Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sweet Sunday in Holland, MI... part 1

Mariama squealed, giggled, and wriggled out of my arms upon seeing the children in the nursery.  No hiding the sheer joy she had as she barreled toward them with all the momentum a 1 year old can get on all fours. I thanked the women for giving me the opportunity to sit through a whole church service and went upstairs to join in the worship. Oh the worship!  I love the vibrancy of Nigeria, the mingling of languages, rhythms, colors, and spontaneous choreography that still, after 9 years, makes me exhale with delight and awe.

However, in Harderwyk Christian Reformed Church, the serene sounds, gentle movements, subtle harmonies, and rich lyrics of the words in my dialect of English allowed me to rest, guards down, spirit ready. It was the moment the Olympians catch their breath after an exhilarating sprint and look up to heaven with a sigh of pleasure.  The moment a husband and wife  finally get to the restaurant on a rare date night and are caught up in a loving gaze.  All of this prepared me for the poetic exhortation on the Holy Spirit and his working in our lives.  Pastor Joshua challenged a life of faith and grace without the acknowledgement of the continual conversation and awareness of the Spirit's part in living such a life.  He unfolded stories from Scripture and testimonies of congregants, drawing us together in a longing to reach in, reach out, wonder, receive, connect.

If that wasn't all enough, God sent me to the beach.  No, I didn't hear a voice, but a drive to take Mariama to the beach found me standing on the beach on Sunday afternoon looking for a sandy spot to call my own. I felt a little silly, having phoned five families to see if they wanted to join me on the beach on this scrumptious sunny Sunday! Just as I was ready to beeline for a free spot on the crowded beach, I heard a loud, "Christy Yoder!" My head jerked to see a pastor friend and his wife placing a cloth on the sand where she laid one of their 3-month old twin boys. I immediately felt loved by God and within the family of Christ as my friend introduced me to an adult MK who is an arborist. He knew one of my dear adult MK friends from my college days and my brother is an arborist!
We spent precious moments watching our children play in the sand, wading into the water, and sharing what life holds for us now.

What a sweet Sunday...but it only got richer! Read the next post!

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