"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

08 September 2012

Our Hearts Full

In my gratitude journal today, I wrote these three things:

*Barbara's surprise gift of classic books for Little B
*Grandma Jo

As we were on our way out to have lunch with Grandma Jo today, we ran into our downstairs neighbor, Ms. Barbara. Little B enthusiastically waved at her through the car window from his carseat. She was so delighted, and then, remembering something, she told us, "Hang on just a minute."

She went back into her apartment and returned carrying a gift bag full of gifts neatly bundled in shiny, star-patterned wrapping paper. It turns out that after we told her we would be moving to Texas soon, she went out and bought Little B a small stash of classic books to add to his book collection. Ms. Barbara is a retired English teacher, so the gift was just perfect. B's at an age where he opens presents all by himself, and it sure was fun to see him tearing into the wrapping paper to unearth his new treasures.
Richard Scarry books are so delightful for children, and Little B loves the tractor book, of course.
Ms. Barbara said these are "for later, much later." But she did make the valid point that these are books that children love to hear read aloud to them, long before they can read them for themselves.
"Grandma Jo" is actually the mother of our sweet friend Laurie who mentored me through my dating relationship with N and then officiated at our wedding. We don't get to see Laurie and her immediate family much, but when we moved to this area, we discovered that her parents, siblings and their families all lived in the area! It has been a joy to get to know them, and Grandma Jo has been so kind and generous to both of us and Little B over the years. We are so fond of her, and we knew we had to make sure we had a good visit with her before we moved.
We actually invited her out to lunch with us at her favorite Panera, but true to her nature, she insisted that we come over to her house instead and told us that all she wanted us to bring were our smiling faces and "the baby who isn't a baby anymore." So we headed over there with our arms full of homemade strawberry jam, a beautiful potted Gerbera daisy plant (we heard daisies were her favorite flower, and since I had Gerbera daisies as my wedding flowers, we thought it would be appropriate), recent pictures of our family for her to keep, and Little B.

Both N and I feel like we learn so much when we spend time in the company of older people, and we had a wonderful visit this afternoon. We ate like kings, chatted, explored the backyard, went on a walk, and only the first drops of the coming storm reminded us that we needed to head home.

As we said our goodbyes and made promises to write, I actually felt myself tearing up, until Grandma Jo reminded us that "someday, we really will all be together again." What a wise, joyful perspective to have in the face of farewells!
We drove home in the much-needed rain, our hearts full.
Grandma Jo gave us these books for Little B. Check out the title of the top one! How perfect.


  1. so wonderful for you guys to have "grandparents" for b when your families are so far away. i pray that your lives will be richly blessed in texas as well. and what fun gifts for the little man. i love books as gifts because they keep on giving.

    1. Nisa, I totally agree (as you already know). :~) Books are GREAT gifts.

      We are praying that the Lord would lead us to the "just right" church when we move!