Family, Crusty Stuff, and Church Pews

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The state flower of Tennessee is the iris and early May is iris time. Last weekend was beautiful at our place–irises blooming in the yard and all our children, their spouses, and grandchildren gathered inside.

Reunion Sunday 008

On Saturday night we sat around the dining table and enjoyed pigs in a blanket. Being Notgrasses, we played a history game called Chronology after the kids went to bed. An in-law, who will remain nameless, teased that it wasn’t fair to play that game because Ray would win. “That’s why I picked it,” he said, with tongue in cheek.

On Sunday morning we all squeezed into our usual church pew, where we praised God together. After church, we ate a big Sunday dinner and enjoyed one another.

Amazingly, every child took a nap at the same time, spread strategically around the house to keep them from waking each other up. Audra, Bethany, Mary Evelyn, and I chatted, cleaned up the kitchen, and sat down for more chatting.

John, Gregory, Nate, and Ray loaded up the van so John’s family and Ray and I could head north on Monday morning for the homeschool convention in Pennsylvania. When they finished, the adults enjoyed a family dessert classic, we call “crusty stuff.”

Everyone made their own sundaes, using plain yogurt, maple syrup, blueberries, raspberries, and homemade “crusty stuff.” A couple of days before, I had thrown my “crusty stuff” ingredients that were currently in the pantry and refrigerator into the food processor: almonds, dates, pecans, coconut, a little butter, and a bar of dark chocolate. It is rarely the same two times in a row.

In the late afternoon, we gave “until next time” hugs. Then it was time for Ray and me to be grateful for the joy of something we know is not possible for every family–three generations talking together, eating together, playing together, working together, having fun together, and the pinnacle, sitting on the pew together. We are grateful that God blessed us all with the opportunity and that our children and their spouses made the decisions necessary to make it happen.

In Colossians, Paul spoke of what he wanted for the churches in Colossae and Laodicea. He cared about their relationships with God and with one another. That is what we parents want for the members of our families, too.

That their hearts may be encouraged,
having been knit together in love,
and attaining to all the wealth that comes
from the full assurance of understanding,
resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery,
that is, Christ Himself,
in whom are hidden all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:2-3, NASB



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