Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Grace and Peace in the Hodgepodge

A bit more somber today, remembering our nation, never forgetting how this day in history changed us.

Thank you, Joyce, for bringing the theme of peace to the forefront.  It would be too easy to focus on fear and trauma and to get riled up about the state of affairs. Instead, for those of us in Christ Jesus, we have peace. 
We know how the story ends.  "Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God ,believe also in Me," --John 14:6

1. What's the best thing about growing older?

Being one day closer to meeting  Jesus face-to-face.  That's the best.  Second best would be watching my children grow up into people I'm really proud of. 

2. When did you first feel like a grown up?

In a positive way? The day when my firstborn was about a week old and I was getting ready to go somewhere with him. My husband had returned to work, so I was on my own.   I had packed up the diaper bag, snapped Benjamin  in his carrier,  made sure I had my wallet, and the whole "nine yards."  As I pulled the front door shut, I gasped. 

The baby! I had everything but the baby! He was still in his seat, sleeping, on the couch.
I knew then my life belonged to someone else; I was fully responsible for another human being.

In a negative way, I remember the first time I felt like  a grown up.   A boy (maybe 16 years old) at the grocery store was cashiering.  After he rang up my order,  I paid, he handed me my receipt, and said, "Thank you, ma'am. Have a nice day."     Ma'am?  Did he just call me ma'am?  Ma'am is what you call old ladies  Why, has it been that many years since I was dating a boy like you? Really?  I sank into mild depression. 

I was 30. 

3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?

White cake with chocolate icing.    Better yet, yellow cake with chocolate icing. 
Best yet, chocolate cake with chocolate icing. 

4. What's the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

Picked me up close at 11 pm on the Baltimore beltway when I was out of gas, single, afraid,
praying for a hero. Along came a Marine who gave me a ride to a gas station.  He didn't even try to hit on me. 

5.  What's something you learned from your grandparents? 

To love animals.  My Grandpa  R, who was a Kansas farmer, loved his cows ,and named them.  (My mom named her three favorite cows growing up--Faith, Hope, and Charity. The greatest of these was....).  My grandmother loved her Siamese cats, Fritz and Joy.  My Grandpa loved his Beagle, Hector, and was circuit rider (on horseback, going town to town) as a preacher.  My Grandma D  liked songbirds.  My Grandma R (who divorced Grandpa R in the 1960's)  liked her son's German Shepherd, Machen.   These stalwart, hardworking Midwesterners old people just seemed to "go soft and fuzzy" when they loved on their animals.

6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11...what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?  

A sad day indeed. I was just reminding my 11 year old this morning that I was pregnant with him when the planes hit the Twin Towers.  Come to think of it, I believe I was telling him this
this fact at 8:53 a.m--the minute the first plane hit.   

What am I doing to bring peace to my corner of the world?  Great question.  Praying, I think, so it's not I who is bringing peace, but God.

I pray for peace for my husband on the job, for my kids at work and school, peace for widows who are fearful and grieving, peace for marriages, peace for lost souls who need Jesus (who is our Peace). 
7.  Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.  

Just this past Sunday, our pastor started a series on Galatians.  The apostle Paul opens
with a salutation and says "Grace and peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ."  

The pastor said that it wasn't just a nicety that he was saying en route to the heart of his letter.
It was important to remind the church that grace and peace come through Jesus Christ and you can't have one without the other.  No grace, no peace. If you truly understand grace, not merely 
say you do, then you know peace.  That's given me a lot of food for thought this week.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Please pray for a co-worker of my husband's today. She was in the second Tower
in 2001 and escaped with her life, but she has had PTSD from it.  For many month after
9/11, this woman (who had been on about the 103rd floor)  was mentally just "out of it" much of 
the day. Paul said it was like she was numb, distant, unable to focus, not really able
to follow conversations.  She is much better, but when you know someone who was there, when you see firsthand the effects, you can't help but feel something deep in your soul. 


Sally Henry said...

I, too, was pregnant with my Middle C on 9/11 - she has heard the stories of how she spent all day kicking and squirming because I was so upset. Am definitely praying for all those for whom this day is not just a reminder of "where I was when..." but having lost loved ones and are trying, still, to survive.

April said...

My youngest girl, Abby, was 4 years old and home with me from preschool. I was on the treadmill in our master bedroom when the phone rang It was Chris telling me to turn on the news because he'd heard something on the radio about a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers. I did as he asked...and stood there in horror and shock. A day I'll certainly never forget. Will gladly say a prayer for your husband's coworker...and peace for out entire country.

Joyce said...

Living where we do, there are so many stories. Both of heartbreak, and also many from people who 'were supposed to be in the towers', but for some reason were not there that day.

It's nice to know so many in the HP are praying for peace. Prayer accomplishes much!

Lea said...

Oh, how funny about leaving baby on the couch. Rude awakening wasn't it?

We've had some great "stranger stories" today and how nice of the young man to assist you.

I'm think the guy that said mam was probably just using really good manners and didn't mean a thing by it. :o)

Oh, the sad stories of 9/11.


Marla said...

I loved reading your answers. You have the peace that comes from God - and I do (most times). Nothing better, right? Don't you wish EVERYONE could "get it"? What a wonderful world it would be!