Monday, August 06, 2012

This is the Church

This is the steeple
Open the doors
And see all the people!

We haven't written many posts (if any) about our church life since we began this blog over eight years ago.

Mostly, I think, because we have been so immersed and involved in our local body, but also, because we have experienced bumps along the way, and challenges, and things that are probably better kept to ourselves. When this blog began we attended a small, urban, mostly college-age church near Georgia Tech; now we attend a slightly larger, though still small, suburban church, with a congregation of both older and younger members. And in both cases, we have been mightily blessed.

Today, the blessing came in the form of four new members, a family we are delighted to call our friends.

zoo train

The first day I met Emily, I believe she had visited our church at least once before. I had a newborn and had been in the nursery quite often, so I think I missed her. She had her oldest son with her and was unsure of where to sit. I think she said it was the first time she had been to church without her husband. So, I walked them right up to the front with us (probably to her chagrin!) and told her to sit next to us, and that it was perfectly OK that her 3 year old wandered in the aisle during the service. Which it was. He was learning what church was all about! (Aren't we all?!)


A few weeks later, we had an opportunity to go out for coffee. I am ever grateful to the ladies who run our church's Mothers' Morning Out/Preschool program, who gave us the morning off from taking care of the boys so we could sit and chat. During our conversation, when I discovered she didn't have a Bible of her own, we went to a nearby B&N and bought her one. I haven't had that much fun in a bookstore in a long time, if ever.

I can't find a photo of her without sunglasses

Since then, we have had many opportunities to talk, and share, and go on adventures together. We've explored local parks. She gave me a fantastic haircut. I've taken her to go berry-picking and we made strawberry jam together. She brought me a yummy meal when I had surgery. We went on a trip to the zoo. Her family invited us to celebrate the boys' birthdays at a baseball game. And she worked extremely hard to turn our church into the Great Outdoors for our camp-themed VBS this year, and it was amazing. I wish I had pictures!

baseball game

This morning, Emily, her husband, and their two boys joined our church, and the boys were baptized. Gaines stood with them at the front as their elder, and I got to be a witness (in absentia, because I was in the nursery taking care of the results of last year's baby-explosion in our congregation...). Usually, I try to stay focused on ministering to my family, because it is the most important thing I do. But sometimes, I feel like I should be doing something more -- visiting the sick, feeding the homeless, whatever. I think God has given us all seasons in our outreach, and right now, this is mine, this being a friend to other moms. A simple thing, really, being a friend, but as I discovered today, it makes a difference. From now on, whenever I start to think that my kingdom-work outside my family is limited or lacking, I will remember this day, and my friend Emily and her family, and be glad.

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