blessed to be a blessing.

3 Apr
*ahem*  My weekend story.
Once upon a Saturday morning, Lindsay drove south to a small country church for an interview.  [Not such a blessing: The iPhone car charger I bought the night before in anticipation of this long weekend traveling about Minnesota somehow blows a fuse in my car.  The radio, clock, and cigarette lighter worked for none of the ten hours I spent driving yesterday and today.  What worked overtime?  My brain.  And the voices in my head.  Not good.  This blog post?  Written mentally on the drive.  My one-page paper due tomorrow?  Not written on the drive.]  The interview went … well.  [Also well?  The fact that I discovered there is a Target AND a JoAnne Fabrics not ten minutes from where I would be living if I were to receive the call.  Score!]  I feel blessed to have reached this point and am so excited to begin doing ministry in a new place.  I’ll keep you posted!
From this small country church, I drove west and north to Dawson dearest.  [Four hours.  Did I mention no radio?]  There was a ticket and it had my name on it.  A seat was reserved for me to see the Dawson-Boyd High School production of Hairspray.  It was magnificent.  Hilarious.  [Enter any synonym for “awesome.”]  Those high schoolers and adults who participated both on stage and behind the scenes are blessed with incredible gifts.  Incredible.
I felt greatly blessed to return to Dawson and be greeted by so many friends.  I honestly cannot tell you how it ever happened.  I spent a year in this place and met some of the most wonderful people.  In that one year, they shared humor, confidence in me, hugs, and loads of love.  I love them to bits.  And miss them bunches. 
As I ran into friends in the rush that followed the end of the musical, I smiled so loudly.  I couldn’t stop as I saw people I didn’t expect to see and received/gave hug after hug.  I caught up briefly on Dawson lives, shared my own life update, and was the butt of [only a few] jokes.  The one that had me laughing the hardest?
     [discussing whether or not I’m going to worship at Grace the following day]
     Sam: You could go in disguise.
     Me: Hmm.  I didn’t bring any disguises.
     Mary:  You could not wear a cardigan.
     [hilarious.  and sadly true.  I had packed a cardigan for the next day.]
I was blessed by former coworkers who opened their home to me.  Again.  I was lucky to have a couch to sleep on in a house that feels like a home to me.  [I think that’s a compliment, Emily!  I hope you take it as such!]  After spending time there dog-sitting Abby, the mischievous lab who played many games with me this morning, and numerous late nights of dinner and wine, it feels completely comfortable and wonderful to return, if only for a short night.  
This morning I worshipped at Grace.  It was the first time I’d been back to the church and, actually, the first time I’d simply sat in the congregation and worshipped.  Kendall preached – after I had a red-faced introduction from the current intern as the returning intern – and it was all about blessing.  Paying attention to the blessings in our lives.  We have received blessings upon blessings, and with those, we bless back.  We bless with what God has given us; with what we have received, we bless others. 

This past weekend, I was so incredibly aware of blessings I have received.  [And then I came back and had to do homework and this group presentation meeting and became really crabby and I should probably apologize again and again to my group members.]  Many of the blessings I was again reminded of are faces, names, and arms that hug me again and again.  [Two examples of many: Custodian Keith.  He and his wife give me a hug when they first see me.  *mingle, mingle*  Keith and Gail are on their way out, and Keith wonders if he’ll see me in church the next day.  I told him I wasn’t quite sure, so he said he’d better give me another hug just in case.  He says, in reference to the staff at Grace, “We were a pretty tight group.”  Aww.  Yes, we were.  Second: A hug, quick conversation, and kiss on the hand from my five-year-old friend, C.]  I’m so incredibly blessed; here’s hoping I take those blessings and am a blessing to others.  Source: 24.media.tumblr.com via David on Pinterest 

In this new week, pay attention to the blessings in your life.  
What/who are they?  AND 
How are you a blessing to others?

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