Five things Friday roundup: Pieces of my life

Black soil background with a small two-leafed green sprout in the center. Photo by Majharul Islam on Unsplash.
1. Supporting Local
In our small town of just over 18,000, we have a brick and mortar Christian bookstore.  Their small staff is amazing and will take the time to help you shop for just the right gift in person, over the phone, or even via email.  They can order just about any book within a week, support our local homeless shelter with toilet paper drives (offering a discount when you donate), host events for local church librarians, and participate in many community events.  It’s so important to spend a few minutes more to support these local stores that provide jobs for friends and neighbors, generate tax income for our communities, and exist to provide hope.
2. Long Covid
As many of us return to individual and congregational activities that look much like pre-pandemic ones, those affected by long Covid may feel left behind.  Ranging from a loss of taste or smell to wide-spread pain, from asthma to neurological issues, long Covid includes a wide variety of symptoms and levels of severity.  Take a moment to have grace for those still struggling to find effective relief from symptoms and who may still need to ask for more Covid precautions, or are hesitant to engage fully in the same way they did before the pandemic began.
3. Some Silly Squirrels
Our family has been reading the Dead Sea Squirrels series by Mike Nawrocki.  Written for ages 6-10, we’ve been reading these aloud since our daughter was 3 years old.  Merle and Pearl lived in Bible times, were dehydrated by sea salt from the Dead Sea, rehydrated and now live in Tennessee with 12-year-old Michael who runs into typical childhood trouble.  Pearl and Merle always have some wise advice from what they saw and heard from Jesus and other New Testament characters.  They are fun and faith-filled!
4. The Family of God
I think of that song I learned years ago by Patricia Shelly:  “All grown-ups, all children, all mothers, all fathers are sisters and brothers in the family of God.”  As I teach the children on Wednesday nights this spring, I am so thankful for the faithful volunteers to help make our children’s faith formation programs work.  These beloved members of God’s family are becoming my daughter’s other mothers, fathers, and grandparents who are modeling how to live and love in relationship with God.  The programs of the church can only continue when we all faithfully give of our time and energy out of our giftings–even when we think we’ve “put in our time.”  We all need one another!
5. Planting & Growing
We’re probably a little late, but we finally had time to get some flower bulbs in the ground this last week.  My little one was very excited to clear away the landscaping rock, watch me cut the weed barrier, help dig the hole, place the bulb and cover it up.  She was on to other things before we gave them a good sprinkle from the watering can.  As I think back on the act of planting, it strikes me that God might clear away parts of my life (that may seem good to me) in order to prepare my heart, soul, and life to bear new fruit.  God may have planted the seed of something new in me that needs nurturing and time to grow.  Perhaps you’ll discover new life bearing fruit in you this spring.

Jennie Wintermote

Jennie Wintermote splits her day-time hours between the Western District Conference Resource Library in North Newton, Kansas and Anabaptist World. Read More

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