Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Friend Ginger

Two Gingers
Meet my friend Ginger Lippke. I am always intrigued to discover another Ginger, as  I don't run into many people with my name. For years I smiled at her from across the sanctuary at church on Sunday mornings, but I didn't really get to know her until I started working as a mentor mom in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), where Ginger has served for several years. What a great lady to share a name with! (It's silly, but it always makes me smile when we see each other and exchange this simple greeting. "Hi, Ginger!" "Hi, Ginger!")

Actually, we do literally share a name -- Virginia Ann (and of course, our nickname Ginger). She and her husband Charlie have raised five kids, including a girl named Glory (my sister Peach's given name is Gloria) and a son named Samuel (just like our son).

Which is whose?
We have similar taste and lean toward the same style. At the first MOPS meeting last September we made name tags. Out of a dozen or more choices of designer paper to choose from, Ginger and I chose the very same paper and decorated it with the same style, even though we had no idea what the other was doing.

One day I showed up to MOPS in a one-of-a-kind brown knit jacket. "The jacket looks good on you," said Ginger. I thanked her and, because sometimes we say things that we were taught are not polite to mention, I said, "I got it at the thrift shop." Turns out she is the one who donated it!

I told you she has five kids. They are spread across the country, from New York City to Texas to California to Hawaii. Just her and Charlie and the dog at home now.

But it's not always been that way. While the kids were young Ginger and Charlie were hippies who lived in a converted school bus, and used a second bus as their homeschool classroom. As new Christians, they were alive with their love for Jesus. That love was nurtured over the years so that now Ginger's perfume is the sweet fragrance of Christ.

I recently attended a prayer meeting in the church classroom where she and Charlie teach 4th and 5th grade Sunday school. The room was decorated for Easter, complete with a cross and an empty tomb. Prayer journals lay at the children's places around the table, where they record their prayer concerns and the answers the Lord gives them. Pinned to the very top of the wall, where it meets the ceiling, was a small piece of paper, maybe 2 inches by 4 inches. Ginger told us that it symbolizes the span of our lives, and all the rest of the distance around the room  represents eternity. She circled the room with her hand two or three times for emphasis. "We put that paper on the wall to remind us how short life is, to help us remember to use our time wisely," she told us.

Ginger is quick to pray, whether on Facebook or in person. She turns everything that comes into her life back to God. And by her comments and her prayers, she turns other people to Him too.

Thank you, Lord, for my really lovely friend, Ginger. Bless her, and continue to shine through her. Amen.

1 comment:

barefootmommy said...

I'm so thankful for both of you wonderful Gingers!