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Noticing JOY

A blog about seeing joy in our lives and how it happens in unexpected ways.

Your Calling (January 22, 2018)

Have you been called? There is a quiet but insistent voice within you that is calling you to a purpose. This voice may be ignored by you during the busyness of your day. You may be pushing it to a small corner of consciousness as the day progresses. Sometimes it comes loudly intruding on your mind when you least expect it.

Such a calling happened to me this week. While riding in a car down a quiet street with a friend I spotted a small young dog scrambling along a roadway, seemingly heading for an important destination. He was all alone without a collar or companion and scurrying along. After telling my friend, we stopped ahead of him to intercept him and see if we could help. He looked at me as if asking who I was and what did I want. My friend left our car and proceed to entice him to come to her. He was very thin and also so scared of people that he ran away before she could convince him to come closer. Sadly, he was able to escape without us helping him.

This was a wake up call to me, reminding me that not only small dogs are hungry, but also many of God’s children go hungry too. It was a visual sight too persuasive to ignore. Oh, I know this, but it is too easy to forget about it when running from one activity to another. It recommitted me to feed the hungry in ways that I am able.

How have you been called? Have you been ignoring your inner voice or actively pursuing your call? You are being called for a purpose only you know. How will you answer your call?

A Tale of Two Kittens… (November 5, 2017)

Once upon a time there were two friendly kittens named Cleo and Leo. They lived happily with their mom and siblings in their human’s residence and enjoyed a carefree existence playing, mock fighting and eating. We don’t know what happened to disrupt their paradise. One day all was familiar and well. The next day their world was turned upside down.

One warm Wednesday morning their human placed Cleo and Leo in an oblong box, added some cat food and a small bowl, and placed the box in the back of a car. Included in the box was a letter explaining about their potty habits and their eating habits. Their human obviously loved them a lot and needed to find a loving home for them somewhere else. Why else would someone willingly give away such adorable kittens? It was a very scary ride for Cleo and Leo. They had no idea where they were going and why their mom wasn’t going with them. It was probably a short ride but had great consequence for them.

Luckily for Cleo and Leo they were transported to St Michael’s Little Thrift Shop entrance door. There they were left for the first person to find them and bring them into the shop. While the workers were discussing this marvelous event one of the regular customers came into the shop and saw the kittens. A look of intense love spread over the customer’s face as she greeted them. She was ready to adopt one, as her own beloved kitty had recently died. Her friend told her that Cleo and Leo should stay together, and she decided to adopt both kittens! Her friend convinced her to leave with the kittens to get them home to care for them immediately. And Cleo and Leo lived happily ever after!

This is just another happy story at the Little Thrift Shop. Come in and find your own story.

Love abides at St Michael’s! (July 27, 2017)

Look around you at St Michael’s. You will see parishioners engaged in working together to create a loving space for all of us. You can feel it in the service on Sunday morning as we pass the peace. It is present at the coffee hours where we exchange news of our lives. It follows us around in our community when we see each other unexpectedly.

It is present in the Thrift Shop as the ladies of the parish work to receive, price, ticket, sell and record donations and consignment goods. These ladies support and love each other as they try to show our shoppers, and others, Jesus’s love and acceptance. This is the goal of this great outreach in our church family. Yes, making money for the many charities is important, but showing Jesus’s love to everyone we encounter is a bigger goal.

If you serve on the vestry, belong to a committee, serve on the altar, read during services, study books or the Bible together, do you feel this love among us? It is definitely there affecting our conversations and decisions. We are stronger and wiser and better together because of this love.

As we begin yet another chapter in our search for our new rector let us remember all we have accomplished together and the love we share.

Have you met Catherine? (July 12, 2017)

Catherine is a regular shopper at the Little Thrift Shop.

During a procedure in which she was anesthetized, the doctor suspected that she had sleep apnea. She had testing at a sleep clinic where it was discovered that she stopped breathing 111 times an hour!

Obviously something needed to happen to bring her back to good health. She started using a cpap machine at night. She began to exercise daily by riding a trike, walking, and swimming. She took her dog Dillon with her while she was riding her tricycle around the neighborhood. She has gotten to know everyone in the neighborhood on a first name basis and made many new friends swimming each morning.

As she lost weight she shopped at the Little Thrift Shop to outfit herself with stylish new clothes. Her size dropped from size 24 to 10. This required many excursions to the shop. Among her favorites are Merrill shoes, slacks, shorts and tops. She gets her shopping fix and calls it “resale therapy” because of the good quality and price and very pleasant staff who are always ready to assist.

We look forward to seeing Catherine for many more years as she continues her exercising and healthy lifestyle.

Joy (July 5, 2017)

Joy is a feeling or state of great delight or happiness, a source or cause of pleasure or delight, the expression or display of glad feelings. When do you experience joy? When a friend greets you with a smile? When you see your child playing happily? When you accomplish a difficult task? When you hear about the happiness of a friend?

Sometimes you can experience joy just by looking at the sky, the earth and the fresh air around you. Often joyful feelings happen when we see the joy in other people. Are there people at St Michael’s who are joyful? Are you drawn like a moth to a flame to these people?

Certainly, there are many at St Michael’s who give us great feelings of joy. They are giving themselves to others with a smile and welcoming manner. Some are very quiet. Some are rather loud. All of them Infuse us with their joy if we let them.

These are the people that we want to spend time with. These are the people we want to be more like. These are the people who exemplify love.

How can we be more joyful? How can we show the love of Jesus Christ in our lives? Tell the joyful souls in your life how they inspire you. Smile and offer to help someone near you. Slow down and notice the joyful things in your world.