Monday, January 26, 2009

For My Church Family

"Come here, Gabriel. I know I can hold you longer than your sister used to let me hold her." :o)

Last night, when we were at our weekly Sunday night fellowship at Ray and Shirley's house, I heard "Mr. Ray" (as all the kids call him) say this as he was about to hold Gabriel. My brain started to process his thoughts drifted to when we were brand new to FBC St. James. It just makes me smile to think that we've been a part of this church family for over two years now. I do remember Ray holding Sarah, and he's right...she'd only let him hold her for about 10 seconds before she'd start to cry! She wasn't quite as good at going to different people! But now, she gets so excited to see Mr. Ray. In fact, on Wednesday nights, she will start to yell, "Mr. Ray! Mr. Ray!" as we begin to pull into the church parking lot. He's her teacher for our AWANA program.

My church family is so very dear to me. If it wasn't for them, I would not feel like this is home. And it was very, very difficult for me to start attending a church that wasn't my "home" church. I had been a member of FBC Owensville since I was 12, and I just felt like I'd never find a place that fit just right. And then...God used an email to drastically change my way of thinking:

"The truth of the matter is...I don't know that you will ever replace that home feeling of the church you grew up in! I know...those memories took years to develop and represent the core of who you are today. I still struggle with that and we have been here for almost 7 years! I say that...not to discourage you but to encourage you! I don't think you need to replace your home church. It's just that God has called you out to worship in another church and in another community for His Kingdom sake." -Anthony Gillen

So I began to get involved, and I met so many people. I love my Sunday school class and our Sunday night fellowships. I love the teachers my children have for Sunday school and AWANA. It's great to be a part of several committees so I can give my input! :o) I enjoy writing for the associational newsletter. It's great to sing in the choir. I miss ringing handbells and hope to get back in the swing of things soon!

And what a blessing to have these people in my life when I was pregnant! Oh, I am such the pathetic, sickly, pregnant person! :o) Several times there were friends from church who offered to watch Caleb and Sarah for me for a morning or afternoon so I could just rest and puke in peace...haha! Friends also helped when I had doctor appointments. And then when Gabriel was born, friends helped to make sure the kids made it to AWANA on Wednesday night and that Caleb could go to preschool on Thursday. They also brought dinners to us for about two weeks so we would have one less thing to have to do with a newborn in the house!

I guess I say all this because I'm so glad to have met these people. They have made me a better mom and wife. They have helped me grow as a Christian. I love you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ!


Mrs. Haid said...

That is such a great story! I was baptized at FBC in St James when I was in 5th grade. My family attended and I remember Mr. Ray! My mom taught GA's on Wednesday nights.

I am also glad to know that there is some other person who isn't a star while pregnant! If I hear one more person say "I wasn't sick at all during pregnancy..."... ah!

Causey Fam said...

We love you too! So glad you are here!!

cheryl & dave w. said...

yes, you are right--fbc st. james is a great church (since i know from experience!!)! =) i really miss seeing everyone there and i still find it so ironic that several people i knew from SBU landed in my mom's class after i moved to shreveport!! small world! so glad you found such a great church family and are so definitely makes the transition a little easier, and makes it feel more like "your church". please tell "mr. ray" that i said "hi" and that i miss both he and shirley very much!!! =) he is a TERRIFIC role model for kids!!!!!

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