All Quiet on the Western Front

Alan says now that he has his new job, his weeks go Monday Friday with nothing in between as far as he can tell. I’m not usually nearly so busy, but this week sure did fly by, and it seems like I never got anything more than “the usual” stuff of life done. Wednesday morning I taught down town at a ladies’ ministry that reaches out not only to the homeless, but also to women who live in the heart of GR, so that took up all my time until Wednesday afternoon just preparing my message. I’m slowly working my way through the Song of Solomon again, teaching on God’s wonderful love for us as revealed through the love of Solomon for the Shulamite. “Thy name is as ointment poured forth.” I talked about the healing effect of being still in the presence of God the Father, the healing power in calling on the name of God the Son, Jesus Christ, to save us and cleanse us from sin, and the healing influence of the Holy Spirit as he leads us in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. I love teaching, and there’s nothing I love more than teaching the Song of Solomon!

Wednesday night we hosted prayer meeting in our home, which is always such a blessing! We started thirteen years ago with three families who each had seven children. The oldest “kid” (who’s now in his thirties) of one family married the oldest daughter of the other friends, and they now have five children and sponsor a prayer meeting for young marrieds just around the corner from us. I love being in the same community long enough to put down roots and watch people (my own family included) growing up!

Thursday was a day of extreme extravagance and fun! Two of my girlfriends and I spent a glorious morning enjoying all the beauty of Meijer Gardens and even indulged in lunch there. Wow, was that special! For years we’ve been taking each other out for birthdays, but this was the first “just because.” It was a perfect day, and the perfect way to get caught up at a deep level with all we’re experiencing and learning as parents and wives. What a joy!

Now it’s Friday afternoon. Kathy has a friend visiting from Ann Arbor, a young man who does the videography for a mega church in the Detroit area. (I think she said there are 20,000 members. Could that be right?) At any rate, he seems like a very sweet person and very likeable. Now, are they compatible? That’s the question! There are a lots of really awesome people out there, but probably just a handful that any one person would really enjoy living with for the rest of her/his life. That is the challenge!

We’re going to a fund-raiser spaghetti dinner for Josh T., who’s going to Romania soon on a mission trip, and then we’re coming back home for some tea and dessert…and to give Alan a chance to visit with our young man too (well, really all of us to visit, but Alan hasn’t met him yet). Such an interesting time of life! Joel has a delectable looking cake (from scratch, of course) in the oven baking. He spent the afternoon scrubbing the siding on our home. We’ve been fortunate enough to contract with him to help us this summer to help pay school bills. Stephen works some too, but he mostly plays the piano like fury. Daniel has another week in Ann Arbor and will then be home for a couple of weeks to study for boards and vacation a little. Jon is visiting Mike and Grace at their new apartment in Germany this weekend to help them figure out how to dispose of trash, etc. Michael says his landlord knows as much English as Michael does German, which is about zero on both counts. Aaron and Carleen are looking for a bigger car and went blueberry picking last weekend. And, we have three adorable grand children, none of whom are close enough to get our hands on! Ah well, we do get to skype them now and then!

So, it’s also quiet on the eastern front too, as far as I can tell. How is it on your front?

10 thoughts on “All Quiet on the Western Front

  1. I too, love the wholeness of living in the same community where (even though every day is different) I feel grounded by the roots I’ve built my life on for so many years. And you used one of my favorite words Joy! And my ultimate favorite word is Faith! Healing is a by product when Faith and Joy are sealed together.

  2. Hi! I’m jealous! I want to be one of the gals that goes on a Garden lunch.. oh, maybe next time I’m in town! Sounds like you have been busy. We are having such a quiet week! I am speaking to a group of ladies on Sun. night about organizing and fitness with a Christian emphasis. This is the first time I’ve been asked to do something like this. I’m really excited, scared, and humbled all at the same time. Could you guys pray for me?

  3. Thank you for the wonderful blog. I don’t always comment but I always apprectiate your writing.

    We are up in the Soo enjoying the quiet but loving the modern technology that allows us to keep in touch with our children/grandchildren daily. Between phone, email, blogs, chats and Skype, I communicate with most of them daily.

    We have an invasion of family coming up in August. Eventually all children/spouses/grandchildren will be here to help celebrate my father’s 80th birthday. All of these visits/events are rich blessings from God.

  4. Yes, I sure will! Let us know how it goes.

    By the way, this is the first such outing in 35 years, so your day will come, and hopefully sooner. If you come visit, I’ll take you to the garden!

  5. Hi again,

    Jane, I love your thought that faith mixed with joy produce healing. That sounds like it has a lot of truth in it. I wonder, do you think the joy comes as a result of praising God even in the midst of affliction?

  6. Without joy – there is no health. And without faith we are hopeless. I don’t see any way to separate the two. Life is too precarious to try it without faith. Now that would be downright scary!

  7. I think there must have been a lack of joy in my early years as a mom. Life was hard (husband going through medical school and residency…sometimes gone up to 120 hours per week), so instead of learning to rejoice and find joy, I got bogged down. The kids sensed this, although I was oblivious to it…so busy just trying to survive and do everything “right.” Good lesson for all of us. Without joy, we may be doing everything we can do right as an act of our will, but it doesn’t translate into an attractive lifestyle for our children. True spiritual health is marked by love, peace, AND joy!

  8. Wow! Great point about joy especially as it relates to kids. I so often want to do “everything” with my kids, and I can get really stressed out about it all. I need to just remember to do what I can joyfully, so that they can see what the Christian life is really about

  9. I think Michael excels at being joyful, and all the rest of the kids are so drawn to it. I often get so caught up in trying to do “the right thing” that I forget to make it fun. Kids love—and need—happy experiences.

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