Our time in Richmond, VA flew by with every moment spent maximizing family time and collecting memories to savor long after the aircraft door closed and our jet taxied to the runway. With 4 children between the ages of 5-10, our son and his wife have little time to be inert. It's a mighty peppy foursome with energy measured by the ton. But I had treasured moments with each one and feel privileged to be needed and wanted by each grandchild - sports with the boys, baking with the girls and games with all. The boys - ages 9 and 10 - still like to sit in my lap for bedtime stories. We almost made it through a SUGAR CREEK GANG book which my mother had read to me and I had read to my children. The girls were in the midst of a PRAIRIE PRINCESS book. I love these ages - love reading to children - love having family opening their home to other family.
A highlight Sat. morning after Thanksgiving was to attend a performance by the Christian Children's Theatre of THE CHRISTMAS CAROL. I was very impressed by the well-done show we attended. And I was very grateful for the play's message: A person can change; you don't have to remain a Scrooge forever, you don't have to be alone if you have family because they love you and will welcome you whenever you are willing to walk up to their door... It was a great message for the holiday and I'm glad our family attended.
Since returning to TX, my attention has been consumed by preparation for my trip to Moldova which starts on Friday. Interspersed with the mundane, however, has been the enjoyable side of Christmas and birthdays - 2 in our family this month - mine and our daughter's. So I've attended 3 Christmas parties, a couple birthday celebrations and participated in something our church does each year which is called "The Edgewater Boutique."
The boutique event is a time for residents of Edgewater Nursing Home to "shop" for Christmas gifts. Items they or members of their family might enjoy are donated. That collection of things is put on display where residents can view and make their choices. If they want their selection wrapped, we provide that service. For folks who cannot get out to shop elsewhere, this event is greatly anticipated and enjoyed.
It was at Edgewater, a nursing home in our community, that I met Betty N. She needed help with the event because she had limited vision and was in a wheelchair. We almost immediately bonded. She was excited about the event and was a fun-loving person. She found a lovely crocheted sweater and wanted to put it on. I helped her with that and she decided to "buy" it. I told her it was a gift and required no payment. After that, she was ready for coffee and a cookie so we moved to a table where those were being served. We had plenty of "helpers" for this event, so I decided to linger in conversation with Betty. She shared much of her life story with me. We had some things in common and great differences in other things. She grew up with her wants and needs easily provided for - not the same for me. But we both had/have loving, kind and capable mothers. After hearing about Betty's life, I decided to ask her about the future - specifically the time when her life in this world would end. I asked what she thought would happen then. She said, "I hope I go to heaven." That statement led to a conversation in which I was able to share with her about things of faith which she said she found very interesting. She told me she had never before heard the things I was telling her and she remained actively engaged as long as I talked. She kept thanking me for spending so much time with her and for telling her about such wonderful things. I told her she could have a spiritual birth and become one of God's children. She said she'd have to think about it. I told her it was possible to pray and become a child of God right then if she'd like that. She immediately replied that she wanted to. I told her I would pray and she could repeat my words. She spoke clearly and exactly every word I said. When we finished praying, she beamed and continued to thank me for taking time with her that morning. I took her to her room after that and as we passed another person helping with the event, he spoke to her and said, "Have a wonderful day!" Her sincere reply was, "I've already had a wonderful day. It can't get any more wonderful than it's already been!."
My heart was soaring. As I drove to Edgewater that morning, I had been thinking of the time when Jesus told his disciples that "the fields are white for harvest." I told him that I believed that was true so I prayed that He would show me someone that morning who may be ready for His harvest. And that prayer was answered in an amazing way!!! Betty was waiting to be told God's truth. When she heard it, she responded with eager, trusting faith and I shared the joy I knew that angels were expressing as they welcomed another sheep whose name had just been entered into the Lamb's Book of Life.
Tomorrow I will complete my packing, have lunch with some girlfriends, mail some packages and take a couple of pictures to Betty at Edgewater. I told her I would come back to see her and I can't wait! I will also make a big pot of chicken soup for a friend who had surgery on Monday and is now home. I know it will be a good day.