Rejoice Together

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In Luke 15, Jesus told three lost and found parables. He spoke of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. In each parable, people rejoice when what had been lost is found. Each time they rejoice with other people.

Jesus said this about the woman who found her lost coin:

When she has found it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors,
saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found
the coin which I had lost!’
Luke 15:9

Imagine how the woman and her friends and neighbors must have chattered. Envision her showing her guests the lost coin and pointing out the exact spot where it was found. See the friends sharing about times when they found something that had been lost. I am thankful that God made us to need one another and to enjoy one another, too.

I have had two “one another” moments in the last couple of days that have been especially sweet. Last night at the Greater St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo, one of you readers came by our booth and introduced herself. It meant much to me. Please do the same if you and I are at the same conference this year. I love getting to meet you!

The other “one another” moment came Wednesday night. You have probably noticed that we have a strange last name. Not only is it strange; it is extremely uncommon. Every once in a while, either our website or someone in our family receives an inquiry from another of the tiny fraction of people in the world whose last name is also Notgrass. On Wednesday night we got to meet one of them in person. I’ll call her Bev.

Bev came from five hours away to see her mother, a widow whose late husband was a Notgrass. Bev’s mother (I’ll call her Margaret) was attending a meal at her church, along with her son (I’ll call him Tom) and Bev’s son (I’ll call him Mike). Bev invited John to meet them there. John invited us to come, too. The idea of meeting people I didn’t know for a fellowship meal at an unfamiliar church felt pretty strange.

I’m like Margaret; I just married into the Notgrass family. But Bev, Tom, Mike, my husband Ray, and our son John are evidently all blood relatives even though the family connection is many generations back in Maury County, Tennessee.

This was John’s first time to connect with other Notgrasses outside of Ray’s dad’s family. This was the second time for Ray and me. We have become friends with an older couple we met after Ray found their name in a phone book in Waco, Texas! We’ve been to their home twice and out to eat a couple of times, too. This Notgrass Texan’s ancestors left Tennessee before the Civil War, but, believe it or not, he looks amazingly like Ray’s dad did!

To our amazement, Bev shared that her father had had one brother, but there was an estrangement there and they had never met any Notgrasses until they met us. We were the first ever! I later looked at Bev’s face and then at Tom’s and there it was–the Notgrass nose!

One of the most fun parts of the evening was when we shared Notgrass name stories. Margaret told of the time when Bev and Tom were in school and a fellow student decided to call their house at 2:00 a.m. When Margaret answered the phone, she heard, “Mrs. Notgrass, if it’s not grass, what is it?”

Do you know how many times we have heard that one? And the funny thing is seeing the look on people’s faces when they say it. They feel so clever and so sure they are the first person who has ever thought of that before! How fun it was to groan together over that one!

4th of July 063
Not Grass

We visited some more, we exchanged addresses, we took family pictures, we hugged, we said so long, and we left happy that we had connected.

May the Lord cause you to increase and abound
in love for one another, and for all people,
just as we also do for you.
1 Thessalonians 3:12

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