A Sunday of Gifts

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

How long has it been since you gave yourself a gift? I gave myself a gift today – a gift of time. Of course the day already was a gift since we had our “we paid it off” celebration at church today. That gift was for our whole church family. And we had a great old fashioned country church dinner after an old fashioned straight from the Bible sermon and to make the day even more unique, we had an old fashioned barbershop quartet, The Light Brigade, singing some specials for us. They have a great sound that you can check out at their website, http://www.lightbrigade.com/. The lead singer, Terry Gabhart, is Darrell’s cousin. Darrell has musically talented relatives on both sides of his family so it’s no wonder he ended up a singer. So anyway, you can guess that our church is sort of old fashioned. In good ways, we hope.

That started the day out as a gift although I was running late this morning and then the quartet got lost. They were trying to use their GPS system and Terry kept saying “She’s saying turn left” or whatever. I guess “she” hadn’t ever been out on our backroads down around Goshen. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can lose your way down in that part of our county in a country road minute. I know. I’ve been lost down on those roads myself. Anyway he says, “We’re lost.” And I must have asked the stupid question of the year. I say, “Where are you?” Well, of course he doesn’t know or he wouldn’t be lost, would he? But on the other hand, how can I tell them how to get to the church if I don’t know where they are? Finally he got back to the beginning turn off and I went out and led them in. We got there with a whole minute to spare, but the guys did a great job singing even without time to warm up and we were glad they persevered and kept looking for us.

So that was the first gift. But then I came home and gave myself another gift. A gift of time. I’ve been so busy this spring that I haven’t been able to go check the wildflowers out over at Panther Rock. So the sun was shining. I’ve got my new dog, Oscar, and my old dog, Dub, to walk with me. Plus Roxie, the Saint Bernard from across the road, came along too. It was great. I saw shooting stars, jack-in-the-pulpits, pinks, wood poppy, buttercups, trilliums, May apples, rue anemone, wild hyacinths, and various others I’ll have to look up in my flower book. A lot of the early flowers are already gone. It was nice down on the creek, but the ice storm was rough on the trees alongside it. Several large sycamores were broken and uprooted. Then at one place so many trees were over the creek, that it was a challenge for me and the dogs to make it through. Oscar and Roxie kept looking at me as if to say, “Are you sure we want to crawl through that?” Dub’s used to the creek so he just kept trucking over all the obstacles. I certainly got my exercise for today.

I hope you give yourself a gift every once in while. Maybe go to a movie you’ve been wanting to see. Or sit down in a spot of sun or maybe in the shade if it was hot like it was here today and read that book you’ve been looking forward to reading. Or take your grandkid to the park or down a creek and let them play in the mud. (My grandkids did that here on Friday night. They got sooo muddy that I had to do laundry so their momma and daddy wouldn’t see just how muddy. But they had fun.) You know sometimes we take life too seriously. So we have jobs and deadlines. We have chores and other obligations. But the Lord never expected us not to pause and enjoy. Else why would He have made our world so beautiful, our kids and grandkids so much fun, and our elders with so many great stories to tell about their lives. I hope you can take time to look and play and listen this week.

If you have a little extra time, http://www.dearreader.com/ is featuring my book, Summer of Joy, on their Good News bookclub this week. If you haven’t read it and would like to sample the story, you can sign up for the bookclub by going to their site and following the directions. It’s easy and it’s free. Then every day they send you a portion of the book that might take about five minutes to read. That usually ends up being about two or three chapters. Enough to know whether you want to read the rest of the book. I’ll also be responding to questions and comments on their forum during the week. I’d love for you to stop by and ask me a real stumper. If you do, I’ll be sure to make something up. That’s what I do, you know. Make stuff up.

Then I’ve also got a new book give-away on my website. I’m giving away an autographed copy of Summer of Joy to celebrate the book being on DearReader.com along with an autographed copy of Virginia Smith’s Age Before Beauty. Ginny’s book will make you smile as she takes you into the life of another of the sisters in her Sister-to-Sister series. Just send me an e-mail from my website or leave a comment here and you’ll be entered in the drawing that I plan to do the end of May. If you’ve already got Summer of Joy, you can always give it as a gift.

Enjoy your week and remember to give yourself a gift.