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May Pastor's Note

April showers bring May flowers… I don’t know much about gardening or flowers. I do know that crocus blossoms and daffodils tell us spring is on the way, but there are many shifts in the flora between those first blooms and the first day of May. This will be our fourth May in our “new” home. I’ve only lived in three houses for a longer stretch, and it won’t be long before two of those are eclipsed by the roots we’ve planted on Park Lawn Drive. 


One of the joys of moving to a new home is getting to be surprised by what blooms and grows, planted by others who came before, or getting to know the ways the sunsets, changing colors of trees, and other seasonal rhythms paint the home landscape. Our first Harrisonburg home in Avalon Woods was set at the top of a steep neighborhood: bad for gas mileage, but great for chalet-like mountain views that went ablaze in the fall and made me feel like I was ready to hit the slopes in the winter. Sunset Heights is aptly named. We experienced some astonishingly beautiful sunsets here. Our home on Park Lawn had previously been home to twice as many children, more big dogs, and backyard chickens, so I can actually take credit for the few things I’ve planted that have survived dogs, kids, and neglect. I’m hoping this might be the year our peach tree bears its first fruits, and I’m just glad to see leaves on the scrawny branches of what should grow into a tulip poplar. It’s not dead yet!


I delight in seeing God’s creation break forth in beauty. Whether blooming flowers, fruiting trees, or beloved children of God, there’s nothing quite like seeing something or someone grow into what and who they were created to be. I love seeing it in my kids - in Micah’s creative imagination, or the sheer joy on Isaac’s face when he sings in the school choir. I love seeing that joy on the faces of others, too. It’s one thing to ask another person what makes their heart sing, and another thing to see the song play on display with their whole being. Someone dear to me recently shared that the name and gender given to her at birth wasn’t correct, and I delight in seeing her glow using the name and pronouns that reflect the beautiful person God created her to be.


This month, I invite us to look for the blooming May flowers that surround us - actual flowers and metaphorical blooms. Let’s practice holy delight and appreciation for all that God has created, and for the people with whom we share our journeys. Take time to stop and smell the roses, literally and metaphorically, and share that delight with someone else. I’d love to hear about it!


Grace and peace,

Stephanie 

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