As I sit here tonight typing, I can’t help but feel like I am so incredibly blessed. The past week has been very busy for us, but it’s been a good kind of busy. The kind of busy where you’re relating to other people, establishing and reaffirming relationships. The kind of busy that fills your heart with gratitude when your very tired body falls into bed at night. The kind of busy that gives you the opportunity to just be with people you know and love.
Saturday my best friend from high school stopped by with her two boys. We had fun catching up since it’s been a while, but we pretty much picked up where we last left off. While we watched our boys play on the fort in my backyard, she turned to me and said, “Did you ever think when we were 15, that we’d some day be watching our kids play in your backyard?” Goodness, no, I sure didn’t. As I recall, our dream way back when was to be groupies for Bon Jovi, Ratt, or Night Ranger – and we were going to drive IROC Z’s – and travel the world on the Concord – and have money coming out of our ears – and be the “cool” people. I must say, I’m glad our initial plan failed – I’m pretty sure there’s not much that could top watching our boys hang out and play together.
Sunday our church celebrated it’s two year anniversary. So, Sunday evening we went to our church property (we don’t have a church building yet, but they have a large property with future plans to build.) They had fun and games, a baptism, a worship time, and a time for testimonies. It was just awesome. We had to come late because the boys had AWANA’s but, we arrived in time for the worship and testimonies. What a wonderful time to bask in the wonders God has done for our church family. Not only did He grow our church from 60 to 400 in just two years – He’s healed relationships, bodies, and marriages. He’s just so amazing.
Monday we didn’t have anything planned, but we ended up visiting with neighbors and generally just having a good time. Tuesday night we joined with our neighbors again to celebrate National Night Out, Texas Style. Texas opted to have their National Night Out in October, rather than August, because it’s just too darn hot to be hangin’ out outside when the typical daytime high is around 100. Now that it’s in October, it’s much more pleasant. Our block-party had visits from the local Fire and Police Departments, as a PR outreach to the community. The kids loved climbing in each vehicle and exploring to their hearts content. My extroverted husband, of course, loved visiting with the policemen and firemen, and really just everyone. The city allowed us to block off our street, so the kids could ride their bikes and scooters up and down the street for 3 hours last night. We gave all the kids those little glow-in-the-dark braclets, so we could see them even into the later part of the evening. I was exhausted by the end of the night, but so happy and thankful that I have a neighborhood full of friends.
Tonight we started up our small group again, only this time, it’s at our house. We have a whole new (to us) group of people, and I can just tell we are going to have so much fun and learn so much from each other. I won’t share much about this group because we have a confidentiality agreement, but I do have to share that, tonight, for the first time in a long time I laughed so hard I cried. Oh, good times… I’m gonna love these people.
This weekend, I will have another opportunity to enjoy relationships (and the great outdoors) as our neighborhood area campout is this weekend. We have quite a large group going this year – 17 families, with 35 kids under the age of 10. We’re only camping at the city park less than 5 miles from the house, so we can still come home if need be – like last year, I came home at midnight on Friday to pick up a heater so we wouldn’t freeze in our 55 degree tent. We also get to come home for showers and to let the dogs out – so if I have to go tent-camping, at least this is the best way I can imagine doing it.
I am naturally a pretty introverted person. If I could hang out all day, for days on end with no one but a good book, I’d be a pretty happy girl. But, I’m starting to see that God is trying to tell me something. He didn’t make me to hang out and bury myself in a book, or a computer, or housework, or whatever – he made me to be a part of his Creation, to enjoy relationships with others, and to enjoy my relationship with Him, and to learn from His ultimate wisdom. The wisdom I’ve gleaned this week is that it’s ultimately about people. He loves us, he cares about us, and he wants us to know him. He’s shown me a whole passel of people this week that I love and care for. In them he’s given me a huge blessing, a blessing of good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over…
For more about Thankful Thursday, go visit Iris at Grace Alone.