Here it is again. Another snow storm. Kids are jumping with joy. Parents are scrambling to find care. Our driveway's already been plowed once this morning. If the models keep going like they are now, we may get another big storm Wednesday into Thursday of next week. That's what my husband tells me. He know a fair amount about weather. I work from home (for the most part), so stormy weather doesn't create many complications for me. Snow makes me happy. My husband is always in a good mood, when it snows. It's infectious in our household.
There's joy that kids all over have from not having school today. That joy that I see every time my husband tells me a storm may be coming is nothing compared to the joy that we are to have when faced with trials. You may be thinking, "What?" James writes about this joy: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4 NIV).
As a church community we have faced trials. We will face trials in the future. It's important to keep a proper perspective in the midst of them. God is using these trials to make us into mature Christians. It's up to us to persevere and do good. This joy may not be completely present today or a year from now. There will be pure joy one day. I can promise you that.
There are some years that go by in our lives in which we easily forget. On Chris and my last wedding anniversary we were reminiscing on what we had done on each of our anniversaries.
It took us a good ten minutes to remember our forth anniversary. Finally it dawned on us that it was a very busy week - a big meeting, a graduation for a sister, and cleaning (what we did to get through seminary) all in the span of a few days. Guess what we did on our anniversary? That's right - we cleaned. We went out for lunch, but that was about it. I remember sharing a crab cake. That's about it.
Our fifth anniversary, on the other hand, was more memorable. I got the day off from nannying (what I did before coming to Vermont). They gave it to me. I didn't even ask. What a great gift. Chris and I were living in Portsmouth, NH. It was a beautiful day. We walked around the city, got coffee, and went to the park. In the evening we went to a seafood restaurant for dinner, and then walked to a bakery for dessert. It was extra special, because we were expecting our first child. No one but us knew at the time, so I could still fit in a nice non-maternity dress. It's one to remember.
I will always remember 2010. You may be thinking about the fire at this point. That's only one part of what I'll remember. My immediate family grew. Our family moved (three times). Chris and I are no longer thinking about the future as much. We were in a very special wedding. We went to a difficult funeral. We took a big trip to see my brother. We grew our first garden (Our little one is still enjoying the butternut squash!). Some of these things are more memorable than others, but it's been a year to remember.
We want you all to know that we are so glad that God brought us here to South Londonderry. Out of the challenges resulting from the fire this church community has seen God at work. It's been amazing to be a part of it all. We hope with the 200th anniversary of First Baptist this year that 2011 will be a memorable one! Join us and help make that happen.
This is written by Kathleen Blackey, follower of Jesus and co-pastor at First Baptist Church.