Saturday, May 7, 2011

Church Mothers

I'm bringing the flowers tomorrow for the chalice table at church, which I do a couple of times every year. I honor teachers and leaders--I honor the lovely and talented colleague that shares my job. I like to make my gratitude public and share it with the whole congregation.

But this time I'd like to share my gratitude even further.

The flower dedication written in the order of service says:

The flowers today are given by Kari Kopnick in honor of the women in churches everywhere who lovingly "mother" the packs of children who raid the snacks and run when they should walk and are sometimes loud.

Especially in honor of one of Kari's "church mothers" Barb Bollag; with heartfelt thanks for passing down the family china to a church daughter.

I grew up with the blessing of a group of church mothers. These were women who were always there, who's presence runs through the story of my growing-up years. I have a wonderful mother, but I was wildly blessed to have a pack of church mothers, too.

Recently, Barb Bollag, the woman I mention by name in the flower dedication, offered my family her beautiful family china. She doesn't have a daughter or daughter-in-law to use the beautiful dishes. But of course, family isn't always arranged by blood or by marriage. Sometimes family just happens.

I flew back to Minnesota for a my nephew's wedding a few weeks ago, and my mom and I went to pick up the china. It was lovely to see Barb, and of course we had a good discussion about politics and about what was good and not so good in the life of our little church, my home church. The dishes were even more beautiful than I hoped, and we loaded the boxes in the car.

I explored just about every way of getting them home, but finally decided to take a long term approach--I very carefully packed all the plates in a carry-on bag, we packed a box of serving pieces in a whole slew of bubble wrap and peanuts and we decided the cups and and saucers would have to wait at my parent's house until the next time we drove back. Everything made it back to Washington without a chip.

I finally got to use the dishes for Easter....first I had to find a special place to put them (clean out cupboards, buy felt dividers.....)

and shop for just the right linens (spring but not kitchy--these dishes are far too classic for bunnies and eggs!) and then the old flatware just looked awful next to the beautiful new plates, so--new flatwear came into the house! That was a fun process, and I am so pleased with the result:

Today is my Mother's Day. Since I work on Sundays, we've decided to reschedule our holidays, so we're celebrating by buying a chimnea fire pit for the patio, and spending some time all together, and having take-out on our beautiful new family china.

Thank you to church mothers everywhere, and thank you, Barb, for the family treasure. It means the world to me.

Blessings all, for a lovely Mother's Day.

No comments: