Monday, April 12, 2021

The Busy Week and the Special Sunday

     For someone who likes routines and schedules, last week was one of those weeks where all of that was thrown out the door. Whether it was appointments or things the family needed it was a less than smooth week. I am hoping for a little more order this week. 

I don't have a ton of pictures to share, but a few things to document for the first full week of April. We had lots of stormy weather last week too. We were lucky as those to the west of us got it a wee bit worse than us. I woke up to hail at 4:30 one morning and then another smaller round of it a little later. No cracked skylights though...whew! Our friends to the west covered the local news with broken car windows. 

I am thinking all that rain should really make the grass pop now. I feel like we are having a more true spring this year. I am enjoying it. That and running around to various appointments summed up the week.

The weekend is the real story in this post

Last spring when we began this crazy year I got a Facebook account. I must tell you that for anyone who knows me in the flesh knows that was the surprise of the century! 

I have adamantly railed against the social media icon since its inception. This isn't the story though...that would be for another post.

I don't get on it much. I have no real passion for it. I will say that two good things have come from it. The first is contact with cousins that I don't get to see. I enjoy seeing family pictures. All the rest of the stuff is of no interest to me. I scroll fast a couple of times a week and move on. 

The second is that I discovered that my little home church in the woods (the one in my sidebar) had a pastor who was coming weekly and that his daughter was posting it on Facebook. During the week whether I was ironing or doing some task that provided time to listen I would put it on and listen. 

Let me share just a wee bit of history. The church was my mother's side of the family's home church. Her family is buried in the church cemetery. It is on land that was owned and surrounded by that part of my family. When my dad passed away at the age of 5 we moved back "home" and I attended there until moving to Brewton in 6th grade. 

Those elementary years are such formative years. I know it personally and of course watched it with my own children as well as observed it teaching for 31 years.

That little church in the woods holds a dear a special place in my heart even though other churches do too.

My family that live right there at it have not been attending there for a very long time. IT is so small that it has never had a full time pastor. It is one that was served by the Methodist board with a once a month or bi-monthly pastor for most of its time. 

While a pastor is important, let us not ever forget the importance of the congregation and lay people. Those are the images and things that come to my mind and those people were the building blocks of my faith.

I digress...

Anyway, 

Currently, a pastor has taken over three small churches such as Hartwood and preaches three messages every Sunday. Hartwood gets their message at 11:00. I have been tuning in each week and listening and a seed was being sown in my heart that I needed to take my mama and go one Sunday.

Two weeks ago, the pastor mentioned that yesterday would be Homecoming at Hartwood. I remember homecomings at Hartwood as a small girl. That seed sprouted up in my heart with a resounding ---"I am going to make this happen if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise."

Yesterday, Mother and I attended Homecoming at Hartwood with her youngest brother and his wife who can walk to it if they choose. For reasons that won't be discussed here in this post, people can get out of a routine and I think a new one will be formed. 

My mother's sister who lives on the dirt road on the other side of that church attends another church now and probably won't attend it but she has two sons who live within sight of it that I hope another seed was planted.

I enjoyed it so much. Talk about a blast from the past. Yes, many people have passed away from my childhood, but many like me are much older and have children and grands that I didn't recognize, but I recognized enough to have a heart soaring. I have never been one much for reunions but this one was such a blessing.

Reason enough has already been said to know that I have been blessed by such an odd thing as Facebook, but to watch my mama's face and body yesterday was simply amazing. 

I took her home and she felt every bit of comfort that home can afford one. 

We sang "The Little Church in the Wildwood" and "When We All Get to Heaven" and listened to a sweet message about heaven being our real homecoming. We saw faces that brought back sweet memories of service and fellowship.

It was a good day to be in the old home church. I am so happy I listened to the Holy Spirit's prompting.

Like I said this is not a post of pictures but of words that need to be documented. 

Oh and my Aunt Faye up early before her church and cooked a good meal for us all. I hated she did that. She is 81 and up and cooking for a bunch, but I could not love her more for it. It was a sweet meal with aging aunts and uncles and cousins.

My heart is full to start this week.

The girl who runs our children's ministry sent me this picture in a text while I was in church of  Tucker saying his prayers at our church here in FWB. Warms this Mimi's heart!

Does it get any better?

I will close with this picture of Mama and me at Hartwood at Christmas 1966. I was Mary in our little play. I remember that night so well. So much can be done even without a full time pastor. 
The church is His people. 

I am grateful for a mother who always saw fit to have in church.



Now, I have made a big deal about lay people, but I can't say enough good about that pastor who has taken on three small churches in rural areas where there is as much need as a large city. Drugs and lack of jobs have ruined many of our rural areas. This pastor could be retired but he is choosing to minister to such areas. There will be an extra jewel in his crown.

Here is to a week of housekeeping and looking forward to a special visit with a friend. I hope to do a stitching post soon.

Leaving you with the lyrics to the song, but imagine a white church instead of a brown one:)
Sandy

here's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier spot in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones so sweetly are calling
Oh come to the church in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I loved so well
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, 'neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the vale

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

There, close by the side of that loved one
'Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom
When farewell hymns shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb

(Oh, come, come, come, come)

Come to the church by the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the vale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Sandy, I enjoyed this post so much! Taking your mom 'home' for the Sunday service meant so much to her and to you! A great memory to tuck away that will fill your heart every time you pull it out!! xo

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    1. It honestly blessed my mother even more than I could have imagined. I am so glad I did it.

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  2. What a wonderful day for you and your mom, Sandy. There really is something so special about going back to your home church. I still remember where my family sat and all of our fellow church members, the choir practices, youth fellowship group trips to Appalachia, etc. Lots of special memories. I so love the photo of your little man--so very sweet! And the photo of you and your mom is wonderful as well. I'm sure this meant a great deal to her--and to you. Hope more happy memories will be made with her very soon ♥

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    1. She is feeling pretty good these days. Her usual kidney issues are going but nothing to take her in for, so I am trying to keep her spirits up.

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  3. What a beautiful post, sweet Sandy! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

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  4. A wonderful post, Sandy. I see I've missed a lot of your beautiful spring days with my little blogging break recently, but I'm so glad I popped in here for this. What a gift you gave to your mother - and to yourself. Thank you for sharing it with us. Inspiring us to not let those inspired moments pass us by. And what a precious photo of Tucker. :)

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    1. Thanks, Becki. I am guilty of thinking I should do something and not following through far too many times, so I am really glad I followed through.

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  5. I am crying as I read this. That is SO wonderful, Sandy! I am SO happy you listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to take your Mama and go to the church homecoming! What a special time that was for her especially, but I can tell it really blessed your heart tremendously too. I love those old country churches and it sounds like you have quite a good memories of yours. Love that song too. Perfect ending to a great story. Thank you SO much for sharing it. I love Tucker's picture too. Precious child praying to Jesus. And I love your picture as well!! Precious memories.

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    1. You know I knew I would enjoy just sitting in there one more time, but I had no idea how much it would bless us both.

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  6. It is always good to revisit those places that meant a lot as a child. Love the picture of you and your mama. You are a good daughter.

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    1. I am not ALWAYS a good one, but every now and then I get it right.

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  7. When older children make less than the best choices, it is a comfort to remember times like this with Tucker's picture in church. The best seeds were planted in our children and we ask the Lord to grow those seeds into true righteousness as they mature.

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    1. More wisdom in those words than one can really fathom in a different stage of life.

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  8. What a beautiful post, Sandy. I am glad you were able to take your Mom and go to the homecoming at Hartwood. It was definitely a calling and what memories. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. What a beautiful blessing for you and your mom! God is good!And little Tucker is just precious! Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Sandy: It is wonderful your Pastor is taking on three church's, it seems that in all religions that is a common happening. Tucker is positively adorable, I just wish he would stay young, it just seems time is flying by.
    Super cute photo of you and your mother.
    Have a wonderful week-end

    Catherine

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    1. Tucker is truly growing up so fast. He is talking so much and we have the most fun conversations. Oh to slow down time. When I am feeling stressed about the world, all I have to do is spend time with him. Thank you sweet blogging friend. I go that pattern and plan to go ahead and stitch it this week. I have some linen that should work.

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I am so glad you stopped by my little blog. Drop in again anytime.
Sincerely,
Sandy