The big moving day finally came last week. We have now moved into a lovely house and it is wonderful! Lots of windows looking out at beautiful scenery, lots of cupboards, my own little TV in the kitchen that has HGTV and Food Network instead of news and sports… (although, I will say that Mark suffered through my favorite programs on many occasions while we were confined to the apartment) and the all-important laundry room — I love it!
After three long days of signing papers, packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, etc. I was quite exhausted when the weekend came. Since it was Easter, my schedule for the weekend was a little unusual. One of the Starting Point groups that I’m in on Sunday chose to cancel for the weekend because several group members would be out of town. The other Starting Point group I’m in on Sunday chose to meet on Saturday evening before the worship service in order to help make room for our special guests on Sunday. So, on Saturday I participated in a Starting Point group at 5 and then attended the worship service at 6.
If you were in that Saturday worship service, you know it was absolutely awesome! I’ve never been in a service quite like that one. I left that night feeling I had truly been in God’s presence in a very special way.
Since I didn’t have an SP group on Sunday and I had already attended an absolutely awesome worship service, I decided to exercise my option to stay in on Sunday morning. It felt very strange, but after I got Stephen and Mark off to church, I really enjoyed having this wonderful, quiet house all to myself. Totally comfortable in jeans and my NewSpring hoodie, I relaxed with a cup of coffee and unpacked a few more boxes.
As I contemplated lunch and my still mostly empty refrigerator, I decided I really needed a little trip to the grocery store for a couple of things, but it was almost time for Mark and Stephen to get home, so I decided to wait until they arrived to let them know where I was headed. (That was my first mistake.) When they arrived, Mark decided to go along with me to the store, so he, in his dress slacks, sweater and dress shoes and me with no make-up, in my jeans, sweatshirt and sneakers, drove to Wal-Mart on this beautiful Easter Sunday.
As soon as we stepped out of the car, someone called out to Mark and wanted to tell him about how much they love NewSpring. I kept moving forward, hoping they would not realize we were together. As soon as we got our shopping cart, someone else spoke to Mark about the service as I moved straight ahead to my task. It seemed like with every aisle there was someone else, dressed for this wonderful day, who wanted to greet Mark and speak to him about either the broadcast or the weekend services. As I quickly turned around the corner of one aisle where another conversation had started, I heard Mark say to this couple, and I want you to meet my wi……., his voice trailed off as he looked and realized I wasn’t there. How embarrassing!
When he caught up with me he had a grin from ear to ear. I told him I just thought of something I needed from the other side of the store and could he please go get it for me and meet me at the checkout. While he was gone, I grabbed the last couple of grocery items I needed and made a dash for the express lane. I met Mark there and as the gentlemen scanned my items, I began to feel I was “home free.” Just as I swiped my card, the checker looked up at Mark and asked “Have you had a chance to relax a little since the service this morning?”
It’s a good thing I’m a good sport, because Mark was very amused at my self-consciousness and had to laugh out loud on our way home. Then, after I dealt with my embarrassment, we were both excited to realize how many people in our community are being blessed by the ministries of NewSpring. We are both so thankful and excited to be a part of what God is doing here! And next time I go to the store with Mark, I’ll make sure he’s in jeans too!