Friday, July 31, 2009

Last night, as I was sewing, I was thinking about "why" I was sewing and this morning, I opened a word document that contains a talk I gave on an Emmaus walk. This is just a brief section from that talk with a few additions:

We, as Christians, must step out and show Christ to others. We must be the body of Christ – serving up pop tarts and wiping runny noses for the children at Birmingham Hospitality network, cooking dinner at the Firehouse Shelter, delivering water to the Church of the Reconciler on a hot day – whatever it takes. There is a lady in our church who is about 80 years old. She heard about a need at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham and at Cooper Green. There are many premature babies born in those two hospitals. She started a ministry called Baby Love where we make teeny tiny diaper shirts that fasten with Velcro on the shoulders and tie in front so that the nurses and doctors can have easy access to all the tubes and paraphernalia. We make hundreds of diaper shirts and matching blankets each year and package them with a scripture about God’s love – the scripture is in English on one side and Spanish on the other side. She saw a need and found a way to meet it. We extend the love of Christ to these families in a tangible way.

As the body of Christ, we are all a part. What part are you? Sometimes I think that I’m the belly button, but that’s not so. I think that right now my hands are an active part of the body of Christ. I told you about the 80 year old lady, Jane, in our church who started the Baby Love ministry. I am also a part of that ministry. I love to sew for those babies – as a matter of fact, I’m passionate about it. I sew an average of 20 or so of those diaper shirts a month – this summer a few less than that – and all this sewing takes place in my spare time of course! As I sew and handle the tiny shirts, I also pray for those babies that will be wearing the shirts and I pray for their mommas and daddies. I’m so passionate about this project, that two years ago, I even bought Alabama and Auburn fabric and cut out bunches of shirts and sewed them. Some of these babies may grow up big and strong and leave the hospital and have the opportunity to experience many game days. Y'all know that we live in Alabama and the Iron Bowl is huge. We know what fun it is to dress our babies up in our “colors.” Some of those babies will never leave the hospital to experience all the craziness. The nurses and the parents enjoy having the chance to take pictures of the babies in school colors. The parents love having the sweet matching outfits – a cute diaper shirt and a soft warm blanket.

Jane had an idea. She knew about a need. She made a plan. She met with folks in charge – at the church and the hospital. She identified her gifts and resources – she loves to sew and had a sewing machine. She sought out the support of others – that’s where I come into the story. We are a part of a team of women who sew faithfully every month. We are an active part of the body of Christ – reaching out and touching others with the hands of Jesus. When those babies are dressed in their shirts, wrapped in their blankets – they are wrapped in the arms of Jesus.

Oh, and just a little note about Jane - she never had children of her own and now her health is failing and she can't communicate verbally anymore and she can't participate in this ministry - BUT the ministry continues because of the Body of Christ!!
So, if I were to ask you right now, "What part are you?" What would your answer be? How are you living out your call to be a part of the body of Christ?

Friday, July 24, 2009

prayers for sanity . . . what?

I love being a wife and mother. I honestly do. Then there are those mornings like today. Actually, I guess it started on Wednesday night. Glenn is in Arkansas and is so ready to come home. He called and we talked for a long time and it just made my heart hurt for that big ole 22 year old boy who is so tired from staying up half the night with campers. BUT it also made me feel good that he wanted to call and talk to his parents. This is the "boy" who has been at Auburn for four years and we've had to beg him to come home once a semester and who called us only once every couple of weeks because he knew we "expected" at least that. So that was Wednesday night after a full day of working and then facilitating a Bible/book study at church . . .phone call. Then this morning, the phone rings early. It is Laura (our other 22 year old - yes - they are twins). She is house/dog sitting this week and has to go to Auburn tomorrow to finish her move home and she is lead teaching next week (internship at Harris Early Learning Center) and she has an interview for grad school next week. Yes - she is stressed and Yes - it is a stressful time in her life. I understand all that and am praying for her. Sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all easy for them. But if I did that, would they grow? Probably not. There is a cartoon in the paper today and the little kids think their mom might be magic - I guess even as a middle aged mom muddling through, I'm still supposed to be able to produce "mommy magic." When our kids were little, if anything hurt, I would rub my hand gently over the boo boo and say, "mommy magic. mommy magic. makes it all better." The problem is that today's "boo boos" and hard times don't respond as well to mommy magic. The thing that I do know and have faith in, is Jesus Christ and his grace. Not magic. Grace. As a middle aged mom, I ask that God watch over both my sweet "children" and give them courage and strength and wisdom so that they might become the man and woman that God wants them to be. Yes - this is a rambling post. Yes - that is that state of my mind. Yes - God hears and cares about the ramblings of a middle aged mom and he cares about her "children."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chris's wedding & mobile fun

