I really had a wonderful spring break and I feel the need to write it down so I can look back and remember the kindness of God as I head into the last quarter of school. (Can't believe I'm writing "last quarter" already. )
It started out with a spontaneous prayer retreat with Marilyn. That was exactly the way to start a week that might otherwise have seemed one burden on top of another. But focusing on God and praying for revival, starting with ourselves and then our youth was what I needed to lift my view upward.
Several areas of the house I had on my list to tackle actually got my attention.
I got the office back in good order (a 4-hour job entailing decluttering and packing a box for soldiers). I had two charity truck pick-up days, which saved me the trip to Goodwill with bags and boxes of junk. I cleared out a catch-all area behind the living room chair (which is big enough to hide a rural post office). I thoroughly dealt with the bookcase in the kitchen (formerly known as the school shelf). And--a bonus not on my list--the contents of my china buffet. Getting rid of dishes is nothing short of a miracle. Truly, it's not funny, it's an act of God's mercy on me (and the rest of the less-is-more minded family members). I actually considered giving away all my china, but am not there yet.
Monday through Wednesday we had Darren (20) here while his parents were at the pastors' conference. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't do anything but sit around and eat with ice packs on his knee. He thought it was a torn miniscus (sp?) but the MRI has shown it's a lot of fluid on the knee and inflammation. He was nearly immobile, though, and Stephen had school and work so was not here to entertain him much. Yet it was good that he didn't have someone here who was beggin him to play basketball. Joel was quite happy to sit and play video games with Darren.
On Wednesday night, my co-teacher and friend Cheryl and I met at the Fallston Diner. Just wanted to catch up on each other's lives and get to know each other better. Seems most of our talks at school are about students; we wanted girl time, not teacher time. And boy, did we! We met at 8pm and parted ways at 12:40 a.m.! Laughed and cried, talked from the heart, which I desperately needed from another person.
Passover had never meant so much to me as it did this time. I absolutely loved looking around the crowded room and seeing Jews rejoicing in the salvation they've received from Yeshua, their Messiah. For the first time I felt like one of them. For the first time I truly identified myself as the descendant of Hebrew slaves in Egypt, and when one of the women read a true story of a Passover observed in a concentration camp, I wept as if it had been my grandmother telling me her story. The other thing that meant so much was when my dad, as he started the seder, said to the people,"Tonight we are here to bless God. We do a a lot of asking for Him to bless us, which is fine because He loves to do it, but this night we are going to bless Him--make Him happy, happy, happy! And if you get a blessing out of doing that, then that's great." My dad makes it so easy to understand the Heavenly Father's heart. He is genuinely thrilled to see us, loves to dote on his family, does not hold things against us, cherishes us, and shares generously. (When two young boys found the afikomen at the same time, Daddy reached into his pocket and drew out two dollars, not two quarters. He handed each boy a greenback and, as they sat down, I heard their mom say, "He treats you like his grandsons!")
Good Friday service was led by the youth of our church. My favorite parts were the dramatic monologues which had been written by Ed Gordon and Pastor Arie. One was of Barabbas (played by Eric Powell), another of the thief on the cross (played by Josh Freeman) and the last was Mary Magdalene (played by Amari Lewis). I was so moved by the boys' monologues I had to keep Kleenex handy. They had memorized a 10-minute script in less than two weeks. Astounding. Following the service was an art gallery in the Chesapeake Room. Our creative team (among them, Danielle and Josh, Karyn and Dan and others I'm unaware of, shame on me) put together a collection of art done by church members with mad talent in photography, drawing, painting, and collage. To see the visual and performing arts giving glory to our Risen Savior was an answer to many prayers.
Saturday I got some alone-shopping time. (The only bump in the week was an argument between Paul and me that resulted in his going alone elsewhere when I wanted to shop for bathroom sinks with him.) So I went to Home Depot to drool over cabinet choices.
One lady, about 60--plump and overcolored, hairwise-- was standing beside me looking at countertop samples. "I really like this cobalt blue with silver sparkles," she told me. "I just bought a stove and the oven inside is this color. Makes you want to bake when you open it. I just loves sparkles. I think I was born to be a stripper, I love all that glitter and glam!" Cracked me up. It's not every day you hear something like that.
Easter Sunday was also memorable in that our family actually got there early, not late. The sad news that my Joel's teacher, Cindy, lost her mom to cancer on the weekend. The comfort, however, was realizing that death cannot keep her mom in the grave any more than it could keep Jesus there, because she shares in His resurrection. The power is the same for those who believe in Christ, and Cindy's mom had a firm faith and true joy as she faced her Homegoing.
Last night I read a good bit of Anne of Avonlea, planned out my next two weeks of school, and
went to bed late. Today is my last full day of "break" and so far I've 1) gotten up very late, 2) hidden Easter eggs for Joel, and 3) interviewed my sweet boy, and 4) taken some trash out. Not exactly ambitious, but there is a "love note" (ie to-do list) from my never-say-quit husband waiting for me in the kitchen. All good things, as they say, must come to an end.