last night at mosaic they mentioned how lent is coming up on wednesday and then explained the meaning behind the tradition of giving something up for the 40 day duration before easter. typically i give up television, however i hate television. the point is to identify with jesus' suffering before his crucifixion and during, and it doesn't hurt at all to give up something you already dislike. so, i decided this year that it would pretty much punch me in the gut to give up facebook, texting and myspace. *sharp intake of breath* here i go. goodbye, vice! i may or may not return after easter. perhaps i lean on this need for people more than i lean on my need, my starvation, for god. i want to live a life of love. i want to do it without the internets and texting for 40 days. i will do it. this morning i received an e-mail from my dad, the man i love the most in the world:
Good morning Vanessa, Melissa and Allison,
Yesterday we received a gift and I want to share the occasion with you.
Friday morning we woke up to about seven inches of new snowfall on the ground, and snow was still falling. Of course, that meant I had a lot of shoveling to do so once the snow had nearly stopped I got started at about 9:30. It was quite deep at the end of the driveway. Of course the driveway at Ray & Mary's, across the street, was just like ours. I didn't want to see Ray getting stuck at the end of his driveway, so even though my back was aching, I decided to shovel out the end of their driveway. Then I thought I'd shovel a little more, then a little more, until I decided I might as well shovel the whole thing.
In the afternoon when my student (*my parents are reading tutors out of their home in mi*) Lucas Mathie arrived, his mother Cheryl commented that Lucas had said he liked how I always have the sidewalk cleaned off, right down to the cement. Your mother mentioned that I had also shoveled the driveway of the 80-some year old couple across the street. Cheryl mentioned they have a long driveway and she can never figure out how to get the snow blower running so she just hopes it will melt soon (her husband had a snowmobile accident a couple of years ago and lives with constant pain and only partial use of his left arm). I told her I had looked for a used snow blower but couldn't find one, so if she ever decided to sell it, please let me know.
Cheryl always sits in on Lucas's lesson. After about 5 minutes she excused herself and said she had to talk to Lucas and took him out of the room for a minute. He came back in and said his mom had to go out for a few minutes but she'd be back. Because she has never done that before; I thought it was a little strange. She didn't get back until about 5 minutes before we were done. After they left I filled in information in Lucas's folder regarding what we had covered and then the doorbell rang. It was Lucas and his mom. They stood there with a card and a gift - a new snow blower! It's not as big as our old John Deere; it's like the one our neighbor used to help Melissa and I cleaned Ray & Mary's driveway after Christmas, and it will save a lot of back aches. Can you believe that? She had gone to TSC and bought the snow blower and a card at Walmart. Here's what it says in the card:
In this busy world
where the hours
are so precious,
it really means a lot
when special people like you
take the time
to help others.
Then Cheryl wrote: You are the answer to so many families prayers. Thank you for being Lucas' and so many other children's angels. Sincerely, The Mathie's
As I lay in bed thinking about it this morning, it reminded me of the many ways God met needs in our life when I was out of work or hardly making enough money to make ends meet. Do you remember those times - a huge check sent anonymously in the mail, money in an envelope taped to our front door, bags of gifts and food at the front door and on the hood of our car at EHBC, a Christmas tree at our door in New Woodstock when we returned from Michigan, the Wertheimer's letting us use their house in the Springs, the Singleton's taking us into their home when we had to leave the Wertheimer's, Dave & LuAnn McCasland renting us their home on a handshake and faith, the Paris's giving us the use of their home, the Brookins' giving us the use of their home, Aunt Tiny & Luther letting us use their home, etc. Aren't these all great examples of our Big God caring for little us?
It's good for us to remember what God has done in the past, to help us have faith that He will continue to be at work in our life as long as we put our faith and trust in Him.
the outside of the card's text made me cry. i cry about twice a year. oh lord, let me be like my fathers! i welcome this lent with an open heart.
love you all,
to contact me about anything (ideas for world peace, outfit coordination, radical love, etc.,) call me or e.mail firstname.lastname@example.org, i'd love to talk with you.