For anybody who's interested, I recently wrote a brief church update...
(And I apologize in advance for not posting pictures of Jubie, I will as soon as I can!)
This summer has been full of changes for the church--Amanda and Phil were married and moved to Maryland, we're considering neighborhoods, and of course, Mike and I welcomed Jubilee Grace into the world! And amidst the changes, the church has been going through the first part of Ephesians, attempting to look at the letter with fresh eyes, free from preconceived ideas and notions about our relationship to the Lord and about our Lord himself.
But honestly, I've received more encouragement and more of the Lord through the saints themselves than I have by looking at the letter to the Ephesians. For me, the past several months have been either about being pregnant or about being a new mom--carrying her outside the womb has definitely been more of a challenge than carrying her inside! So, my "spiritual" moments have come when I'm sitting quietly with Jubilee and feeding her, when a sister drops by to bring dinner (or does my laundry, or takes care of a sink full of dirty dishes), and when a brother talks gently with Jubilee or tries lulling her to sleep with a guitar. When Paul says to the Ephesians, "blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...," I am less likely to view "every spiritual blessing" as some ethereal, other-worldly thing, and now more likely to recognize the blessing of stolen, precious moments of time with the saints, my family here in Raleigh.
This does not minimize, however, how much I miss my family (my blood relatives and the church!) in Atlanta, or how much I miss the city itself. I was a military brat, and Atlanta was the first place we "settled." So, it became home in a way that no other place had, and leaving it has been much harder than I anticipated, especially as I deal with the challenges and joys of new motherhood. There have been a lot of adjustments made and space created for growth.
On a completely random note...isn't it the strangest thing the way tao is pronounced?