Paperwork overload has turned my brain into farina.
Which is my mom's weird word for Cream of Wheat and/or Malt o' Meal.
I think it's an east coast thing. And every time she says it I get hung up on its' oddness. It's just so... unappetizing?
Anyway, basically my farina brain has two mushy cells left.
One is dealing with cochlear implant research. The other is busy with property contingency releases.
When my good friend Kim offered to guest post today, I happily agreed.
And I apologize in advance for my child's outfit throughout much of it all. It's her father's fault.
One of the awesome things of being a part of The Church are the amazing opportunities the Lord presents to serve Him.
A few weeks ago, Dave's Uncle Carroll ended his earthly days, and was called home to eternity with Jesus. Which meant Aunt Nancy was about to enter into the next season of her life. Arrangements had been made for her to move near some friends in Idaho.
Uncle Carroll and Aunt Nancy considered themselves remote members of the Hope body - listening online, praying for us, and actually were the first people to give an offering.
Dave asked the Hope Church body if we would be willing to be the much needed hands and feet for Aunt Nancy, packing up and cleaning out her home. The people at Hope Church love Jesus, and love his people, it was a no brainer, and the trip was planned.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)
At 4:30am on Saturday Morning, twelve sleepy adults and one adorable seven year old piled into two cars and headed out to South Lake Tahoe.
While it was still dark, we fueled up literally AND figuratively.
Got a little gas, and a cuppa Joe, and got back on the road.
As the sun rose and the sky lightened, we creeped into the Sierras.
I caught a quick snooze, and awoke to our car exclaiming at the sight of snow!!
Somebody next to me was totally mesmerized by it.
Once in Tahoe, we made our first stop at the U-Haul rental place where Jon was in packing and moving supply heaven, and Tamara got to experience the snow for the very first time.
The joy on her face was contagious, and snowballs started flying.
And then we got to work.
A one time professional mover, Jon directed our team on the best way to pack and load the trucks.
We sorted, we folded, we boxed, we wrapped, we labeled, we hauled.
After a few short hours, a lot of progress had been made. Everything was sorted. Rooms were starting to get cleared out, and it was time to load the trucks. But not before a quick lunch break.
Ellen and I ran a few quick errands for Aunt Nancy,
and crossed the state lines while we were at it.
And when we got back truck loading was in full effect.
This is one area our little church truly shines.
Assembly lines are our thing.
Twelve people, one goal.
Somehow, someone came up with the idea that we should only sing, instead of talk, for a half hour.
We all have lovely voices after all. (err...not really).
Even Aunt Nancy joined in the fun, responding to our questions in a song as well.
Meanwhile, one very well behaved and easily entertained seven year old created a zoo of snow creatures.
We had a Snow Mouse and a Snow Dog.
And a fort! If she stayed there any longer, she was certain to turn into a Snow Bunny!
(And yes, she wore her PJ's the whole day - sorry Jess!)
A few more snowballs were thrown..
As we wrapped things up, these incredible servants continued to scrub and clean and vacuum and sweep.
Never once was a grumble. Not a single complaint.
Truly the manifestation of Philippians 2:1-3
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
And then it was time to leave.
It was a bit harder for some of us than others.
It was really an incredible day, and we were sad to see it end.
We checked Aunt Nancy into the hotel, freshened up a bit, and the group obliged my one request - to put my feet in the lake.
John Michael, Camilla, and Ellen were adventurous and joined me!
The Lord truly has incredible timing, we were there just in time to watch the sunset.
The crazy part about a weekend like this is much of the work is tedious.
It can be frustrating.
It isn't glamorous.
But, as a few of us discussed on the drive home, the Holy Spirit does the work.
He transforms our hearts to willingly and joyfully serve the Lord by serving others.
It is truly a testimony to the Lord - why else would twelve adults, with lives of their own, be willing to get up at 4:30am on a Saturday to help someone they barely know pack and clean their home?
Because of Jesus.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
Because Jesus has done so much for us, we have no other response, but to serve him.
And often, He bestows much grace and blessing on that service.
With things like sunsets.
And feet in an ice cold lake.
And snowball fights.
And friends - who become family.