We've been dealing with some sort of stomach bug for over a week now. David had it last Sunday and Joe came down with it this past Saturday. Joseph and Will were sick too on Saturday, but their bug seems to be lasting longer. Joseph is still complaining of a hurt tummy and neither boy has his appetite back. We had thought that they had all gotten food poisoning on Saturday, but since the boys are still sick I am thinking that it must be a bug. I'm fine, thankfully, and am more than able to take care of everyone else! Yesterday was actually a very easy day around here. Since the boys were all feeling puny, they napped for most of the day and when they were awake they were subdued, albeit throwing up. I was actually tickled by the thought that my day was easier with 3 sick little ones than with 3 healthy and rambunctious littles ones. But, God was gracious to me in their illness in that they were never all throwing up at the same time and did sleep a lot. I actually got a ton done while they all napped.
One of the things that I did was Christmas shopping. Thanks the the wonderful amazon.com I got almost all of my shopping done yesterday without packing up everyone and all of their various and sundry equipment and supplies, driving to Jackson, wading through traffic, and strolling the mall. It was bliss for a non-shopper like me to "point and click" my way through Christmas shopping. And with the wishlists on amazon, I know that I got things that people wanted--which is such fun too.
The last thing that I have to write before I post this and get to painting is about a gospel sing that we went to on Sunday afternoon. Oprah Winfrey was born here in our humble town and has donated money to build a very nice Boys and Girls Club for the community. When she was in town a few months back for the dedication, it was quite the event, I am told, although we did not go into town to catch a glimpse of the talk show icon. As part of an effort to build support for the club from within the community, they hold monthly fundraisers that each have a different theme. Joe was asked to speak at this month's gospel sing on "Why We Sing" and did so. My two favorite groups that sang were both families. One was a father and his young adult children--two sons and a daughter--and they sang unmiked and a capella with tight harmonies. The other family was the parents and their 5 children accompanied by two teenagers from their church on the drum and the piano. While less polished in performance, I so enjoyed seeing them singing together that they were just as enjoyable.
The event was organized by Mrs. Katherine Carr Esters, who is a cousin or aunt of Oprah's and she was the glue that held the afternoon together. She greeted everyone as they entered by name and introduced us all to each other--encouraging people and interspersing "Praise the Lord's" in between telling good stories about how she knew various people. I suppose I am a bit partial to the kindness of Mrs. Katherine because as I walked in behind Joe and she greeted him, she turned to me and said, "Why I haven't met you before...you are just beautiful!" :) Talk about a welcome!
Late in the afternoon, Mrs. Katherine remarked that she hadn't known that white people could sing gospel until that day. The connection of black and white around the centrality of praising the Lord through song was a truly unique experience for this little Mississippi town and for me personally. It was a faint foretaste of that magnificent choir in heaven where one day people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will be gathered around the throne singing praises to the Lamb. Since we will no longer be bound by these earthly bodies then, I will be able to sing with a voice like Sandi Patti's. :) Until then, I can sing with the quiet alto that I've been given and look forward to that blessed day.
Mrs. Katherine told us all that she'd be telling Oprah about our gathering and said that she'd especially be telling her about Joe (everyone marveled at his youth and had enjoyed what he said). Oprah or not, it was a notable afternoon and one that I was glad to be a part of.