Friday, November 28, 2014


I woke up this morning at 3:00 to take my husband to the airport.

And now that I'm back home, I'm reveling in the sounds of a quiet house.  The occasional deep breath that my four-year-old takes, while he's asleep in my bed. The hum of the heater as it kicks in to warm the cool morning air. The sporadic snort from my parents who slumber away in the guest room. The crunch-crunch that marks our cat's completion of her meal last night. The complete silence from my two year old, who has been sleeping for the last 14 hours, more or less.

And then there's me, awake with the cat, my Rescuer, and my thoughts.

As I look back on this week and try to soak it all in before the chaos of December ensues, I am thankful for God's divine abundance in reaching out to me, to speak to my heart through the mud and muck in which I so easily find myself.

On Monday, when I was overwhelmed at the thought of all that needed to be accomplished this week--the dishes, the shopping, the food prep, the LAUNDRY, the cleaning, the organizing, the entertaining--God was at work organizing a "daddy-daughter date" to the grocery store. My dad offered to join me on my daunting trip of Thanksgiving food shopping that night.  We somehow found ourselves on the topic of Laundry Day, and what it looked like in his home when he was growing up in the '40s with seven siblings and a widowed mother: 
He and a few others had the job of going out to pump the water, which then they would bring by buckets into the house, to fill large pots on the stove.  Once the water on the stove was warm enough, his mother would carry it, potful by potful, across the kitchen, through their back entry room, and into the "wash kitchen." Once the wash tubs had enough water, she would add the laundry and turn on a machine in the wash tub that would agitate the clothes.  Then she would transfer them to another wash tub (which she also needed to fill up with water), then wring it out through the electric wringer, then rinse it in the rinse tub, which thankfully could be filled with cold water that the children would bring in from the pump.  Then she would wring the clothes again, and hang them up to dry.
In a matter of five minutes, my job of laundry went from feeling overwhelming to feeling like a vacation.

On Tuesday, when I didn't know how I would get all of the food preparations done and the logistics of hosting a meal for more people than I had chairs or silverware, God seemed to take my hand and lead me to a quiet place where he could show me how he was taking care of everything. My brother could bring silverware; my love could borrow some folding chairs from church. Easy for the care-taker of the universe.

On and on it went.  I worried. God redirected my heart.

And so, by the time I reached Thanksgiving Day, it didn't matter one bit that I burned the bottoms of both pans of stuffing or that we got started eating almost an hour behind schedule.

God planned a gorgeous day--the warmest and one of the sunniest days of the month.  We were able to have our meal outside, where there was plenty of room and no one was in the least bit cramped. God orchestrated a lovely gathering of people who were called to be his children, and who also happen to be relatives. Love abounded. Thanks abounded. Laughter abounded. Sparkling cider abounded.

God's provision abounded and abounds and will abound.

And my heart abounds with thanks.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, 
because he trusts in you. 
Isaiah 26:3

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! 
Psalm 27:13-14

About a month ago, my boys caught a virus from preschool. The tiny little bumps of Hand, Foot and Mouth emerged on the bottoms of Zeke's feet one day, and on Noah's several days later. We spent the week working on potty training and raking leaves because we were house-bound.

It's times like those that make me very thankful that the boys like being home.

On the heels of their sickness, I acquired a low-grade fever.  Not high enough to take Tylonol, not low enough to where I felt normal.  I stayed home from church because I wasn't sure if I was contagious with anything.  Dave slept in the living room because he didn't want to catch anything. But then 24 hours extended to three days, and I began to wonder if I should be doing something about my temperature. The nurse assured me that it was fine as long as it didn't get above a certain degree.  Three days turned into six. The doctor was not concerned, as long as the temperature didn't get higher. Six days turned into two weeks. I went in for a check up; I got blood work done (twice); I drank lots of water. Still no reason for my fever.  And yet it continued.

For most of the days during this time, I struggled to go on with my daily activities.  Mind you, I was also in my first trimester with our third child at the time. The fever wiped me clean of whatever energy I had leftover from growing a tiny person. Instead of kicking the ball back and forth with the boys in the back yard, I watched from my camping chair as they would try to kick it close enough to me in hopes that I could reach it and throw it back to them. Instead of chasing them around the house, I had to sit on the couch and do my best to stay engaged rather than mentally slinking away to a quiet, peaceful place.  Instead of easily following my routine of doing the dishes or making dinner, I had to work myself up to what felt like a mountainous task before me.

It was hard.

I knew in the midst of it, though, that God was at work.  I knew that he saw my pitiful state, and that he had enough power for the both of us.  When I felt like crying and collapsing in a heap at the end of a particularly long day, he calmed me with his words of peace and his Spirit gave me just the right amount of strength to remain standing.  He showed me in a very real way that night that he was the answer to every single one of the areas where I was lacking: He is Peace... He is Strength... He is Wisdom... He is Patience... He is Joy.

And my fever lasted for just three more days after that.  Twenty days was enough, I guess.

You can only imagine the giddiness I felt when my body had energy again.  I was beside myself with Joy.  I was capable once again to do the work that God has put before me to do as his child, as a wife, and as a mom.  And how sweet that work is when it has been taken from you for a time.

Now, how sweet are those twenty days of "waiting" in my memory.  It was a time that God was using to show me his power and his love for me--an opportunity for him to teach me and speak directly to my heart.

It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” 
Isaiah 25:9