And it didn't even include my birthday. (That's coming up on the 26th.)
This past weekend was nothing short of relaxing and fun.
Friday afternoon Sarah, Joel, and I went up to Sandy Cove for another Free Swim. We took the "converti," as Sarah calls the Saab. Top down, sun out, breeze blowing. Niiiiiice. Two Fridays ago Joel learned to swim the width of the shallow end there. This time he finally trusted me enough to say "let go" when I assured him he could back float. He floated for 30 seconds at a time and loved it. Our swim time was cut just a little short by rain, but it was okay. We were refreshed. I went to bed at 9:30 with a wonderful footrub and backrub from my little sweetie.
I said to him, "Joel, you know what the professionals do? They squeeze the arms from the shoulders down to the fingers." He kindly declined the work by saying, "Oh. I'm not a professional."
Saturday morning Sarah and I went down to Helping Up Mission (a men's homeless shelter) in Baltimore with a bunch of guys from church. Talk about a testerone fest. We were the only ladies from church and saw only two other female volunteers there. Yet we felt safe and comfortable; it was the peace of God . As soon as we got there, there put five of us on the food line, and three in the dining room. Sam who is a new (and Italian) member among us, served pasta with the typical heavy hand. Danielle's man, Josh, tied an apron on as easily as he straps on his guitar and swooped into action, dishing up spaghetti sauce like a regular Emeril Lagasse. I was the green bean lady. My vegetable offering was the most often refused item on the food line, but Craig said I handled rejection well. (I later swapped him to serve bread.) Eric C was Macaroni Salad Man. George and Bruce mingled with the men of the Mission in their typical outgoing-for-Christ fashion. Sarah stayed busy wiping tables and refilling drinks. The men were so clean and polite and grateful. I was really blessed to see God at work in the simplest of ways in the cafeteria and later in the game room (on our tour of the facility) where men are learning to socialize without alcohol and drugs, for the first time in a long time.
Stephen was home from The Clash by the time we got back. He was zonked out (mouth open, catching flies) on the sofa. He had reportedly gotten only about fours of sleep a night for the past week. He slept on that sofa from 11-5 Saturday. We woke him up for a family outing. First we grabbed dinner at Wegman's (colossal grocery store) then took in a free concert at River Valley Ranch. The band called Tenth Avenue North was playing. I like their music, but was more impressed with the lead singer's clear and passionate presentation of the gospel. When he used the phrase "kindergarten propitiation," I knew he was a sound brother! At the meet-and-greet session afterward, Paul told him how much he appreciated their theology, and said our own is a Reformed/Charismatic one. "That's pretty much how I'd define mine, " said Mike.
Sunday afternoon I had a good nap, then enjoyed an evening of steamed crabs at the house. It's a traditional way to celebrate Stephen's birthday. He had Eric and Andy over, and Ben brought Krista. Lots of joking around, mostly at my expense. (I mean, I guess I deserved it when I asked Krista what town Millersville College is in. She smiled and said, "Millersville," and my family cut loose on me.) In case Krista couldn't tell, Ben gets his brains from his dad. After crabs we played Cranium. That was a hoot, Sarah trying to figure out the term "chocolate mouse" from my sketch that looked more like Roger Rabbit. Good thing I didn't have to show a portfolio in order to get my school job.
Late last night I watched my favorite Olympic event. Yay for the American men's swim team! They took the gold in the 4x100 meter relay. Our own Michael Phelps from Baltimore has the wingspan of an albatross and the lungs of a dolphin. Only in my dreams can I swim that fast and that long!
So here's thanking God for a terrific weekend. I just loved it, the best I've had in months.