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The Love Quilt

My childhood was punctuated by a series of moves compliments of the US Navy.  In 17 years, I moved 14 times, living in 8 states and 3 countries.  My parents had made a commitment to have our family follow dad to each duty station, if at all possible.  Imagine seeing the moving truck that many times as a child.  Imagine setting up a home that many times as a mom.  I wish I could tell you that I learned to be adaptable to change with all those moves, but really what I learned was to cling to what never changed- family and my love quilt.  I have often said that ‘home’ during those years was wherever the family gathered around the table.  From an apartment in New Jersey to a war zone in Viet Nam, when our family gathered to pray and share a meal, I knew I was home.  That security carried me through meeting new friends, starting a new school, and finding my place on a new swim team.  I am so thankful for the strength of our family, and the faith our family shares, that made it possible to navigate all those changes.

But I still struggled with one reality that came like clockwork every day- bedtime.  Have you ever tried to go to sleep in a new place?  When the lights go out and all is quiet… that’s when you hear all the creaks and groans of your new home and see shadows that make you wonder if you are really alone.  My brothers “had to share” a room, but as the only girl I was given my own space.  That privacy was supposed to be a privilege, but I dreaded it at the end of every day.  That’s why my love quilt became so important.  The quilt was rather worn by the time I inherited it from my father.  My grandmother, who died when I was just a baby, had created the quilt for her son (my father) with pieces of fabric from her dresses.  Each piece of cloth was hand-sewn onto the quilt so that he would be wrapped in her love even after she gave him a final goodnight kiss.  My mother told me the story of the quilt each time we unpacked it in a new home.  Together we would place it on my bed.  Mom wanted me to feel the love woven into that quilt, so that every night I would be wrapped in love even after the lights went out.

Over the last few weeks, Lenape Valley has created a love quilt for our family, made of cards with words of encouragement and the promise of prayer support.  Those cards started arriving at our home right after it was announced that Greg was facing cancer surgery, and they have continued weeks after the surgery, reminding us of the love and prayers of our faith community.  Your cards, your emails, your phone calls, and most of all your prayer support have wrapped us in a beautiful love quilt.  You have made sure that we know that we are not alone on this journey.  Thank you for your faithfulness.  Thank you for your love.  We are overwhelmed by the faith community that stands with us.  Every day, as I watch Greg grow stronger, I feel God’s healing hand of grace expressed through your amazing Lenape Valley love quilt.

Today, as I write this letter, I can hear the sounds of our Push the Rock kids playing basketball in Fellowship Hall.  They are LOUD!  Most of them are too short and their arms too weak to be able to propel a basketball through the hoop, but they are still having a blast.  This week they will not only learn sports skills and important lessons in sportsmanship, they will also be introduced to Jesus.  Their coaches are eager to share Jesus with these aspiring athletes because Jesus is the love quilt that we all need.  These young people are growing up in an angry, divided world, that offers them a mixed bag of messages.  Imagine the challenge of raising a child in today’s environment.  That’s why Lenape Valley works diligently to offer our families resources to help them raise their children in the faith.  We want our kids to be wrapped in a Jesus love quilt as they go to school and participate in sports and music and drama.  We want our kids to be wrapped in a Jesus love quilt when they make friends, so that even their friends will be touched by His love.  We want our kids to be wrapped in a Jesus love quilt when they face the brokenness of this world.  When we baptize a child, we make a promise to be a part of Jesus’ love quilt in the lives of our children, so that they will know they are never alone.
God’s love always protects, always trusts,  always hopes,
always perseveres.   God’s love never fails.  
I Corinthians 13:7-8
Pause for a moment today and allow Jesus to wrap you in His love quilt… pray for someone who needs to know the blessing of His love quilt… be an active part of His love quilt today in the life of another.
With you, wrapped in love,  
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