Friday, April 30, 2010

Seeing With New Eyes

"They're so cute!"

"I really like them."

"They don't seem like they're that old."

Several time a year the youth ministries of our church goes out in our small groups to serve others. It could be a neighbor, a widow, an older person -anywhere that we can go to help or to encourage someone else. Often it's raking, cleaning, pick up trash, etc...

Two weeks ago we had one of those service nights. There was probably 100 of us out around the church and the city. God blessed us with an unusually beautiful evening. Depending on where teens are serving, we encourage the groups to spend some time getting to know the ones they are helping.

For the first time, my group and Lyn's (another leader) went to Ed & Ruth's house, my Mom & Dad -in-law. Armed with rakes and tarps, 11 girls raked up a big load of leaves and pine needles. They worked hard raking it onto tarps and depositing it in the trailer. There was plenty of time for chatting, laughing and a stomping down dance in the trailer.

After the front yard was done and trailer filled, we headed into the house for introductions. On a 3 x 5 card, Ruth, (Mom-in-law) had the names of each of my girls. Every Fall she asks for the names of the girls in my group and then regularly prays for each of them. She was finally able to put a face to the name on the card and the girls were blessed to meet someone whom they didn't know and who was bringing them before our God in prayer. They heard the story of how Ed and Ruth met in Japan during WW II and of their 60 + years of marriage.

They have been such a blessing in my life, Ruth has been such role model for me as a mom-in-law.

It was in the car on the way back to church that the girls made the opening comments of this blog.

As I sat and reflected on their comments, it was as if I were seeing Ed & Ruth through the eyes of teenage girls who come from all different walks of life and differing family experiences. It was fun to listen and watch the interaction between all of them.
It made me smile as I saw the girls serve and come to appreciate a much older generation whom I love.

Mission Accomplished.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catching Up

To the faithful few who regularly check this, thank you and I'm sorry that I've done such a poor job of keeping this updated with what has been going on in our lives. There have been many times where my mind is full of things to write, pictures to show and events to share with you. But, as you all know, life pushes things aside that aren't a priority.

I'll do a quick up summary with a few pictures.

January and early February is always busy with the planning and final preparations for the "Sweetheart Banquet" that myself and 2 others head up and help our youth put on. This years theme was "40's Big Band". The program was done as a live radio show with the story being one from "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show". The teens did a wonderful job as usual with the skit, songs, helping with getting the decorations up and all of the serving on the two nights. It's a great evening for inviting friends and neighbors to a top quality and fun night out.
We outdid ourselves on the decorations. We've had people ask about decorating for weddings after they saw this years room.

In March I enjoyed a trip to Florida to visit my parents in Clearwater.
The weather was finally warming up so we went to a few different beaches - Fort DeSoto and Honeymoon Island. I love the water and was in the pool several times where Mom and Dad live.
Of course there was delicious food at an Italian place named Johnnies and seafood at The Rusty Bellies in Tarpon Springs. It was a beautiful day, so after going through an art fair in the park, we sat on the porch at Rusty Bellies to enjoy our lunch. It was a wonderful and relaxing time to spend with Mom and Dad.

We also spent a very fast weekend in Grand Rapids with Zach and Christina. It was so nice to see their home. We hadn't been there since they were married. We were bringing them their wedding gift. Dale made a stacking bookcase for them. It turned out beautifully. He did such a great job on it. With Zach being a lover and collector of books, it could fill up quickly.

Of course we went out to eat. For dessert we went to Big Bob's and had a Chocolate Chip Pizza. It was a freshly baked cookie with your choice of 3 scoops of ice cream.
On Sunday we walked around their neighborhood before heading to church. After church we enjoyed a wonderful lunch out on their porch before we headed back home to Wisconsin.

It is warming up, the grass is green and the deer have already eaten off some of my tulips. I'm anxious to get the screen porch ready to be used again.

God is good - even when the unexpected happens
-even when we aren't sure of how some things will be working out.

He is my anchor.