Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 66 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families) with a third girl on the way. I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Rare Privilege

I know I was going to start some postings on worship--and they will come, Lord willing. But please excuse me, because life and opportunity and privilege interrupted.

Last Saturday (April 1) I was going to work as a "human arrow." This was an opportunity for our church to earn much needed funds, and I got the idea that it would be helpful for me to volunteer to stand in one place for about 6-8 hours (plus have break and supper) even though I haven't stood on my feet that long in years. (They are very flat, and though I am in decent shape, I'm not so sure my feet and legs would be after a stint like that... .) We were to point the way in downtown Indianapolis during the final four weekend.

But then I got an Opportunity--my son called on Thursday (end of March), asking if I'd like to go on his weekend trip with him to northwestern Tennessee. This was a heads-up to me because it was somewhat unusual. This son and I often do things together at this point in our lives, but a weekend trip? Not so much. I felt it was not just a break, but important. Most mothers of grown children will understand--when we get this kind of Opportunity it is a Privilege, and the answer is always Y E S if we possibly can. --Thank You, church, for making it possible and releasing me from my "arrow" commitment; I would have done it (cheerfully) because promise, dependability and faithfulness are priorities to me, but thanks for understanding (and God thank You for having others in the wings to step in...).

When I found out that Friday morning that I could go, I packed-in-a-hurry and went on to work. My son picked me up at the end of the day, and we were off on an adventure. Now I love traveling, and I love being with any of my three sons. This adventure was to start with a treat of spending an uninterrupted five hours in the car with him. I love doing that because we talk about all sorts of things--silly things, ideas, philosophy of life. We don't always agree, but I think for me it is getting easier to agree to disagree and let God change each of us than it used to be. I certainly get stretched from our talks and end up with a lot to think about. (Please let's not stop.)

Last weekend I got beautiful spring scenery, warm temps, and a chance to share in my son's world and broaden mine. I had never known people whose ministry revolved around an army base where they were regularly deploying soldiers. We were on the Clarksville, TN side of Ft. Campbell, KY, visiting a good friend of my son's. I also had the privilege of entering her world. It was wonderful to see her again. Last time I saw her was when she was at the edge of flying from the nest. She is now out there, Abraham-like, transplanted into a place where God sent her, and becoming a strong, beautiful, obedient, courageous woman of God. Her sharing reminded me of something very important --if I really think some prompting I have is of God, I need to feel the fear and do it anyway. The ways God has blessed her have really reminded me of the blessings of obedience.

Additionally, I got the privilege of seeing a neat Body-of-Christ-gift in operation. I saw a couple who was able to invite a group of people over for supper and the evening. What's so "gift-like" about that? Well, these guests from various walks of life were from many different places, both geographically and spiritually. But with this gift in operation, even I was comfortable enough for a change to get in there and interact with people from backgrounds extremely different from mine. This was "lifestyle evangelism" and "loving people and letting God do His thing" at its best. From what I can tell, this couple's version of this gift enables guests to feel extraordinarily at home with each other--it was a "safe" place to venture out.

I also learned during that evening to feel much less guilty about the calls in the Body for lifestyle evangelism. I think those I've heard (and rightly so) may strongly have that gift operating that way, because their description is similar. But I usually fall flat on my face trying to fit into that mold.
I realized I am not a klutz, dumb, unspiritual, uncaring, unloving, or any of the other things the enemy accuses me of when I know I can't pull off an evening like that myself--it is just not the way my gift is expressed. How liberating if I will remember it! So I can continue to do it in my own way, and can from now on feel okay about it. - Wow! A chance to meet new friends and learn too--this trip was great!

We also had three time changes--TN was an hour earlier than we were, then there was their April 1st daylight savings time change, and thirdly, the new Indiana daylight savings time on our way back. I almost felt like a time-traveler by the time I was done leaping backward once, then forward twice. My son explained how easy it was for him to change time zones (even when he went overseas). I tried it and it worked till Tuesday. (My son said, "Till Tuesday? You got back to work on Monday." My comment, "See what I mean? Time-travel--delayed reaction." Actually I meant to say Monday... :) )

As if all that excitement wasn't enough, we also got back to my house ten minutes before all the serious Indiana weather that took out the windows on 12 floors of a corner of a downtown building. The storm was about 5-10 minutes behind us, sirens soon were going off all over the city, but we had a beautiful, uneventful trip back, though the storms hit down through the whole corridor of our travels. I'm grateful (very) we weren't driving during that time.

So... thank you, son, for the trip and chance to enjoy you. Thank you for letting me into your life. Thank you for all the ways on this trip that you considered me and that said you were glad I was along for the ride. It was special. Thank you all in Tennessee for letting me into your lives and homes. Your hospitality was a real blessing, and ministered to me. Thank You, Lord, for watching over us, letting me see once again Your beautiful work in someone who allows You to grow her, the chance to see You in operation in a situation from today's headlines (people involved in the war on terror), and the opportunity to see how Your gifts spread Your influence, life, and hope so graciously in this world through another neat committed Christian couple. Thank you all for the gift of this adventure.

1 Great Ideas:

Blogger SweetChicken said...

I'm so glad you had this opportunity, Barb.

April 09, 2006 11:26 PM

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