Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fresh breath and clean bodies - something we take for granted!!

Back in the month of May, I wrote a post about 109 PB&J's. Many of the pictures look similar to these. But this is a totally different night and a totally different project. Our Tuesday night group is continuing to try new things. We haven't branched out to an "onsite" mission project but we want to do things to help others. I don't know about you, but I take the ability to have a shower every day (or more if I want or need it) and the ability to brush my teeth and put on deodorant for granted. I have a deodorant that I like (no scent!!) and I can never find it in the store, so I go online and order multiples from I buy multi-packs of toothpaste and keep extra toothbrushes in a bin in the bathroom just in case someone is spending the night and needs a toothbrush.

On this Tuesday night, we assembled hygiene kits for the Church of the Reconciler here in town.  The folks at the Church of the Reconciler are the same folks who ate our PB&J's.  The congregation at Church of the Reconciler is made up of many who don't have homes. . . nor do they have toothpaste and soap and deodorant.  .   .  and I take it for granted.

Some people say that they never use their dining room or their dining room table.  We use ours all the time!!  When we bought our house, one of my non-negotiables was a large dining room.  Who knew that 20 years later, we would be hosting this group every week?

I knew that our group might not be able to provide enough supplies to assemble a lot of kits so I enlisted the help of the John Wesley Sunday School class.  Oh my goodness.  They were so very generous.  We ended up with enough supplies for 51 whole packages and a box of extras.  Everything was just dumped into a giant garbage bag and after dinner, the young adults dumped it all in the middle of the dining room table.  They first sorted into piles.  Each kit was to contain a trial size bottle of shampoo, a trial size deodorant, a trial size toothpaste, a trial size bar of soap and a regular toothbrush.  Those five items were placed in a zip lock baggie.  You can get each of those items for one dollar or less -- except the toothbrush.  If you buy the toothbrushes in a regular store, they are more expensive but the Dollar Tree has a pack of several for ONE DOLLAR.  (of course, everything in the Dollar Tree costs one dollar!!)  And once again, I take it all for granted.  This week I was told by a friend who works with a food bank that toilet paper is a luxury for many.  Toilet paper is another thing that I take for granted - I buy it by the twelve pack.

I was trying to get a picture of "helping hands."

Here is a picture of the group at the end of the evening with their boxes full of supplies.  Our group is continually growing in many ways.  This last week for our study of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22, we had 25 folks (counting Mark and me!).  For dinner, I can seat 14 at the dining room table and 8 at the kitchen table so we had some folks eating in the family room this week (which is great!!)  We can cram everyone into the family room for the study.

At the end of the study this last week, I challenged the group to think on the things for which they are thankful - not to dwell on the things they don't have. I am very thankful for this group of young adults and for the joy of working with them each week!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Takin' Care of Business . . .

Glenn and Lauren came home a couple of weekends ago. I love when I have all my chickens under one roof. There was only one tiny problem - I was sick when they arrived. I, who never throw up . . .was sitting on a towel in the bathroom floor when they arrived. The rest of the crew enjoyed dinner while I slept (when I wasn't on the bathroom floor) due to the wonderful properties of phenergan. My favorite line of the weekend was said by our daughter-in-love, Lauren. Laura had been in the bathroom to check on me. Mark had been in the bathroom to check on me. Glenn had been in the bathroom to check on me. Lauren wanted to check on me and Laura told her that I might be embarrassed. Lauren's response -- "well, she better get used to me because I plan to be around for fifty years!!" I love it (and her!). I woke up on Saturday morning and was just fine. Mark was in heaven. He misses his work buddy so much. Mark is replacing the boards on our deck. It is 20 years old!! He has pressure washed it several times over the years but it is finally just worn out. Mark and Glenn went to the store to get a load of lumber (Mark loved having Glenn with him!!)

I loved walking out on the deck and seeing the two of them "takin' care of business."  These are the two men who have captured my heart!

It was a gorgeous day.  The sky was blue and the temperature was actually cool.  Totally unheard of in late May/early June in Alabama.  Look at those hats/heads/men.  You can totally tell that they are father and son.  I was trying to figure out how Mark had an extra elbow and it dawned on me that Lauren is standing behind them!!

They had to get creative because some of the boards were warped.  Mark was doing "leg presses" in order to get the board to line up.

I think this picture is funny.  We are all so attached to our cell phones.  Glenn is working with Mark and talking on the phone.

Mark was happy to have his "helper" in town. Made me smile to watch them. They finished half the deck.  You can see one of our new windows in the background.  They look great!  Seems like when you fix one thing . . .you know how it goes. It started by painting the shutters and the front door  . . . then we got the new windows . . .now we are getting new boards on the deck.  If i had my way, our next project would be to redo our kitchen - I NEEEEEEED a double oven and a six burner stove and fancy countertops and stainless steel appliances.  Last night, I reminded our group of young adults to focus on those things for which we are thankful.  If we dwell on what we don't have, it is much harder to be filled with joy!!!  So . . . I am thankful to have a stove that works.  I am thankful to have a dishwasher.  I am thankful to have a stove that doesn't smoke up my house like the little stoves inside a tent in some third world countries.  I am thankful that our home is filled with love.  Yes, I really am thankful. (though I wouldn't mind having a new kitchen - hee hee!)