What a beautiful day! It was amazing, really. We had 29 people and families join at our 9:30 service and 30 Confirmands join at 11:00. We did a sabbatical Leave taking liturgy for our Sr. Pastor Ralph, who begins sabbatical tomorrow at all services. He's been in full time ministry for 35 years and has a well deserved break. I am very blessed to work with someone who is such a wonderful mentor. A few months back at a Lay Leaders meeting he referred to me as "Acting Sr Pastor" and then said, "We'll find you a fancier title." That sounded pretty fancy to me! The title has stuck and that is what our webpage now says.
Today I felt the power of the Holy Spirit as I watched the altar rail become filled with all the families at 9:30 and as I laid hands on all the 30 Confirmands at
11. And as I stood next to Ralph and prayed blessings upon him and heard the kind affirming words he offered for my leadership.
I could not stop smiling today. My cheeks hurt from the joy of the day and the Spirit's moving...
Once home we all napped! We got both girls down and we slept too. I felt like I should do more... that I should work on the sermon series that Kevin and I are going to share on the Apostles' Creed for June and then I'm going to preach a series in July called Camp Messiah, I should go over the prayer and visitation lists, I should organize my calendar, work on upcoming weddings, or clean the house! I cleaned the house till 1 in the morning Thursday night when Kevin was away for our dear friend Lance's wedding and you can't even tell now! But I napped- and I am so glad I did. We woke up and got ready to go again.
Kevin set up for youth and I took the girls to St. Matthew's for the District's orientation for Conference. I've never gone to the orientation because for the past few years I've been dealing with babies and without childcare. That hasn't changed, but I thought I'd give it a try. We made it through half the agenda - me standing in the way back and hearing all about what to bring, what to expect, upcoming constitutional amendments, and the cost of parking and then the kids began to melt. But it did work for awhile-- My older daughter played very nicely enjoying telling (and then asking nicely) me to sit here and there. She likes to say, "I sit down now.... [and] Mommy sit down here now." It's been a long phase, and I'm starting to give in if she asks nicely...We play musical chairs without the music.
But towards the end we went to the playground. She walked down the aisle in the sanctuary and saw an ant on the window and said, "No ant!" Why is it that you always think your child is so much louder than they actually are? I am one of those parents-- there are some who seem oblivious to the sounds of their children. The slightest peep and I am worried that I am disturbing others. It is fun for a PK to discover a new church. Literally- every church we pass when driving we hear from the back seat, "Church! Church! Church!" "I want to go to church!" St. Matthew's has fun playground equipment and we had fun discovering, but mostly we enjoyed the breeze, inspected bugs, jumped in puddles, and were embraced by breezes of honeysuckle and mint. I love watching my daughter bend down and smell. She really sniffs! She sniffs with gusto! In fact everything she does is with immense passion and joy.
When we got home the youth were playing volleyball in the yard. We got out our water table and joined in the fun! My girls splashed in the water, giggled, and we felt the wet grass between our toes mixed with the spongy carpet of moss. We ate pizza and giggled at dinner. We said our prayers and went to to sleep. Really, an amazing Day! I delight in God's creation! It nourishes me in ways I will never fathom...
I still feel myself hours later- cheeks still sore from smiling and the faintest scent still with me of the honeysuckle and mint from the playground. How precious when the wind blows to smell the sweet smells of summer.
The wind of the Holy Spirit is blowing on this Pentecost Day!
I am reminded to go outside, be open, move outside of myself, and breathe deep. God is here, all is well.
Almighty God, Keep me open to the Spirit moving, let me melted by tongues of fire, let your Holy Spirit ignite me, call me, and use me each and every day that I may serve you fully and share your joy! Amen.