Good morning little flock. It’s been a while and I’ve missed you. Turns out writing blog posts falls into the category of significant but not urgent. In other words, writing for you is definitely one of my favorite things, but it is not considered a “real job.” And so when people ask me (as happens annoyingly often) what do you do? I rarely think to answer, “I write stuff for a small online congregation”—but I should, because you’re some of my favorite people, and you matter to me.
Speaking of favorites. My dog’s favorite human is on a LONG work trip and she’s stuck for four whole weeks with just me. She’s doing okay, all things considered. Her walks are quicker, and her Frisbee only flies half the expected distance, but she’s hanging in there. She still gets zoomby when she thinks I’m taking her out to play, which is a good sign. I think she’ll make it.
Much of my “alone time” this past week was spent with my grandkids. Monday was a lunch date with Nash, and Friday was Grandparents Day at school with Maisy. (Which for the record is a rather shocking experience. My granddaughter attends the same school as her daddy and his brothers… and for many years Grandparents Day was for the OLDER generation. Just saying.) And then it was Bo’s turn. Baby Bo Bo got to have a long sleepover at Nana’s this weekend while Mom and Dad escaped to New York to visit Uncle Luke and Auntie Ali. It was the first time I’ve ever had Bo alone, being he’s kid #3. (Off the record I’d just like to give a shout-out to third children everywhere, including my own third-born whose BIRTHDAY it is today! Forget the forgotten middle child… in this Mama/Nana’s humble opinion it’s the family tagalongs who grow up fending for themselves…which does seem to make them extra resilient…but goodness. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Nils. See what I did there?!)
So. Two days with just Bo Bo and I decided I’d use this time to study the little fellow and try to figure him out. A delightful project. Turns out my smallest grandson likes to build things with his right hand and eat things with his left. He’s a serious little worker, building tall towers, and not so inclined to wreck them as most toddlers. He puts Mr Potato Head’s pieces just so in their little slots—and then he claps for himself after every accomplishment. Exceptional and precious. The boy eats like a champ and sleeps like a miracle and he was the cutest kangaroo in the neighborhood at Saturday’s very chilly “Harvest Parade.”
Speaking of kiddos. I had a weird morning at church yesterday. I guess I was feeling overwhelmed, missing MY favorite human. He usually teaches the kiddos with me, and I needed him yesterday. It was Ice Cream Sunday—a celebration for our young ones who filled their HopeKids coin banks with so much change they QUADRUPLED their goal for raising money for our new second campus and the kids were hyped. But not half as hyped as the grownups. One of whom actually volunteered to be a human sundae, sitting in a plastic pool on stage and letting every kid dump syrup and whip and assorted sprinkles over her head. Can you imagine? One little girl put her hands over her ears and excused herself to the room next door and I nearly followed.
Missing my FH and feeling a bit overwhelmed must have spilled over into church “fellowship time” because when Brenda saw me she asked how I was doing—and she asked also about my husband’s parents—which is when I got unexpectedly teary telling her about Gram who’s been in so much pain with no explanation and to be honest when I think about aging and how cruel it can be it makes me sort of mad. But unlike me, Brenda is one of the most resilient people I know (maybe I should ask if she’s a third-born) and without missing a beat she just started praying out loud and talking to God. And then after church I stopped by Gram’s with a pizza and we were partway through the Vikings game when out of the blue she said, “Hey! I think my pain is gone.” And I told her about Brenda and I was quick to thank God, too.
And then Kirk Cousins… sigh.
All this rambling. My point being, little flock, small things matter to God. Little people and little pains and little bouts of being lonely. And yes there are ALL KINDS of really big and scary and sad things happening all over this world, but still, the little things do matter. And your Shepherd sees you and He cares.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and faithful love* will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
Psalm 23 CSB
*Faithful love = hesed… for you who are familiar with The Covenant Story