Zuzu and her Grand at Christmastime
On Sunday, we were able to have one of our Deacons and his wife, Mary, over for lunch, so that they could meet my mom (Dad unfortunately couldn't come this trip). I adore them both, for they are true kindred spirits. I love her especially because she is so affirming. She is the kind of friend I want to strive to be to others - whenever we talk, she leaves me feeling stronger and better than before. She does this especially by affirming me in my vocation - she constantly tells me, "you are tending to what is eternal" while affectionately stroking my little bald baby's head.
This past Sunday, I lamented that Tom often worked long hours and doesn't have an 'official' day off - especially since he plays funerals, and they can be scheduled any day of the week. The Deacon (a jolly man by nature) looked at me sternly and said "that should change. Never forget he is only capable of doing what he is doing because you are here, being the heart and home. You make what he does worth it."
Kristin and I at Christmastime...I apparently have a Christmas theme.
These two strands of thought of oft-repeated in their interactions with Mr. Oram and I, young parents and newlyweds as we still are. I know these words well up from their hearts, because it is woven into their consciousness; it is their life's work, having raised (still raising...) eight children themselves. But these affirmations, these words of encouragement, are so vital, so important. The Book speaks often of the need to encourage one another, to speak words only of truth and goodness to your brothers - and heck, it's even one of the five love languages! But I forget. I forget too often.
I forget that we were given the ability to speak so that we could tell the Good News. I was given my tongue not to complain, to vent, to list my many needs that I feel aren't being met or my dissatisfaction with how I am not getting what I deserve. I have been given this ability to communicate that I might bring to others comfort, truth, kindness, affirmation. It's a good reminder here at the beginning of Holy Week to set this before my eyes: Christ didn't die so that I could use my gifts as I wish. He died to show me that only by pouring myself out in service and love will I ever live in a manner befitting a child of God.
May I ever remember this,