Ever since we moved into our house we’ve been blessed with the friendship of three sisters who live a couple of houses down. TT, Chelsea, and Ryann. Yesterday they came by the house to say goodbye. The house they’ve been renting is going into foreclosure and they’ve moved. This is the second family that we’ve connected with on our block that has moved. We’re really going to miss the girls. They’ve meant a lot to me as they’ve welcomed my kids and played with them so much. I think I’ll even miss them knocking on the door all summer, every day, during dinner. “God please continue to draw them to yourself, and send us another family to welcome to the block.”
The last few days we’ve had glorious weather so we’ve taken full advantage of it, spending as much time outside as possible. The kids playing in the yard, wagon, dirt, etc. I’ve been working on our veggie garden. We bought some broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower seedlings while in Chattanooga last weekend so I was in a hurry to get the garden ready and get them planted. We moved one bed over (we’re trying a version of square gardening) so that the lawn mower could fit between it and the fence. Mixed up the dirt, dug through it for rocks, glass, and other unfriendly debris (filling a large pot with them). Then mixed in some of our compost that we “made” last year. Then planted our little seedlings and some lettuce and spinach seeds. The next day we did a second garden. This one was more work because it’s new whereas the first one we actually had dug up last fall. I was thankful to only find one pile of cat poop, not so thankful to find it with my bare hands.
But the greatest memory of it is of Joanna running over to me after I’d watched her put a worm she found in the compost (that’s where they go because as we’ve told her the worms eat the kitchen stuff and newspaper and turn it into dirt). She came running over to me, “Mommy, I talked to a worm!” “Oh yea,” I said, “What did you say to it?” “I told it to eat the egg shells and turn them into dirt.” It’s been so fun to have her involved in things like this. She such an inquisitive little girl and has an amazing memory. Thank you Jesus for Joanna.
Here she is spinning at her Daddy’s concert last night.
My women’s Bible study at church has been doing a study by John Piper called “The Blazing Center: The Soul-Satisfying Supremacy of God in All Things.” His main theme is that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” This week he added onto that “…especially when we maintain joy in him in suffering.” He brought up four chapters in Hebrews that support this.
Hebrews 10:32-34 talks about Christians who were willing to go to prison and suffer for the sake of knowing Christ. And also Christians who were willing to be connected with those suffering and “joyfully accepted the plundering if their property” for it. Why? Because they knew they had a better possession in knowing Christ.
Hebrews 11:24-26 talks about how Moses refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter when he grew up. He chose to be mistreated with the people of God rather than enjoy the “fleeting pleasures of sin.” Why? “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”
The ultimate example of joy in suffering is of course Christ. The author of Hebrews (12:1-2) tells us to look to Christ as our example. Christ endured the cross…”for the joy set before him.”
Lastly, Hebrews 13:12-14 calls us to be willing to bear the reproach (disgrace, shame – I had to look it up in the dictionary) that Christ endured “for here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”
“Through Christ then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Heb. 13:15-16) Piper refers to all these believers as “strange people” doing strange things but that we should daily be praying that God would make us into strange people too. What strange things are you doing for the kingdom of God?
Today is Thursday, traditionally my “grocery shopping day.” Last night I made up my menu for the week and this morning I made up my shopping list. I typically go to three places to buy my groceries (not including what I get at Sam’s Club or the coffee I get Kirk at World Market). Today dawned as a wet and dreary day. We’re trying to be really good about staying within our budget lately so I had $50 to spend today. I figure I can spend $30 on regular stuff and $20 on produce. First we hit Aldi with is basically caticorner to our house. I came out of Aldi spending $16 which included two splurge items (yogurt and string cheese). Next we went to Schnucks where I get my WIC items ($8 worth of milk, eggs, juice, and peanut butter). I also spent $15 on other items for meals this week but also buying popcorn (on their 10/$10 sale-I got three), wheat germ for granola, and buttermilk for muffins. I used the rest of my money to buy ICE CREAM!!! Breyers was having a buy one get one free deal. Woohoo! With $20 left and the rain picking up we decided to go ahead to the semi-outdoor Loop Market to get our produce. I LOVE this market and the people who work there. They remember me each week, when I hadn’t come for over a year they still remembered me, and one time when I realized I didn’t have any checks with me they let me pay for my produce the following week. I LOVE THE LOOP MARKET! We had enough money to buy the necessities and even grapes and a pumpkin to carve next weekend with Aunti Anna. The kids love going to the market because they get to help pick out produce and even get some for free sometimes. They get to run around and play. Today was a blast because they got to play in the pumpkins, the puddles, and the water streaming off the roof. They came home soaked and super happy.
I was a little nervous about finding new places to shop when we moved to our new house. I used to do all of my shopping at Shop-N-Save but now it’s not worth the drive. But I’ve come to really like my Aldi. I felt a bit intimidated usually being the only white person there but when you go to the same place every week you start to recognize people. I shopped last week by myself and my cashier asked me where my babies were. I’ve also really like the Schnucks I go to (on Union), recognizing people who work there. And everyone seems so friendly. So as much as I don’t like menu planning or grocery shopping, it’s become a pleasant experience.