Sunday, April 16, 2017

What a Wonderful Time of Easter For Us!

The past 2 days have flown past in a happy blur of fun, fellowship, food and friends!  Starting on Good Friday evening, every day has morphed into some kind of party and we are exhausted but o so happy!

Saturday my husband worked hard on his sermon prep for this morning's service.  I did a few errands in the morning, then ended up with an unexpected lunch invite from my dear friend who was in town for the day.  We ate and laughed and visited.  I so enjoyed it...why does an all ready tasty salad taste ever so much better when there is a close friend sitting right across the table sharing in the fun of a restaurant meal?

I came home for a bit of a rest before prepping a large salad to take to other friends' for dinner. They live near Craven and it was a nice afternoon for a drive...windy, but sunny and not too chilly.  They have a new baby, child number three.  She is adorable.  Welcome to the world little Esmae of the perfect skin and perfectly shaped head covered in white blonde hair!  Her older brother and sister adore her.  We enjoyed good food in the form of freshly butchered spring lamb with lemon roasted potatoes, plus we had good fellowship together.  Before we left we met their new cat, had a gawk at their chickens and watched the pregnant ewes in their pen waiting impatiently for the birth of their lambs.  It was most relaxing.  We were home early and got to bed early as well to be ready for today's drive.

We woke up this morning at 6am to freezing temperatures and a skiff of snow on the ground.  There was a bit of ice on the highway on the east side of Regina but it didn't last more than a kilometre or two.  In our 180 minute drive to Esterhazy we drove through every imaginable type of spring weather: sunny with dry roads, sleet with wet roads, snow showers, high winds, ice, fog, full scale blizzarding....the constant changes in the weather kept us awake and engaged in what would otherwise have been the most monotonous trip in some time.  Other than the bit of scenic interest provided through the rolling hills of the little Qu'Appelle Valley, we had over 2 hours of brown mud, brown fields, brown everything under a grey, cloudy sky.  Blaaaaah!!!

Things livened up in Esterhazy.  The congregation there is vibrant, a lot of fun, completely engaged in the worship and the providers of some of the best after church snacks and lunches in the diocese!  We were completely delighted by the organist.  She is one of those rare people in whom there truly is no guile.  She is not in the least self-conscious and she is honest and she truly loves Jesus.  When she plays the organ she has only one tempo: break neck speed. BUT we have to say that our most unfavourite Easter morning hymn, "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord", was for once in our experience not sung like a funeral dirge!  She sang along with the congregation, not always at the same pitch, but with all her heart.  During the pre-service music she raced through more songs than I realized our hymn book contained, vocally accompanying herself for some of them and singing the lyrics in a mix of English, Spanish and Czech!!  I can't say I have ever listened to anything quite like it at any point in any church service, ever in my life....and I loved every second of it.  Her heart is so sold out to the Lord and she is so real and so lacking in ego and arrogance that we just loved every crazy thing she did sitting at the keyboard.  After church we had a lot of fun visiting with everyone over poppyseed loaf, candied fruit buns, cheese and assorted fresh fruit.

The weather had improved significantly for the drive home, other than the temperature. The closer we got to Regina, the colder it got!  When we stopped for gasoline at the station near our home, we felt like the wind was blowing ice right through us as we stood at the pump wishing the gasoline tank had been less empty so we could have gotten back into the vehicle sooner! BRRRRRR!!!!  

Back at home we both changed into warmer clothes before grabbing two plates of dessert from our kitchen counter and heading out once again to yet another Easter dinner and party.  Tonight we really, really, really enjoyed a ham dinner with scalloped potatoes, peas, carrots and a green salad.   The mixture of squares and cookies and baklava I took for dessert went over well.  This was a most hilarious bunch of people so the time passed awfully quickly and then it was time to come home and stay home! hahaha

We arrived home to a lovely phone message from our son.  We called him back for a short chat.  He was just on his way to visit some Jewish friends and they were having a Seder celebration....a few days late, but at least everyone they wanted to be with them could come this evening.  They are not actually observant Jews, but they do enjoy the Seder and whatever it means to them now in their own lives.  My son loves going to their remembrance celebration each year.

My husband's sermon was good this morning.  He really drove home the idea that the whole point of the resurrection of Jesus has a place and purpose in our lives right now, rather than just pointing to the hope of future resurrection for his disciples.  He asked how the resurrection should be transforming us into people who have the ability to draw on the vast power and resources of God to change the lives of our friends and families and to improve our communities as  a whole.  He titled it, "Holy Week Coffee Shop Chatter: 'bout that Resurrection, eh?"  hahaha  He also asked what life would be like in a community where there was no one living who had access to that kind of power for transformation.  That certainly got a few folks' attention, haha.

My diet has been off for the past 3 days. My exercise has been nearly non-existent.  Now the holiday fun is over and it is time to get back on the programme and get/keep myself healthy!  This morning sitting in church I was feeling kind of hungry and realized my blood sugar had dropped to the point where my lips were getting numb.  I whipped 2 stoned wheat thin crackers out of my purse and chowed down in the middle of my husband's sermon, haha.  That fixed everything up just fine.  

So, back to real life tomorrow.  What a great weekend: the recognition of Jesus' death and the celebration of his resurrection, the resurrection of our social life in this city..........two things to celebrate this weekend, that is for sure.

Thank you Lord for Jesus and the suffering you endured because of your love for us, for friends, for food, for family, for fun....for life on this planet, the good times and the bad.

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