Monthly Archives: February 2016

Love and Laughter

 

It’s been an incredibly fun month. Jan and I have been helping the youth group at church plan and prepare a special Valentine’s Banquet for the entire congregation.

And it happened last night.

(Even though we missed Valentine’s Day by a few weeks – we still hit the month of February – and that’s close enough for this year!)

These kids amazed me.

Absolutely amazed me.

Together we planned a sit down meal for 100 that they cooked and served and cleaned up.

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You haven’t lived until you help a group of teenagers make Oreo Ice Cream dessert and cheesy potato casserole in a tiny church kitchen!

Then they created an evening of entertainment full of laughter, inside jokes, and old-fashioned fun.

Every rehearsal left me gasping for air because I was laughing so hard.

At our last dress rehearsal I was laying down on the chairs crying from laughter, unable to speak.

All month I watched these kids take on responsibility and carry through – finding costumes and props, working out the skits, planning and buying decorations, learning lines.

And yesterday I was privileged to watch those kids serve.

 

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They moved chairs, set up tables, decorated, practiced – all with great attitudes and a lot of humor.

When the guests arrived, those kids hustled to get them their food and drinks.

When the last guest had finished eating – they moved tables, set up chairs and prepared for the entertainment.

And then they performed like never before.

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I sat in the back of the darkened church, holding Jan’s hand and laughing as if I had never seen these crazy skits before.

And crying tears of joy.

It was good we called it a Valentine Banquet because my heart was incredibly full.

I love those kids.

 

 

The Big Picture

My quilt project this year is rather unique.

Normally when I make a quilt block you can see the quilt’s design – Ohio star, log cabin, 9 patch.

But these quilt blocks look odd – almost like a mistake.

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It’s only when you put them together that you see the pattern.

Each individual quilt block becomes a part of the bigger picture.

Stars are formed.

Random squares are joined to make paths and outline.

Each individual block makes sense when it becomes a part of the whole.

IMG_3279So often there are seasons in life that are just like my quilt blocks – on their own they don’t make sense.

They look odd and out of context.

They seem to be a mistake.

We wish we could design them differently – rearrange the situations, change the outcomes, make each one pretty in it’s own way.

But God – the master Designer – saw the big picture.

He knew how the individual parts would come together.

He would make the shadows into stars.

And define them with light.

A perfect plan.

 

2016 Iowa Caucuses

DSC_0001Listen….

Do you hear that?

That is the sound of normal.

No more robo-calls, town hall meetings, multiple mailings, and endless political commercials.

The 2016 Iowa Caucuses are over.

The political season started in the spring and went into overdrive last weekend.

For months we’ve listened to candidates in cafes, courthouse lobbies, parks, college campuses, and private homes.

We shook their hands, asked hard questions, and weighed their responses.

We read, discussed, contemplated and ultimately decided.

And last night the entire world watched as we gathered in schools, and legion halls, and community centers across the state to make our choices.

We sat with our friends and neighbors, recited the pledge and cast our ballets on little pieces of paper.

Proud to be Americans.

Proud to be Iowans.

And today it’s over.

The craziest caucus season I can remember is one for the history books.

We’re back to seed, fertilizer, and pick-up truck commercials.

The phone is silent except for friends and neighbors.

And my Facebook feed is more weather, recipes and cute babies than political conversation.

And normal feels good.

Have fun New Hampshire! The circus is on it’s way!