(Show Up) A day of parenthetical blessings

No, this isn’t going to be a story about receiving meals when I was sick or had a baby (now that’s a scary thought!) All I had to do was show up and two special women from All Saints blessed me by sharing their talents and opening their homes. I got to know people better who previously were “acquaintances” – you know, you can say “Hi” at church, but you never really have a conversation with them. My day began and ended delightfully!

Alison Acton has invited All Saints women to come to her house for some circuit training on Wednesday mornings from 8:30 – 9:30 AM. I have never done that before and am trying to incorporate more exercise into my life. At the last minute, I decided to go. How wonderful to not be in an intimidating class or with a exercise-crazed trainer when trying to learn to squat and stoop and lift and breathe. Well, it is a lot to try – and thankfully in a great, relaxed environment.  Children are invited and it was nice to work out while they played and watched. We went through the workout in her beautiful backyard and talked about the benefits of being in nature and a Christian perspective on exercise and fitness. How great to be talking with a sister in the Lord about some very practical applied theology, while using muscles that I know it is good for me to strengthen. We talked about child rearing, education, sports and so many things. When I left, I felt exhilarated (and sweaty and had very shaky legs). I knew I had done something very beneficial for myself, I had learned new ways to be a better steward of my body, had been able to talk with a like-minded Christian about many things and had enjoyed fellowship with Alison, who is a humble and gentle ray of sonshine (misspelling intended!)

I finished my day by attending one of the “Learn About It” women’s gatherings at Joelle Beisner’s home to learn from a pro how to decorate cupcakes. I was impressed by how easy it was to attend – register online and the time was 8:00-9:30 PM (after young children are in bed and a husband is home from work.) From the moment I entered Joelle’s home, I was delighted and blessed. She had put out a bouquet of flowers and treated us to a themed wine (Cupcake wine.) I found myself with a huge grin on my face as we listened to Joelle describe her classes at the Austin Cordon Blue School for pastry chefs. Joelle is not only talented, but very funny; she should have her own show on the Food Channel. My mother was not a baker and I’ve never done anything except try to follow a few recipes for breads and desserts. Joelle gave so many hints and helps. It was intriguing to hear about the science and art of baking and to think how the wonderful creativity of our God is evidenced even in the beauty of pastry and the love and care behind delicious and gorgeous desserts. It was fun to spend time with the women and teenagers who attended. We had many laughs as we each took a turn at decorating. Joelle exhorted us to be bold and confident in our decorating technique. Just like the circuit training in the morning, I straightened my posture, thought about my breathing and boldly attempted a new thing. The next day I excitedly shared with my husband and children all the tips I learned, the gifts we were given (pastry tips, pastry bags and a multi-purpose bowl scraper) and my first 12 attempts at cupcake decorating. I could see how pleased my husband was at the good time I had had and I know it is important for my children to see how fulfilling it is to spend time with God’s people – that being with our Christian family is truly enjoyable.

All I had to do was show up. I had a wonderful day. God gave me parenthetical blessings to begin and end the day with and I got to know several of the All Saints women better. I learned how to be a better steward of my body in the morning and how to demonstrate the creativity God gives us in a new way to end the day. Don’t pass up these opportunities to be blessed by fellowship with our church family. JUST SHOW UP!

Valerie Logwinuk