Friday, July 8, 2011

A New Beginning?

The verse I posted on Facebook last night was the first thing I read yesterday. [Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.]. A pastor friend of mine in NC had it as his status yesterday. And it just seemed to set the tone for the day, especially when I purposefully kept it in my heart and mind.

The day started out with me sleeping in until 10:30! When I woke up originally at 7, my back was hurting a lot, so I went back to bed, but I never expected to sleep so late! Then when I got up, I made coffee & went on Facebook, where I read Pastor Dan's status and spent some time in thought and prayer.

Then I read the quote that I blogged about yesterday. [‎"Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.” - Elizabeth Gilbert]. That had myself in a space of introspection, wondering where my faith had gone and how I had become so lacking where once I had been strong.

Yesterday was garbage day and usually when R takes out the trash, he leaves the garbage can in the middle of the kitchen floor so that when I get up, I put new bags in and return it to its home. Only yesterday, I didn't have any trash bags. So, I was irritated with myself that I had forgotten to get them when I went shopping the previous day, now I was going have to take another trip to the store. That was so NOT what I wanted to do.

When R came home from work, I kept finding myself being irritated with him for the way he was processing the impending RV pick up. He was trying to be practical, which is a good thing, but because of the way I process events, it was annoying me. And my annoyed attitude caused R to become annoyed with me. It wasn't very pretty.

But being the good procrastinator that I am, I decided to call my sister, Janet first, since she had been on my list of calls I needed to make and while I was out on the porch reading the paper she had called. So, I called her and ended up spending about 90 min on the phone with her. This is the reason I hate talking on the phone! She wants one of our computers and she's going to take the two dressers & the table Daddy finished for me. She offered to store R's records at her house, too. We spent a lot of time talking about our dysfunctional family, which probably didn't do anything to lighten my mood :) Although my sister did remark that talking to me was better than therapy for her, which is OK, I guess.

When I got off the phone it was about 1:30, so I figured I should get to the store. There were just a couple of thing to get, and when I came home I wanted to put together a pasta & veggie salad for the next day's dinner. It always tastes better if the flavors have had a day to blend.

So off I went to the Giant Eagle. As I was turning onto Shadeland Avenue, I saw my friend Ronnie, sitting on her porch. Normally, I would just toot hello and keep going, but something told me to stop. So I did. Since we hadn't seen one another in a few weeks, I was sharing the story of R's dislocated shoulder when James, who is one of the elders at New Hope Church, stopped as he was walking by. He actually remembered my name, which surprised me. We had a very comforting conversation regarding the possibility of me coming back to NHC. We even touched on Rodger (the former pastor who when he and I met, told me "perhaps it is time for you to find another church"). James was very kind and talked about some of the way in which things have changed at NHC in the time since my departure. I shared my feeling as someone who has been part of the church and then an outsider, that it is sometimes very easy to perceive NHC as a clique, rather than as an outreach in the neighborhood. He asked me to return to New Hope because, as he said, "We are still your brothers and sisters in Christ." I shared with James that just that morning I had been wondering how I had strayed so far from where had been. When I explained that we had recently bought an RV and hope to be traveling as soon as September or October, he said, "Then at least come back to allow us to pray over you before you go." He and I gave and got a big hugs as I left for the store. I honestly felt as if the Holy Spirit had orchestrated the whole day: From reading Pastor Dan's status, to reading the quote that started me thinking about my faith, to my leaving for the store two hours later than I intended, to stopping to see Ronnie, to James walking by, remembering my name, talking and offering fellowship and kindness. It felt like one of the first steps toward healing what had been a festering wound.

I also told James about our house, the good and the bad. I told him we'd like to sell it "as is" and explained about my unfinished projects. I also told him we'd prefer to sell it to a family for 35K, than to sell it to Allegheny City Electric,whose owner wants tear it down and make a parking lot. We would rather make less money and have it be a blessing to some family who would like to have a home of their own. He said he would put the word out on the grapevine.

I went to the store (and STILL forgot to get cleanser for the sink!) I came home with a much improved attitude, although when I shared with R, he still seemed a little irritated. Then I told him that I wasn't sure why he and I were getting under each other's skin so much, but that I was sorry and would try to curb my irritability. He said that he was sorry too and we should begin again.

I made the salad for the next day. Then I made us dinner. All in all, a much improved mood prevailed : )

That is, until, I went to put the leftovers away and dropped the coconut cream pie that was going to be my dessert all week! As I was putting it in the fridge, I bumped it and PLOP! it flipped over and landed half on the floor and half on the bottom of the fridge!

Here's hoping THAT wasn't an intervention by the Holy Spirit!


  1. I think a lot of movement does happen in our lives but unless we're looking for it, we don't notice it as often. Right now, I'm of the mindset that my entire life as I know it is a gift so barring any momentary bits of taking it for granted, I try to look at things from the perspective that God really does play an active role in my life.

  2. I agree, Prin. I believe that God does always have an active hand in our lives and that we are usually simply not paying attention. But I am so grateful for those times when I AM paying attention.