Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Plethora of Praises

I have so many things to blog about, I didn't know how to tie it all together (I somewhat frown upon scattered writing -- even though I am quite prone to do it myself), so I decided to write them in a series of thanksgivings to the Giver of All Good Things.

1. Topping off the list of blessings this weekend, was my short trip to Illinois. I drove up Saturday morning with my little sister Abby as my only passenger (bless her heart, she never asked to stop and use the bathroom -- now that's fortitude!). I was able to see quite a few dear friends at their day of Upward Basketball. Any of you who know me well or have read my blog for a while know how much I love the children in my life. It was so precious to see so many of them, hug them, talk to them, hold them on my lap, see their smiling faces surprised to see me. Going into the trip, I was excitedly thinking about how great it would be to see everyone and catch up with old friends. For whatever reason, it didn't dawn on me how sad it would make me. I found myself getting teary over and over. I wept a bit walking up to the McCurdy's to see Anna (who was sick). And on the way home, it all broke loose. I sobbed and sobbed like I hadn't done in weeks. In fact, I haven't cried like this since the last Sunday at Calvary when I walked through the basement at church and thanked the Lord for His tremendous blessings He'd poured out on me there. Why on earth did I think that a short visit like this would be fun and easy? Driving away was like having an organ ripped from my body. And since I was all alone, I just talked to the Lord about it. A praise song came on the radio, and I just wept and worshiped for a few minutes. My far-away friends who are reading this, please know that your children are still so dear to my heart as they ever have been. The Lord gives and takes away, blessed be His Name!

2. A LONG phone conversation with my dear Christen on the way home. I am not much of a phone-conversationalist, because I always feel like I am bothering whoever I call. But Christen is a great talker, and she didn't mind at all! It was wonderful to catch up with her, to talk about what we were reading, to hear her be so real about struggles she is going through. It was such a timely blessing from Jesus to be able to talk to her for so long.

3. A gourmet dinner hosted by Kevin, my friend from LifeWay. Josh and I joined Kevin and a cluster of his friends for a wonderful Sunday dinner. One of these days, I'm going to blog about the hospitality we've experienced here (it blows me away!!), but for now, suffice it to say that it was warm, comfortable, well-prepared, thoughtful and delicious.

4. Starting a prayer journal. I love journals. I've had this pretty little one sitting on my bookshelf empty and begging me to start writing in it for several months now. Today, I grabbed it off, and took it to church with me, meaning to take notes in it, but (and this is so silly, I hate to even write it, but I do hope you'll understand), the only pen I had with me wrote in blue, and I just didn't want to start my lovely journal with obnoxious blue ink! So I took notes in the bulletin, and brought the journal home still unmarred. While I was doing my laundry this afternoon, I brought it downstairs (with a black pen), meaning to write prayer requests in it. I was suddenly filled with inspiration, and I began to write out my prayer. I used to do this in high school, but I have so rarely done so in my adult life. I'm so excited! What better use for it than to simply to write my adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication to the Maker of the Universe?!


Mandy said...

It was so good to see you yesterday! And despite my daughter trying to sabatoge our 'speaking', it was good to catch up a bit.

I don't know if this will make you feel better, or not, but you are still so much a part of all of us, it's almost like you're not really even gone. For me I almost feel like you're on some kind of trip, but will definitely be back soon. I think the kids may feel that way a little bit too. (especially after having me and Johanna the last month!)

Maddie asks me often whether or not you are going to be here or there, wherever we are going.

You have taught, played with, loved all of the kids. You've also been such a real example of what a growing Christian who loves the Lord should be. I think when most of them are grown they will realize what an amazing influence you have been in their lives.

GloryandGrace said...

"So I'm going to keep this hour sacred to writing to you. Though THIS won't be a love-letter. I have a scratchy pen and I can't write love-letters with a scratchy pen . . . or a sharp pen . . . or a stub pen. So you'll only get THAT kind of letter from me when I have exactly the right kind of pen. Meanwhile, I'll tell you about my new domicile and its inhabitants. . ." (excerpt from Anne of Windy Poplars)

Sandy said...

Gret, I totally agree with Mandy. I am bummed that we didn't get to see you. I didn't even tell the girls that you were coming. We are looking forward to dropping in on you in a few weeks.

Gretchen said...

Mandy, thanks so much. It was so great to see you guys. Basically, the quote from Maddie is going to be a keeper for some time to come. I think sometimes I feel like I'm on a trip, too! I sort of lost it when I saw the bulletin board that we'd done, and it seemed so normal, just how it should be. I'll probably go through all this again when everything starts changing for the summer program, because the little things I had done will be gone (my ownership of them should ALREADY be gone, I know!). By the way, I NEED to call you, I have something of a private nature to tell you (hee hee, that'll get some rumors going!)

Grace -- LOVE the quote! Thanks for understanding about the pen! I figured YOU would!

San, I was bummed, too. You guys are coming on a Thursday night, right? So I should be good as far as not working. Let me know WHEN exactly!

GloryandGrace said...

How does this Thursday evening sound for meeting up at the Homemade Pie Kitchen???

Miscellaneous From Missy said...


A while back ago, <--(doesn't that phrase sound fun) I was skimming through blogs of people that I don't know...I was bored, and I found your blog. I've been reading it ever since. For a while now, I've been thinking that we are kindred spirits, but after reading your entry today, I am convinced of it.

1. Obsessive love for books
2. Homeschooling
3. Love for God, husband, family, and friends
4. Wonderful siblings
5. Incredibly awesome Christian camp and college experiences
6. Complete disregard for possible blog readers who experience hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia! (I know you'll look it up if you do not already know what this is.) :-)
7. But what got me today was your prayer journal (and your ink pen)!

Gretchen said...

Grace -- I have class and possible "Valentimes" dinner that night. That pie keeps escaping us, does it not??

Missy -- good to meet you! It's weird to find out that other people I've never met read my blog! I checked yours out, and I was challenged by your post about the note. (BTW, I looked up the word -- too funny!)

Sarah said...

Gretchen, I thought it was funny that you called it a "Valentimes" dinner....that is what Elise thinks it is called. She is so excited about her "Valentime's" party tomorrow at school. :-)

G&G, you have inspired me to take up the Anne series again for reading. It has been years since I have touched them, and I adore the stories! Especially her reasons for doing things (i.e. the pen). :-)

Mandy said...

ok, now I'm curious! Private nature...hmmmm..

Gret's Dad said...

Hi Gret, Reading your blog is like enjoyimg you as a child all over again...Dad

James and Christen said...

Anytime, anytime! We've been in the car so much I totally understand the need for long talks!

Thanks for making an exception to your "short phone call" rule! I loved chatting.

Thanks for sharing your blessings and keeping your focus on Christ.