It’s Report Card Time

It is that time of year! At the spring retreat, Lynette brought up the church and its role in serving women from different spheres. “We are thinking of how the church serves you. What kind of special thing has someone done for you that helped you feel cared for and understood? What makes you feel someone is in your corner?”

Naomi, pastor’s wife, homeschool mom – “People who babysat or took our kids for a week, homeschooling and everything. Pastor appreciation gifts. Church programs for the kids. People who take an interest in my kids. People my age being friends with my kids speaks loudly to me. Accountability partners for kids. It takes a village to raise a kid. Those were all hugs from the Lord, big time, through the church.”

 

Martha, widow – “I have had several big men at church who love to give me bear hugs. One has been Mike Reilly every Sunday morning. Now it’s another man. He always hugs me and has something uplifting to say. When I asked him how he was recently, he said, ‘If I’d feel any better I’d have to take a sad pill.’”

Dot, married woman with no children – “A thoughtful little girl, Kami, in our church started bringing me a gift at Mother’s Day every year. Sometimes it was a handmade gift or spring flowers or starts of day lilies from her patch. She put thought into what she gave me. Those things are extremely special and precious. I think that she just knew that I wouldn’t be getting a Mother’s Day gift from a child. She also did something for my husband on Father’s Day.”

Martha – “That reminds me that my daughter sends me a card every day on Father’s Day.”

Dot – “And that’s not painful?”

Martha – “It’s not painful, it’s emotional.”

Lynette – “That’s an important distinction.”

Mim, single woman – “I have not lived in my home community for probably 40 years. There have always been families that took me in. Homes away from home on the holidays. It was a real gift to be welcomed in.”

Sabrina, pastor’s wife, young stay-at-home-mom – “When Jeremy and I were voted in as elders, my aunt told me that she would be our childcare. The children love it. When we come home from leadership meetings, the kids are in bed. It is such a relief never to look for a sitter.

“Another thing is something someone said to me at a special event when I was very pregnant. I was really pregnant and often struggled with people saying how big I was or asking when the baby was coming. Someone blessed me by saying exactly what I needed to hear: ‘You wouldn’t want to have missed this event.’ She was right. What a gift!”

Louella, widow – “I’m not quite sure anymore how this happened about a year ago. There were about 4 young girls age 13-14 who gave me an envelope with letters they had written to me. They were the sweetest letters that said they looked up to me. I thought ‘you poor girls.’ I was surprised at their insight. THEY were nurturing ME. Coming from 13-14 year-olds, I thought it was astounding. I also have two men the ages of my children who give me bear hugs at church. It feels so good. It feels good to be noticed and to be hugged.”

Elnora, single mom, divorced – “I have so many things to say. When my marriage started falling apart I was still in the Beachy church and people didn’t know what to do with me. Didn’t know what to say, so they didn’t say anything. Maple City has been so supportive. I could count on people for hugs. People would come and take my boys and do things with them at the park and other places. My small group was amazing. My boys were all over the men in the group so that sometimes I was embarrassed. It meant a lot that they let my boys play with them. The church helped me out financially, too, during the lean times, and encouraged me by trusting me to use the money wisely. Pastor Mel told me he had never seen anyone squeeze as much out of a nickel. That meant a lot to me at a time they were helping financially!”

Naomy, navigating a new culture – “When we moved here, we were looking for so many things like school, a home, and a church. The church played such a role. Only God knows why we landed in Rosedale! It is so great to be there. (I don’t mean it the other way!) It was so God-directed. The body of believers there did so much. It was our first time to need gloves and heavy coats. We didn’t know which direction was the closest school. We are thankful. We felt so embraced by the church. I cannot have enough words. I think there are many opportunities to feel highly embraced by the church.”

 

Carla, career woman – “God is big. There have been times when people stepped up and helped. There have been many notes from kids in the past from youth group or camps that have thanked my husband and I for our work in their lives.”

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