Easter Monday…the grave is still empty, my heart is so full.
We got to see all but one of our favorite people…and we talked to him for quite a while so that helped.
First stop was early church and brunch with this bunch of cuties…
and when I checked the photo, I may have had a moment when I realized…
Rachel said I probably won’t be standing behind him for photos much longer and soon he will be standing behind me…what in the real world is going on here…how did this happen????
It was like yesterday when we were …
Anywho, that’s where we are.
And someone got to sneak in a photo shoot with this little one who is sweeter than a whole bag of jelly beans…
Next stop was to see the actual faces of these two ….
no masks…and we got to hug them and everything which was the first time in a year.
Also I would be remiss if I did not add that after we checked the photo to make sure we were all smiling and Sarah hadn’t pulled one of her goofy looks, she mentioned that it looked like Jack must have had a really good idea…take a minute…think about it.
Not to be left out, I also got a selfie with this handsome fellow…
So that was our day and now we are taking some time to really celebrate someone’s retirement.
Hope you had a happy Easter.
It has been a rough year and we are not out of the water yet by any stretch, but in the midst there are sweet moments and for those we are so grateful.
Have a happy Monday and don’t eat too many leftover peeps…
Oh my goodness…you never know what you are going to find here on the Journey, but today I am just sharing that I am weary from the roller coaster we continue to be riding.
In the past year I have felt nagged about washing my hands, social distancing, isolating myself, masking and now getting a vaccine.
All of these things are things I would most likely do out of common sense and a concern for others, however…
The ads and marketing of all of these push it on me with guilt and condemnation that for someone like me, who is forever and always trying to do the right thing and avoid being fussed at, can be rather stress producing.
We watch very little television except for news and sports, but I am hearing frequent pleas to be responsible and go get my vaccine so the world can return to normal.
All well and good except not all of us have the blessings of the powers that be to get a vaccine and if we do, the queue for getting them involves a process that rivals the confusion for applying for a small business license or getting to an actual person when you need customer service help.
So now I move on to the bearing of the burden that the whole entire cosmos just needs me to get my vaccine and then all will straighten out again.
Or at least that is what I am feeling like these days.
I am reading more and more about the freedoms those who are vaccinated will enjoy while others of us will continue to live with our masks of shame as we wait for clearance to be liberated.
But I do feel an unseen pressure to conform that seems to have become the norm for a lot of 2020-2021.
And in my experience, unseen pressures always tend to get my attention because I want to know if I am allowing something to boss me that shouldn’t.
Not saying the vaccine is wrong, not saying any of the measures that have been taken or will be taken are wrong, just saying…when I am feeling guilt and condemnation poured onto me, it is not God who is holding the pitcher which means for this child here, it’s time to hunker down into some thoughtful intake of truth and some outpouring of prayer.
The world is making me weary so it’s time to be refreshed in the foundations of my faith and remind myself where my focus needs to be always.
I read this yesterday and I copied it into my journal and have shared with friends:
Preach this to yourself today:
It’s time to wake up, weary heart. It’s time to stop feeling lost in your feelings, but to be anchored to the truth of God’s Word. In Christ – in the Light – you have all you need to reject the numbing, distracting, or disengaging you want to run to in the most bitter seasons.
You can be alive and awake to the very work He’s called you to today because:
“When anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:13-15)
Stay awake friends.
This is not merely a pep talk or feel good platitude; it’s a battle to walk in the Light of Christ as you tell your soul what to do. Grace – redeeming grace – wakes us up to all that self-help cannot.
Wow. I can’t thank you enough for all the kind words and congratulations.
Friday was a beautiful day that ended a wonderful week where so many people told Russ all the things we who know him best have tried to tell him for so many years.
It was the daily commitment to show up and do his best and encourage others to do the same that mark what will stand out as a great career path. An encouragement to all of us that the way we spend the hours each day we are given will either leave others, whose lives bumped into ours or traveled along for all or part of the journey, better or worse.
I told him on Saturday that we can’t minimize the impact that Friday had on us. Although he is one who declines the spotlight and likes to shine it on others, he had no choice as so many poured out kind words over him.
Like our wedding day and the births or our own and our grands, this was a day that changes our trajectory in a major way.
It is a new path we have never taken and it’s a once in a lifetime event for which we have no experience and yet, we will find our way.
Last week I attended a little knitting group that meets at our church.
I took some projects that have been sitting idle in a cabinet and my recent attempt at making a hat renewed my love for this craft.
With a skein of thin yarn and a set of ultra thin #3 needles, the ladies helped me remember how to cast on (something I relearn every project) and our knitting guru leader talked me through the questions I had about the size of the cable I would need to knit another baby hat.
The smallest pair I have is still not small enough for what is ideal, but she encouraged me to muscle through knitting that first tight and stretched out row of stitches.
Sitting under the leadership of a younger woman, two days out from the momentous day of watching my husband shut down a 39 year plus three months career, she said…
the first row will not look right and be tight and gnarly to try and knit and you will think it cannot possibly work out, but once you get that circle completed, it all turns out fine and it will be beautiful.
She was right.
The cast on stitches were stretched tight in unhealthy ways and there was a funky looking loop that stuck out all the way around, but when I made the connection on the next row, it all just fell into place.
God speaks through others, you know.
You can hear His voice come through people who are just talking about normal things and He speaks a word that reminds you…
I am with you, I will show you the way.
It will be different, but I am the same God who has walked you two through every phase of life together and life before each other and I am a good, good Father. I will show you both how to do this next season well.
We have a whole string of best.day.ever’s. ahead…and you are most welcome to join in as we journey onward. I am so thankful for you, fellow travelers and sojourners.
Here on the journey we will continue to do a little bit of life around our house, a lot of life around God’s word mixed in with the silly and the serious.