Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bountiful fellowship

7:15 p.m. Today's project was to enjoy a delicious barbecue with our daughter Heidi's in-laws, Constantin and Rodica, their grown children and local cousins. We hadn't seen each other since the kids' wedding in June, so this was a very welcome invitation.

Steve and I got home from church about noon. I gave him a nice sandwich and a banana so he wouldn't have a blood sugar drop, but not a big enough lunch to spoil his appetite for the 2 p.m. feast. I ate a Pepper Jack string cheese wrapped in three slices of lunch meat and a cherry tomato from our garden. After mixing up a tuna salad for next week, I took an hour's nap. Why? Because for some reason, maybe painkillers wearing off too soon, I've been waking up fully around 3 a.m. So this morning I stayed up, and after praying for a while, made a few notes about my business in my datebook, read a few pages of a Christian mystery novel, and went back to bed. Might as well "redeem the time" as Ephesians 5:16a advises!

Steve and I rarely get out to the western end of Riverside any more, because any shopping we need to do can be taken care of in the central area of town where we live, or further east in Moreno Valley between our home and Calvary Chapel. So as we exited the 91 freeway, we took in the sights and noted changes in the commercial area, and then drove into the country-ish section called La Sierra. The Ilie's home is in an area that is normally quiet, although today there was some teen angst being displayed out in the middle of the street. Since Proverbs 26:17 says, "He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears" (and I'm a dog lover), we dodged the verbal combatants and parked at the Ilies' house!

As we stepped out of our car, we looked ahead on the curb to see Heidi and Pavel parking at the same time. We exchanged various items we'd brought for one another, and strolled through the lovely green bower of assorted small trees and plants, feeling instantly cooled off, to the front door to be greeted by Pavel's brother David and his dad. In the house, his sisters Becky and Sarah were busy chopping up veggies, roasted corn and peppers for salad. Rodica rushed in from her grilling station to say hi but needed to keep a watchful eye on her pork and chicken. I showed the girls the mango and the Mary Kay cleanser/moisturizer sample packs I brought for them and their mom, and then I joined the group watching a tv preacher, then a dog training infomercial, and finally the Cooking Channel's segment on Toronto's "Japadog" hot dog street vendor's amazing cuisine. Then dinner began, with Constantin asking me to give the blessing.

The meat was generously portioned and perfectly grilled. The salads were tasty and varied, and we even had our choice of desserts. Becky made me some flourless peanut butter cookies--what a sweet, thoughtful gift for a person allergic to gluten!

The best part of the meal was the Christian fellowship and the good natured teasing of the newlyweds about starting a family! We all admired Heidi and Pavel's wedding album, which they put together beautifully. And we had some discussion of the wedding video, but most of us haven't seen the "uncut" version. As long as Heidi is happy with it, I'm content. It does remind me, though, that I need to get the big portrait of Heidi ordered from Shutterfly, and look for a 20x30" frame from Michaels. Where God guides, He provides, so I'll trust Him to make that happen!

After dinner and dessert, and the departure of our newlyweds, we four parents and the always hilarious Sister Lupe had a wonderful discussion of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. We spoke of the lessening of the active gifts being manifested in "afterglows" at church compared to the 80's and 90's. We also, as parents, shared our concern that our children walk with the Lord, above all else! Steve and I were given generous sacks of homegrown goodies to take home as we said our goodbyes. The Lord has blessed the Ilies and through them, us!

I am so grateful to have in-laws so close by in Riverside, and congenial ones at that! May we continue to enjoy our children and future mutual grandchildren for many years to come, should the Lord tarry!

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