Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've become a lovey

Each of our younger grandchildren have their own unique comfort items. For our second grandson, they are tops his mother has worn so they carry her scent. I wish I'd thought of that when our sons were babies! For the two youngest grandsons they are burp cloths. For our granddaughter, it's a soft blanket with a satin edge.

We had a wonderful family celebration this past weekend when our two youngest grandchildren were baptized. Most of our family was able to come for the party, which included an Italian feast our daughter-in-law put together. It was an amazing, exhausting day. After lunch, as we sat talking, our granddaughter sat quietly in my lap. She's beginning to outgrow nap time, but she was still tired. For a long time, she has gone to sleep with her thumb in her mouth and one of her soft blankets with the satin edges snuggled close. As she dozes off she rubs the edge of the blanket with her thumb.

I realized that as she sat on my lap, she had her thumb in her mouth and was rubbing my hand with her thumb, the same way she rubs her blanket at bed time. I was at first surprised, and then overwhelmed that I had become her comfort item. I was honored that she felt that same sense of comfort with me. I've become a lovey! I can think of few things I'd rather be at this stage in my life than a lovey for one of my beautiful grandchildren.

I've been working on yet another sermon, struggling with the text in Mark that depicts Jesus being rejected by the people of his home town. The title of my sermon is "Looking for God in All the Wrong Places." I think we do that, hoping for a God who will come and punish our enemies and make us safe so that we never have to suffer. But that's not the kind of God we have. Instead we have a God who came to earth as a Jewish carpenter and who remains as close as our own heartbeat. I thought of my granddaughter as I was working on the sermon today and realized that God is a lot like her lovey, ready to be snuggled close to us whenever we reach out and to provide comfort in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

Grace and Peace,
Donna Sue

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Riding the Roller Coaster

I have had a strange few days with ups and downs akin to riding a roller coaster. Tuesday I went to my appointment with the cardiology specialist who calls himself a "heart electrician." After looking through my records and talking with me, he prescribed a new heart medicine. I always take a deep breath and say a prayer before starting any new medication because I have unfortunately inherited my mother's tendency to react to many medicines. After two doses, I was ecstatic at how much better I felt. I hadn't realized how much the heart irregularities had slowed me down.

Then, yesterday morning, I had a serious allergy attack. I immediately thought of the new medicine as nothing else had changed in my life in the past few days. This attack was bad enough that I dug out my EpiPen and re-read the instructions. Fortunately I've never had to use it, but I was grateful to have it available. I called and talked with the nurse, who consulted the heart electrician and called me back. The doctor thought it unlikely that the reaction was related to the new medicine, especially since I'd already taken several doses.

So I said a prayer at supper and gingerly took another dose. My husband's prayer at supper was for me not to die. I sat up reading for some time last night with the EpiPen close by, and then I said another prayer and went to bed. My husband asked me this morning if I'd said my "Now I Lay Me's" last night, and I told him I had indeed. Sometimes the simplest prayers say it best: "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." So far today, I'm breathing okay. I'm so thankful to God for another day of life and for feeling so good again!

Grace and Peace,
Donna Sue

Monday, June 1, 2009

We are family

Yesterday we had a Pentecost celebration at church, including a birthday cake for this annual celebration of the birthday of the church. The children ran around the church at the beginning of the service in red, orange and yellow tunics waving wands with ribbons of the same colors attached. They were the tongues of flame that appeared in the midst of our worship. Two neighborhood young people who have been attending our church since their older brother was drawn by the basketball goal were baptized yesterday. Their home life is more challenging than that of most of the kids in our congregation, and as evidence of that their mother did not show up for the baptism. Seeing this, a young woman with kids the same age, who has worked with these two young ones in VBS and Sunday school, stepped up beside them, as did her husband. Tears welled as I witnessed this visible confirmation of the vows the congregation took at this baptism, to be family to these young people and watch over them. So now they are our kids too, baptized with water and the fire of the Holy Spirit, into the family of faith. I hope we will be able to bless them as much as they have already blessed us by their presence.

Grace and Peace,
Donna Sue