Sunday, March 11, 2007

Visits from friends

We had the great privilege this week of having David Livingstone in our home all week. He came to preach for us last Sunday and to speak at Perspectives on Monday and Tuesday nights. He was scheduled to return to Minneapolis on Wednesday, but stayed here in order to attend the funeral of John Piper's father in Greenville on Friday.

I always enjoy having David with us. He is a big tease ("dirtball" and "scumbag" were words floating around our house this week...all in fun, all in fun). My boys figure that since he only has daughters, he never gets to speak this way at home. He fit right in with our guys that lovingly call each other "fat pig." (Sorry if you are shocked at this language - I assure you such words are never used as putdowns, but in this house of boys who love to tease each other, they are sort of terms of endearment!)

David pastors Coty and me by listening and asking good questions. He reminds our boys to thank their mother and appreciate their father's investment of time in reading aloud. He is an example and an encouragement. This week he laughed and discussed with us the exploits of Dicken's characters in A Tale of Two Cities, our current read-aloud.

On Tuesday morning when we got word of Bill Piper's death, we gathered around the table with David and our guys and and read Pastor John's email about the events of the night before. It was a solemn moment of reflection with a few tears. We were thinking not only of the death of Pastor John's father, but of our own recent loss of our dear friend, Linda. It was balm to me to hear David ask God to help our boys always remember these family moments when we grieve yet rejoice, to pray that such moments would be reminders to them of God's work in the lives of his saints, reminders that would keep their faith firm when they are tempted to stray.

As I sit here and think about it now, I hang on to that Tuesday morning time around the table as a treasured Ebenezer stone. We have gone through some sad days here lately but we have seen the mighty and wise hand of God at work.

Today we had some more visitors. John, Noel, and Talitha Piper slipped in just as our service was starting this morning and worshiped with us before heading to the airport for their return flight to Minneapolis. What a joy to have someone who has meant so much to us personally and to our church corporately be able to worship with us and pray for us at the end of our service. Thanks John, Noel, and Talitha for taking the time and trouble to make it to DGCC this morning. It was a blessing.

After the events of the week and the short night, we felt pretty tired (don't you just hate the "spring forward" night - I do). After church, we enjoyed a very laid back afternoon - a casual, spur-of-the-moment sandwich and chip lunch with the Balbuenas and Martha and drop-in visits from the Alvarezes and Rob. The porch was the perfect spot to relax, visit, and rest. Coty and Fred both fell asleep after sandwiches and before ice cream. (This was captured on film by a stealthy son so stay tuned for some fun with that!). The porch swing got plenty of use this warm afternoon.

We will all sleep well tonight, Lord willing, and be up early tomorrow for our annual day of skiing. We make a trip once every winter up to Appalachian Ski Mountain on one of their homeschool ski days. This is the last chance for this year. The snow may be a bit slushy, but the guys won't mind. I expect they'll be skiing in shirt sleeves. Love that NC spring skiing! I haven't decided whether or not I'll hit the slopes or sit on the lodge deck in the sun and read.

These past two weeks have been so full. There is much to process, much to reflect on and though I want to do that, my brain feels tired and my energy level, quite low. So this may be another quiet week on the blog. I continue to appreciate all the ways many of you who read this blog have supported me, and I continue to covet your prayers. Yesterday I kept thinking "press on, press on." Thanks for the ways you help me to do that.


Kelly said...

It was lovely to hear Pastor John's voice from the back of the room. :-) Warmed my heart.

Amber Benton said...

Missed you on Sunday - with all of the activity here over the weekend with the floors going in I totally forgot about the time change. So Sunday morning after Mom and Dad left I was standing in the middle of the our new floor looking at all the tape and glue that needed to be cleaned up and all of the scrap wood and furniture shoved and piled into corners trying to decide if I could make it to church and still have time to get everything safe for the boys to come back on Monday morning... I decided I had better stay (and it was late that night before I judged everything was safe again). Later the afternoon I learned that the time had changed, and as I was trying to figure out if I could come or not you were already halfway through service!!

I hope you all enjoyed your skiing, and that you had a nice balance of fun activity and restful quiet. See you soon!