world, whether your world is large or small.

But for the Johns (hmmm)(I should rephrase that)… but for those John the Baptist church attendees (much better), it is because you love love love God and cannot stay away from the place Jesus brought into being, the church.  He went every week, and so that is what we want to do.  He set the example, and so we want to follow that example.  He is our focus, our engine, our sheep herder.  He is the reason we love to go to church.

So don’t teach your children to go to church because they will quit going to this social place their parents seem to like.  Teach them Jesus.

Because once you fall in real love with Him, you never want to leave.  Because once you learn who Jesus is, you want to be closer and closer.  Because once you really understand what it all means, you will always have it in your heart and soul and mind.

Nehemiah 8:8

They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.

Maybe, just maybe…

church

For the past few weeks I’ve been responding to articles and posts about churches and Christians being judgmental and cold.  Because I don’t think they are.  I’ve tried to explain why I feel the way I do, but either I’m not expressing myself well, (happens a lot) or I’m flat out wrong.

Maybe I have my head stuck in the sand.  Maybe all these things are true, and I’m just not noticing it.  Because the truth is I’m pretty busy on Sunday mornings.  I play piano for my little church, so as soon as Sunday School is over, I go straight to the piano.  After church is over, I’m back at the piano.  So I’m a bit out of the loop, I guess. Maybe, just maybe Perhaps all this negativity is going on around me that I don’t even know about.

But maybe, just maybe, we’re all too sensitive.  Maybe, just maybe, I am too sensitive about these posts.

Maybe, just maybeIn defense of my sisters and brothers in Christ, though, sometimes we just don’t know what to do because no matter what one does, it’s going to be wrong.  We were too pushy; we were too cold; we didn’t look at a person properly; we asked someone to do something.  I have heard all the excuses.  On the other end of that spectrum I’ve also seen some of the older members (most have died out now) protect their pew with a vengeance.  And I remember the dos and don’ts of my mother’s era.

It boils down to Do you really want to be in worship with a bunch of people JUST LIKE YOU?  Because that’s what it is.  People full of faults trying to overcome those faults because they love Jesus and want to be more like him.  Imperfect people saved by grace.  People with personalities that sometimes clash, sometimes mesh, and sometimes seem distant due to circumstances in their lives.  

I’ve been to many, many churches.  I’ve seen people so happy they dance in the aisles; I’ve seen people so heartsick it was all they could do to muster up the energy to be in God’s house; I’ve been hugged, really hugged, by the best huggers in the world; I’ve been encouraged by the best encouragers ever; I’ve prayed with the mightiest prayer warriors.  I’ve stepped over and talked to the quiet people, and I’ve joined the rowdy ones.  That’s only a few of the personalities.

Jesus set the example for church attendance.  Every week He was in the synagogue.  I’m fairly certain there were quite a few people who did not like Him and were more than downright rude.  But He went anyway.  Maybe, just maybe, He had the option of several synagogues to choose from when He attended.  But, unlike us, it probably wouldn’t have mattered to Him where He went.  His mission was His priority.

Our country, my little town, is full of churches that are full of personality.  Go until you find a church that is just where you belong. Hopefully, without bashing the one you just attended.  There is a church personality to fit your personality, a church in tune with your thoughts and behaviors, a church that will feel like home.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s not the church folk who are cold and hard and judgmental.  Maybe, just maybe, it’s you.

 

The Amazing Pixie Find

As we sat in the bed and eyed the pixies, Ava whispered, “They’re asleep.”  I, of course, agreed.  So we continued our whispered conversation about why they were here.

“I think they came back for Valentine’s Day,” says the caught-off-guard Gigi.

“Maybe they came to watch us,” says the spied-upon-by-Elf-on-the-Shelf Ava.

