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This week's gifts...
1276. Hometown tourism - we went to the Clinton Presidential Library all-four-together. Tobin slept in the Moby and Brooklyn was quietly interested the entire time!
1277. Dinner out with just Adam (ok, and Tobin, but he slept in the carseat and didn't require any attending to)
1278. A sweet babysitter who held Brooklyn until she fell asleep, rather than leaving her to cry
1279. Brooklyn (and Tobin)'s patience when the program glitched while we were getting our taxes filed, so it took extra long and we had to come back in the afternoon
1280. Adam holding Tobin and getting Brooklyn her breakfast while I woke up slowly
1281. Grace and laughter in the face of (worse than usual) human error
1282. Tobin sleeping completely through church
1283. A pre-service conversation with Adam that ended up aligning with the sermon topic
1284. Being able to join the women's ministry's book study for the semester (they started last week, but hadn't actually started the book yet)
1285. Finding a tube of Orajel in the cabinet for Brooklyn, who decided to cut six teeth all at once
1286. Adam staying up with her so the she (and I) could get some sleep
1287. A familiar person in her room for childcare, so she was happy to go (even though it wasn't a normal time for us to be at church)
1288. Brooklyn giving Tobin kisses every time she walks past
1289. Two handmade quilts for Tobin - our lives are enriched by the generous makers that we know!
1290. Ines praying about which small group to assign me to, and listening to the prompting she received
1291. All sleeping in
1292. Maintenance fixing our toilet - it was concerning me
1293. Tobin contentedly sitting propped up on the couch and looking out the window while I helped Brooklyn with her breakfast
1294. Adam taking her on a grocery adventure after he got off work - she was getting bored at home and needed an outing
1295. Him tucking me in before his shower so I could get a little extra rest instead of staying up
1296. Sitting at the kitchen table together, studying (military stuff for him, a Francis Chan book for me)

I've mentioned the church we've been going to here in North Little Rock a couple of times - at least, I've referenced their quilting ministry and monthly New Community gatherings. We've been attending regularly (at least, as regularly as possible, between Adam's Drill weekends and occasional visits to Fayetteville) but still hadn't really gotten "plugged in" (to use the Christian-ese term).

That's admittedly no one's fault but our own, since the interactions we've had have shown Fellowship North to be a body made of friendly people. Adam is legitimately busy, and I am extremely suspicious and slow to warm up --- so Adam getting involved with (and enjoying/growing from) STEP, me making quilt blocks and greeting cards with ladies from church, getting to teach a knitting class and share the story of how Adam and I met, and slowly adding to the list of people whose names we know that also know our names has been slow to take effect (wow. Typing out that list was kind of eye-opening... I am thick!)

But a few things have happened over the past week that have, with the cumulative weight of everything else, finally gotten through to me. The first was #1278. The youth kids are paying their way to the yearly retreat by doing odd jobs, one of which is babysitting. Our intention was to let Anna play with Brooklyn for a little while before putting her to bed ourselves, and then leaving her as simply a human presence while we went out. But a little while after we left Brooklyn got upset, so Anna sat and rocked her until she fell asleep (which isn't something that she does normally - she's a solitary sleeper), and then continued to hold her until we got home.

A staff member asking if I'd think about dates for another knitting class (since there's enough interest for one) caused me to realize that I've kind of been hiding behind Brooklyn (and Tobin) as an excuse to not do things, to not get involved. Because it is harder to do things with them - but it's not impossible. Adam can hang out with Brooklyn and Tobin (who will probably sleep the entire time, anyway) can come with me for a Saturday morning class. Their women's ministry is going through Forgotten God (see #1284) and while the meetings are on Monday evenings (while Adam's at STEP), they have childcare for Brooklyn (see #1287) and no one minded that I wore Tobin and kept him with me (see #1290).

A couple of weeks ago we started a new sermon series, titled "Afresh" - going through the book of Acts, with the aim of coming out different on the other side. Their behavior has been quite in line with the early Church - but I'm grateful for the inspiration to repent and to pray, to seek the Spirit and to seek community, and for a community to pursue change and renewal with.


Kayla said…
Oh, friend! I am so belated in reading this, but reveling in God's goodness to bring us to the same lessons at the same time (again). I, too, have been using the kiddos as a reason for not being intentional and fully engaged at church. In the last week, the Lord opened the opportunity for me to meet with 3 ladies on 3 different days. Each has a different experience, but each has some aspect of companionship I have longed for. How good God is! And to think that all this time I have been neglecting this fellowship!

Truly, though, in my case, writing "distance" friends such as you and another friend has been crucial in my healing process and in preparing me to embrace these opportunities to fellowship. How neat that God allows us to stretch our writing muscles in order to ready us for an in-real-life adventure...

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