Friday, January 15, 2010

The Book Club

4:37 p.m. Today's project was to start on my Bible study for the young women at Moms' Morning next Saturday. I had already shared with our women's leadership what the passage would be--Ephesians 6, the topic of child discipline as part of the spiritual warfare of believing families. Now there would be no turning back, so I'd better get my commentaries, my teaching notes from a past study on that powerful passage and my Bible and dig in!
But the Lord had a fun surprise for me today, a call from my friend and book buddy Charlotte, who has read a whole pile of fiction books I traded with her just before Christmas. She wanted to drop by and return them. Like me, she is a retired teacher who reads voraciously and is devoted to women's Bible studies. Unlike me, Charlotte spent her entire 38 year career teaching in Christian schools--even running her own small school-- beginning with Maranatha Academy in Costa Mesa. She recently suffered a layoff from struggling Riverside Christian School on Monroe Street. (I taught there myself from 1997-98).
What to do with our newly-found free time? Charlotte subs about twice a week, but I have not been called, because public districts have to give preference to pink-slipped teachers over retirees. The private schools I'm listed with are also using former staff members, so it is obviously not God's will for me to go back to the classroom at this time. After all, I did retire early to be home with my disabled husband, and that is my priority. Proverbs 19:21 says, "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the LORD's counsel--that will stand." And for now, teaching and writing ministry, Bible study, gardening, helping my grown daughters and loving and spending the next few good years with my husband are the Lord's counsel for me!
Charlotte brought over several new [to me] Karen Kingsbury novels, and I gave her a handful of Amish inspirational stories--all good reads, the kind that stir up "love and good works" in your heart along with those of the well-drawn characters. The writer to the Hebrews, in Chapter 10, verse 24 would approve.
We visited for a good hour and a half, catching up with news of all of our friends and each other. We went out to the garden and harvested a 1/2 grown carrot, a bunch of cilantro and a couple of kinds of lettuce. We also found a ripe lemon on our tree. Hope it tastes all right--it's still early days for citrus. Charlotte and our labs took to each other quickly--Bailey and Jada recognize a dog lover every time.
After Charlotte left, Steve took a break from yardwork and we split a huge calzone Heidi and her boyfriend Pavel had made earlier in the week, yum! As one kind of preparation for marriage, they are learning to cook together. Of course, Heidi does remember the many recipes for meals, desserts and snacks I taught her to prepare, but I love the ambitious dishes they are trying. Heather and her hubby Nick did the same thing when they were dating a few years ago--it's just so sweet to see!
I procrastinated a bit, putting together a photo album of my son Kriss' wedding. With exhortation and prayer from a Facebook friend or two, I finally did sit down with a delicious cup of black coffee from my new Gevalia machine (their "breakfast blend") and a couple handfuls of Reese's pieces candies to begin composing my Bible study for the young moms.
Pamela and Helen did just what Hebrews says--they stirred me up to do my "good work." May God be glorified above all!

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