Friday, June 27, 2008

There seems to be an enormous sink hole in our neighborhood. Tommy and his family have gone to Atlanta to visit friends and pick up Jacob who has been there since last Saturday. Don't get me wrong. We're glad they went. They need a break and I know well how it feeds the soul to visit with good friends. Still, we'll be happy to see them when they come home Sunday.

I'm looking forward to a break myself! Several weeks ago Marty asked if I would go with her to a conference in San Francisco. For a brief second I was thinking how ridiculous that was and then, bingo, it hit me: San Francisco is about two hours from Sacramento. Not only would I be able to spend some good mother-daughter-grandson time with Marty and Christopher, I would be able to visit Fair Oaks friends! What a special treat!

My friend and former assistant, Mary, is taking up where we left off a year and a half ago when we moved. She is organizing my schedule and helping me plan my time in Sacramento. I can't wait to be there and to see folks--only wish it could be a longer visit and that I could see everybody. As I type that, I think of many who have passed in the months we've been gone: Tom, Mary Margaret, Shirley, Florence, Ileone, Donna and others. I will miss them, but, in my mind will see them in familiar places at the church and thank God for the gifts they have been to me.

Tom won't make this trip. It's really a mother-daughter getaway and I'm not sure he's up to it right now anyway. Tommy will spend the nights at our house with him and our helper will come to help him with breakfast and lunch. There is a part of me that is most reluctant to leave him, but I know I have to practice what I preach: the caregiver or care-partner (as I prefer) needs time away to regroup and refresh.

Our schedule is full in the days before the trip. We both have eye appointments next week and a visit with our new primary care physician. I have a morning of work scheduled at the church on the next step toward organizing an older adult ministry. One day we'll drive to Corinth for the monthly blood check and the day before I leave, I preach and baptize Elisa. It's good to be busy.

This morning I started reading Job, the account of one who enjoyed great wealth and a big family. One day he "had it all" and the next, he had nothing or so it seemed. I know the story; I know that it was the devil who afflicted Job; I know that one of Job's friend is the shortest man in the Bible--Bildad, the Shuhite (sorry, couldn't resist); but today the message I received as I read and meditated on the words, was that in the midst of the worst of things, God is still in control. I even know that, but today I needed to hear it again. That knowledge is priceless as I learn of actions being taken by the General Assembly of the PC(USA), as I hear news of violence and abuse and as we live and manage personal afflictions.

Pastor Margaret

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