I recently took the Call to a new congregation to serve as the Director of Christian Education (DCE). While it’s the same job I have previously had it is in a congregation located within a smaller community that reminds me of my roots in southwest Minnesota and will be a perfect place to settle down as we start our family. Leaving my previous congregation has been a transition for both Adam and I as Holy Emmanuel is the place we called home for nearly four years. It’s not so much the building but the people there, and even as I type, the faces flood my memory. So many wonderful people who walked beside us through several challenging seasons and have shaped us. Because of technology, and because we are part of the church of the Most High, we can remain connected in love and we don’t have to say goodbye. “Make new friends but keep the old”…that’s how the camp song goes and it holds true even now.
As I’ve been settling into life at Hope Lutheran I’ve met many people and i’m quickly figuring out some of the “regular customers”. One older gentlemen who I will call Mr. K I’ve become quite fond of. It never fails that he will stop by a couple times a week to give me “a hard time”. Mr. K works with initiative to brighten both the spirits of those around and the facility. Just this past week he fixed up my book shelf that was coming apart, and aided in cleaning the church carpets. He’s a bit of a jokester and reminds me quite a bit of how my Grandpa Pfeil was. In the two short weeks of me being their I have pulled out some of Grandpa’s heirloom conversation pieces including “a round tuit” and a Yooper flashlight as Mr. K and I banter about practical jokes.
This past week Mr. K came into my office with an armful of stuff for Baby B. Setting it down he revealed a pac & play and toddler bed rail explaining that all his grandkids are past the age to use any of the items. He proceeded to show me how to set up and take down the pac and play (even though I had the knowledge to do so) and expressed concern as it had pink on it so if we had a boy he thought we might not want it. “We’ll i’m sure it sleeps the same for a boy as it would a girl” and with joy and gratitude told him it would definitely be used.
As I brought the pac and play home and shared this story with Adam we can’t help but both feel grateful. This is not the the first item that’s been donated to us for Baby B to use. As our collection of baby items continues to grow we look at the assortment of gently used items each with their own story prior to arriving to us. The mixture of boy and girl clothing, toys, bouncers, swing, and equipment reveals that it takes a village to raise a child, colors don’t matter, and that Baby B will be a well outfitted second hand kiddo. 🙂
We never anticipated the challenge that would come with starting our family. As we wait for Baby B, Adam and I reflect on the journey so far and realize this was how it was supposed all along. As the pac and play is added to the waiting baby things another piece of the story unfolds. When a child is added to a family in any way is always a point of connection and brining people together but with Baby B it has only been compounded because so many people are part of it.
All of the people who have poured prayers over us, offered encouragement or advise, donated funds and garage sale items, or baby items for us to use are all part of the unfolding story. This child, who we haven’t yet met, has brought so much love, joy and excitement to not just Adam and I but the lives of literally hundreds of people.