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Archive for December, 2006

Anna + ________

Anna: Sissy already knows she wants to marry Alex, but I still don’t know who I’m going to marry. (sigh)

Jason: Yeah! Isn’t that cool? I didn’t know who I wanted to marry till I was like twenty!

Anna: Really?

Jason: Yeah!

Anna: Who was it?

Jason: (whispers) It was Mommy.

Anna: Really? Cool!

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Extortion

So it turns out that having your car impounded isn’t the greatest thing in the world. The towing company who impounded it would like us to pay twice the usual rate for the tow, plus $35 for each day they keep our van locked in their tow yard.

If we had no money to bail it out (which we would not have, were it not for divine providence) the ransom for the van would continue to rise $1,050 each month, until it would soon cost more to rescue it than to buy another van. At that point, they would auction it off, and we would never see it, or its contents (which are many, and varied in importance) again.

So basically, if your car happens to break down on the pass, and you happen to be poor, you lose your car. Forever. If you have money, or the connections to get the money, it’s not a big deal. That seems an awful lot like taking advantage of the poor.

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Serendipity

The title of the book that the girls just asked me to read:

How Many Trucks Can a Tow Truck Tow?

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Providence, Continued

The lead pastor and staff sergeant took the truck up the pass, to tow our van back down the hill. They couldn’t find it.

It had already been towed and impounded.

Meanwhile, Naiah, Jonah, and I braved the elements for a two-block trip to the pharmacy and the post office. In our mailbox we discovered a sizeable check from an old friend of Jason’s. The note said to use what we needed and spend the rest on the church.

Alrighty then.

I think I like problems that God solves before we have them. Which, now that I think of it, would really be all of them.

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Providence

Background: Four couples make up the core membership of our church plant. Three of the couples have three or more children, and therefore own two vehicles. Altogether, that’s seven vehicles, when you include the fourth couple, who own one vehicle. Got it?

At the beginning of November, one vehicle, belonging to the lead pastor’s family– a truck, necessary for hauling wood and taking trash to the dump– was out of commission. Bald tires.

So the staff sergeant’s family happily shared the use of their truck with all of us.

In the middle of November, the staff sergeant’s family lost their van (the same make and model as our van) to a potentially fatal crash. Black ice. Everyone was fine.

Since the truck wouldn’t do for long trips to town, or carrying many of their five kids, a pastor in Chester loaned them his sedan, indefinitely.

In early December, when the staff sergeant and my husband drove the truck up into the forest for firewood, the truck hit a stump under the snow, and killed the transmission. No more truck.

A week before Christmas, my husband drove his car to work, and couldn’t start it at lunchtime. It froze and threw a rod. Dead.

None of us had a truck to tow it home, so a total stranger from the Chester church drove 45 minutes to pick up a tow dolly at U-Haul, then the car at the courthouse, and pull it 30 minutes back to our house. He also volunteered to return the dolly the next morning. I met him, and his wife, on our front lawn. They smiled and said, “Merry Christmas.”

The lead pastor’s family was able to put new tires on their truck on Friday. They offered to take everyone’s trash to the dump.

My husband decided to start taking the bus to work, rather than drive the van. But the bus wasn’t running today (county holiday), so he took the van. It gave out halfway up the pass. The staff sergeant met him there, assessed the damage, and drove him to work in the borrowed sedan.

He has offered us the parts from their van, to repair ours.

Do you think, maybe, God is building some community here?

Good thing we live in a three-block span. That’s walkable.

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Hospitality

Last summer, I was blown away with how God could use silk flowers and candles and chocolate and frilly tablecloths to break through, for the first time, to the down-and-out teenage girls who come to the church plant. Those small considerations made people who don’t even feel welcome in their own homes feel like they belonged somewhere, like they were wanted and loved. The events of that night moved hospitality from a sideline interest to a central kingdom tool, in my mind. And ever since then, it’s a BIG deal to me.

So fast-forward to tonight, when circumstances conspired to derail my best laid plans for the youth Christmas service/party. It was cosmetic, really. The important elements were in place– the nativity story, Christmas carols, with lyrics on Powerpoint, a horde of expectant teens and kids; it just looked wrong, slapdash. I couldn’t set the tables or serve mulled cider or decorate the way I had planned.

So, rather than adjust like a rational person and let the little things go, I panicked. They’ll think we don’t care about them, I thought. They’ll think we don’t want them, that they’re not as important as the adult guests. They’re not welcome.

But once we started singing and marvelling at the story, from creation to ascension, I got over myself. The kids were enthralled. Nobody whispered or passed notes. Nobody seemed to notice the bare tables or lack of refreshments. They were too caught up in the Christ story.

Afterward, we shooed them over to the next room, where we slapped together a buffet of cookies and cupcakes and cider, and passed out the gift bags we had prepared. Our young guests were content. They were warm and welcome. The were loved, without all the stupid trappings I deemed so important. Heart hospitality was ever so much more valuable to them than the outward.

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The Sling Is Dead

From the moment Naiah was born, she was perpetually glued to Mommy. GLUED. Thanks to the wonders of the sling, that was no big deal. I would just strap her on and go about my business. Everybody’s happy.

Now that she’s 18 months old, and developing other sundry interests (toilet papering the bathroom, bullying her big brother, attacking the DVD player. . . ) her need for constant contact has lessened, overall.

However, these last two days, for some reason (teething? holiday stress?), Naiah has reverted to her clingy ways.

Since I happen to have many items on my to-do list, I thought I’d just grab a few yards of fabric and sling her up and get on with my life. So I did.

Naiah: Mommy! I STUCK!

It’s not quite the same, now that she can talk.

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