saturday, the church threw a surprise baby shower for shannon, in which she was genuinely surprised (this is a major feet - she is almost never surprised). my mom and sisters came all the way from pittsburgh to attend. i knew about it for a long time, but once it was over, i just couldn't believe how much the church 'showered' us with gifts - a double stroller, books, gift certificates, clothes, toys, a pedicure for shannon, and stuff for jack, who will soon be a big brother (oddly enough, the father was the only member of the family completely left out of this ritual of gift-giving - what is that about?).
in all honesty, shannon and i have been in a kind of shock since the shower on saturday. she was literally shocked ("i'm sweating buckets here," she allegedly said during the festivities), but both of us are still pretty much stunned by the generosity and love shown to us by our church family.
i mean, let's be frank: we've only been here about nine months, and you could understand if the church people were still trying to get to know us, trying to heal from the loss of their previous pastors, and hoping not to get hurt by yet another pastoral appointment somewhere down the road. and yet, that hasn't been our experience at all. we have felt so welcomed here - so at home. we feel loved and cared for. the hospitality and generosity that we have received has been awesome. this shower just seems to represent for us nine months of love and acceptance. and so we sit in our home in an embarrassment of riches. we have stuff. we have community. we have a growing family. we just look at each other and shake our heads and keep saying
we are blessed.