Day Sixteen: January 16
This is our refrigerator. It was the first thing we bought when we moved into the house. We moved in on June 30th. Three days later we went to Lowe’s and combined their Fourth of July sale, the 10% discount they give to military and veterans, and their one year “same as cash” financing to buy this refrigerator along with a houseful of other home appliances.
As I mentioned last week, we haven’t made a full grocery run since December 21. Before last night, our refrigerator was quite empty. Somehow having two kids instead of just one is only double the number of children, but requires one thousand times the effort put forth. That’s where we are blessed with our friends from CROSSing Paths at Providence Presbyterian Church.
CROSSing Paths is a group of “young families connecting to each other, the church, the community, and God.” One friend and fellow Dad recounted a story, from some years ago, of taking his now six year-old daughter to a third birthday party on Saturday afternoon. The kids were still not quite old enough that Mom and Dad could leave yet, so many stayed. And they did everything but meet new friends or socialize with their children. They brought their laptops and worked during the birthday party. They played on their smart phones. They brought their mp3 players and listened to music. There was little social about this social event. Then, the next day, on a whim they had come to a “church barbeque”, before we had gotten around to naming ourselves CROSSing Paths. Families played together. Adults introduced themselves to each other. Even more surprising, they watched out for each others’ kids. This, realized my friend and fellow Dad, was a group he wanted to be a part of, and wanted his children to grow up in.
Our church group shares what they call Bundles of Joy. They recognize that when a new baby comes, there are visits, and cards, and friends, and calls, and plates of every kind of thing to eat…for about a month after the birth or adoption. Then life gets back to normal…for everyone else…but the new parents are still struggling to find their way in a new, larger family, with different roles for everyone. For this reason, the Bundle of Joy comes about six weeks or so after a new baby comes, to remind the newly-bigger family that their church friends still love them, still care for them, and are committed to going the distance.
Nearly everything you see in that refrigerator came from our friends, much of it tied neatly in bags with instructions on which dishes make which meals. Tonight we started out the first dish of our feast with chicken pot pie from Clark and Mitch, whom we introduced last night. The rite of baptism includes a charge to the parents of the child “Do you promise to raise this child to know and follow Christ?” and then a charge to the rest of the congregation “Do you promise to love and support these parents and to help them teach this child to know and follow Christ?” We are so blessed that when it comes to our church friends, their actions follow their words. Two tired parents, one wired two year-old, and one newborn still trying to figure which way is up are in awe of the love given by our church friends. We are overflowing.