Tuesday, April 1, 2008


"May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." --Numbers 6:24-26

One of my best friends recently lost her house to fire. Her husband had gone to work and she was preparing to leave herself when she discovered her house engulfed in flames. She quickly grabbed her 2 dogs and ran to get help. Fortunately, her parents live close by and she was able to call for help from there. But, the next few hours were a nightmare that I cannot even imagine. Watching the home she'd lived in for 20 years go up in smoke is beyond my comprehension and no words could ever be enough to express my concern for her.

But, while she lost most of her worldly goods, Debbie has been an example of courage and grace under pressure as she has been able to keep things in perspective. Thankfully, no person or animal was injured in the fire and they had ample insurance to cover the things that have been lost. And while she would never want to have to go through this again, she claims that she would never trade the blessings and lessons she has learned from this experience. That's right. . . blessings.

Last night, we had a special Women's Event at our church---a dinner and program entitled "Spring Showers". Planned months ago, Debbie (who is in charge of our Women's Ministry) decided on a program that focused on the blessings that we receive in unexpected places. Little did she know that she would find stories in her own life that would provide examples and inspiration to others. And. . . little did she know that we would secretly plan a great surprise for her.

You see, as a fun part of the program, everyone had been instructed to bring a gift for themselves---wrapped as if you were attending a shower. Well, after the devastation of Debbie's fire, I got the idea of us bringing gifts for her instead of for ourselves. And everyone got on board, excited about the idea. The trickiest part was keeping it a secret----Debbie likes to be in charge and would have quickly nixed the idea if she'd found out. So we began quietly spreading the word by word of mouth and late night phone calls. And as we spread the word, the numbers for the event began to grow. Even non-church members wanted to participate in this show of love. So last night, 135 ladies gathered to hear her story, enjoy each other's company and provide one more memorable blessing for her!! It was great!! She was completely surprised and overwhelmed! And we were once again reminded that while it's great fun to receive, it is so much more fun to give!!!
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