Since that was not my intention at all with the pixies, I insist they are not here to spy but to make Valentine’s Day fun.  So we whisper some more about the pixies and how we think they must come for every holiday (groan), and then we whisper reading our books because we don’t want to wake them, and then I finally say, “They aren’t waking up; let’s just talk normal.”  Whew

Probably, knowing that Ava is a lot like her Gigi, she would have forgotten all about the Big Pixie Find by the next day, but I couldn’t chance it.  I had to drag out the heart stickers and the glue and the markers and the stamps and stamp pads (good thing because Kate showed me how to use them) and we made Valentines for people.

Yep.  That Kate is pretty slick.  She said, “If you would let us use your stuff more, I could show you how to use all of it.” (Because I have a treasure trove of goodies in the basement.)

She also said, “I think you do all the stuff for the pixies.”

Eight…  and she’s already way ahead of me.

The Amazing Pixie Find

My sweet, little Ava who is five this year, soon to be six as she reminds me quite often, loves to come over and play.  Kate has already left me.  After all, she is eight now!  Her playing with Gigi days are now a thing of the past, replaced with the evil ipad.  She would much rather make rooms and animals and other odd-looking creations on Mine Craft or construct homes and make families on the Simms.  I have to say, she has me looking pretty buff and in a very nice home in the Simms village.  Occasionally I get a tour.

It started with Maddy actually, the playing that is.  I think, somehow, I didn’t get the playing thing out of my system as a child which is the catalyst of my love of playing now.  So when I met Maddy so many years ago, we played and played.  Sometimes we would let her uncle in on the fun, but mostly it was just us girls.

not-so-little Maddy

not-so-little Maddy

It was for Maddy that I started the Sunflower House.  Now they have become a tradition for those that follow in her footsteps.

Kate, Ava, Maddy

Kate, Ava, Maddy

There was Brittany, Brooke, Jack, Sam, Kate, Ava, Owen, Maci, Emily and the other “church kids” and several pop-in-and-outs.  I have had a ball with all!!

Of the regulars, I am down to Ava with her big imagination.  So this past Christmas when the Pixies (click on Pixies to see the story)  happened upon Gigi’s house, she and Kate loved them.  Since Ava is the one who is over here quite often, she kept track of when they were flying around looking for things for us to do and people to cheer or help.  I had hidden them away when I took the tree down, but had them lying on a dresser in my bedroom ready to put away in the Christmas tubs when Ava spied them.

We were sitting on the bed, reading, when her eyes got big and round and she pointed and whispered, rather reverently, “the Pixies!”

Oh no!

(to be continued…)

Little Will and the Clan

Momma and newborn Will

Momma and newborn Will

Just because I think he’ll have to be a wrangler to handle those wild animals that this little guy has been adopted into, I got him a pair of baby cowboy boots and a bandanna bib.  He was only 5 pounds and some ounces when he joined us, but I’m expecting the little guy to grow… and grow fast.

He was graced with some mighty tall and fine looking parents.  Good parents that just couldn’t quite take care of him, so they searched and searched and found just the right set of parents they wanted their little boy to know as his very own.  And this set of parents came with a herd of youngins that would love him and cuddle him and play with him, and, I would suspect, even someday fight with him.  A family.  A good family who had prayed for just the right son to bring into their fold.

cousins

cousins

One of these days, sooner than we like, he will be sitting on the couch with the Illinois cousins and his two sisters and big brother. But for right now he’s very content to be snuggled by whoever wants to grab hold and snuggle.

snuggling

snuggling

one happy Daddy

one happy Daddy

Our little guy is just that right now:  little!!  We have been used to his big sister who also comes from tall genes and looks four instead of barely two.  And she has been used to the limelight and the attention, so when Mawmaw asked her if she wanted little Will, her answer was a firm “No!”

just fine without a baby smaller than me, thank you very much!!

just fine without a baby smaller than me, thank you very much!!

The three-turned-four-child household will be going through a lot of changes this year.  A big part of those changes is from our little Will joining the clan.

What a great change!!

such a cutie!

such a cutie!