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.