Very few people, I've learned, are lucky enough - blessed enough - to have a group of friends like we have. I met Phella when Chris, the groom, was just a baby and she was pregnant with Michael. Michael and Glenn have been roommates at Auburn for 3 of their 4 years down there! Over the years our friendship has grown into a relationship much more akin to sisterhood. Our families have gone to church together all these years so we also have that "Christ connection." Chris got married in Mobile and we were included as family, which was very special.

About 5 or 6 years ago, we became a part of a supper club. There are six couples and we've been together all of this time. We have become family to each other. We have been through sickness together. We've been through hard times with our kids together. We have laughed together. Oh my gosh, we have laughed and laughed and laughed. We have discussed politics many a night over the dinner table and we are all on the same page. . . some more than others . . . but still on the same page. We've tried new recipes on each other and new bottles of wine and margaritas. We love each other - plain and simple - guys and girls alike. The group is full of hugs.

This past weekend, 5 of the six couples were able to be together in Mobile. Guy & Phella had to stay at another hotel with their family so that left 4 supper club couples and two other good friend couples from church at the same hotel. What fun was had by all!

We spent time each night sitting out on a patio area laughing and talking about all sorts of things. Some of us spent time sitting out in the sun grabbing a ray or two. Some of us went to the bass pro shop (Mark went twice!). Some of us went into Fairhope (we didn't do that excursion). Some of us ate at a cool restaurant called BlueGill (I think that is right). Most of us were there for the rehearsal dinner at the Original Oyster House. We were all at the wedding and reception at Magnolia Manor. It was just wonderful fun.

I thank God that in "middle age" I am surrounded by friends who love me just as I am. What a blessing!
I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Celebrations with Cousins

I was blessed to marry into a large family. My husband has a twin brother, a younger brother and a younger sister. Each one is married with a family of their own. But the even bigger family is something to behold. There are 12 first cousins and Mark's immediate family and one family of cousins has remained very close over the years. (At Christmas they all get together!! - all 12 first cousins and their families and aunts and uncles!) We have celebrated the fourth of July with the Harris family for many years. I was thinking back over the many celebrations and have been digging through picture boxes to locate some pictures of days gone by. Let's see - how about this one. The kids spent hours jumping off the top of the boat house. At one point, all the adults jumped also. I only did it once BUT I DID IT! There were many boat rides with the kids riding the tube and the adults would all show off their skills at skiing!! I've also included a picture of Laura several years ago and also one of Lydia and Laura this year. She was able to go with us this year for the first time in many years. She would always choose to work on the 4th because she got time and a half but this year is doing her internship. Now for a couple of pictures from this year. It was a fun year but a much more laid back year. There was a boat ride with all those 22 and under riding the tube. There was good food and laughter. There was thanks that Mark's cousin Nancy is doing well after a year of chemo and radiation. There were chocolate candy bar brownies. There was sunshine. It was a good year . . . just different from the years when we had kids begging to ride the wave runner just one more time and kids begging to go for one more boat ride. But we have much for which we are thankful. Celebrations with cousins are pretty special! ok - all my pictures are stuck at the first - and actually the newest pictures are first (the first 4 or so are 2009) - how in the world do you fix that??