One of the astounding things about the women in our congregation and our sister congregation of Trinity Reformed is the impressive amount of output in the form of showers. This month five showers are on the calendar for new babies and brides, and that is not really unusual. I attended a bridal shower Saturday morning and another one tonight, and the thing that astonishes me is the enthusiasm and ongoing generosity of the women. Piles of presents come through the door, and this is not insignificant. These girls are getting a wonderful start on their married life or on their babyâ€™s wardrobe. And the showers are not just for the first or second baby. No way. The ladies here are into kids, and each baby is welcomed into the community with a shower no matter what number he or she is. I tell you there is no stopping these women!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Because of the sheer volume of showers, some years ago we shifted over to the open-house shower. This way the women can arrive, come and go, stay as long as they want, and press on. This has helped immensely, because if you are going to have to arrive on the dot and stay for the whole duration, frankly, nothing else would get done around here, and these women are doing far more than I can even imagine.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â How do people afford it all? I think some folks are adding a shower category to the monthly budget. But many go in together on a gift, and there is usually a cash envelope to go toward the swing set, the stroller, the new high chair, or some such.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And then there are the weddings. Truck loads of weddings. We are simply getting lots of practice at celebrating, and Iâ€™m starting to think we have almost achieved pro status now. Doug and I went out of town over spring break for a couple of weeks, and we missed two out-of-town weddings, one in town, and before we left I dropped off gifts for the two showers I would be missing. Itâ€™s just amazing.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The hospitality involved in giving the showers, the commitment of the women to pack up on a rainy or snowy night to get to the shower, and the complete absence of any grumbling about it all is just remarkable. It is a glory, and who would complain about that? This is the overflow of joy that comes from Sabbath living.
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