It is late, my eyelids droop, my rear is tired from driving for the last few days...but I must write because of the day it has been all glory and joy and blessings.
I got to be the blessing today and it felt amazing. Allowing a little of the blanket to drop away and allow Him to walk and talk through me...so refreshing, mesmerizing even. Watching myself speak words of life to this beautiful girl in the lovely store 'The Paper Umbrella'. She so full of questions and listening to answers and as we leave she tells us how we have blessed her this day. I answered her questions, fully engaged in being right where I was, purchasing little notebooks to go with Ann's book to give away as the Lord leads me to give them. As we left the store we reveled in pretty teapots and went in to the next store and delighted in the pretty pots and lovely teas. We laughed with the storekeeper there, too. As we walked back to where we began I felt the nudge to go back and give Teresa my Ann book, which I had along, nudge her to the cross, to the real source of answers and faith and how to bring up boys. And we did! I wrote a little note and tucked my card inside and we snuck back into the store later that day and gave it to her. What joy to give! What joy to start someone else on a road to thanksgiving.
My cell phone rings, my concerned husband tells me to take the long way home, the storm will hit the ferry at the same time I want to cross. So we take the long way and I tour the boys around my old college stomping grounds and take them for a special drink at the same restaurant where I sipped tea and ate cinnamon buns as a student in another time. Helen starts to chat with me. She tells me how the struggle to adjust to our country from her beloved UK has been difficult, I see the loneliness there. She talks to me of parenting her teenage boy and we connect hearts over the mixing of a chai latte. I feel that nudge again, give her your card, let yourself be known, invite her in, you know the pain of being uprooted, of changing your whole life, be a friend if she'll have you. And I do, I give her the card my husband made up for me for this reason, to let people know me...
As we drive through our familiar hills we see them shrouded in mist and I direct the boys to attention, to see the beauty around it, they gasp at the wonder and the toys fall from their fingers as they are mesmerized by cloud lying on land. We drive through with a whoosh and watch the clouds, all beauty. We talk about how lovely our day was and I hear the gentle contentment in his voice, this one who always says no and that nothing is good, at peace with himself for the moment. What bliss to hear that, such a rare and precious gift that shatters the moment we get home. Because I am so full of Him I can speak gently and we restore the peace, he steals one of the little notebooks and I tell him he can have it, there is no need to steal and he begins a list of 1000 things, he wants to fill up the first page and we sit on the floor and I help him spell the words that he wants to write, this almost boy who doesn't want to grow up but does so just a little as I watch. And the other boy that was along today who helped give the gift takes his little notebook and begins, too, to say thanks for the gifts of grace today. All is at peace in my home and I am so full it spills out in words and salty trails.
This has been a day of letting myself speak to strangers, of being interested in people, of stepping out among the people and letting them see me rather than passing by and not stopping. A day of really choosing to see and hear and being all there. Perhaps the winter is finally passing...when you do it to the least of these, you do it to me...give and it will be given to you, pressed down and running over...
how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity...
(1080 - 1095)
-the two who fight most, choosing to love each other today
-hills shrouded in mist
- passing by the storm rather than through it
- Helen at Caronport
- Teresa at the paper umbrella
-Teresa at the Caring Place
- little notebooks with the beginning of 1000 gifts begun
- sitting on the floor counting gifts
- watching repentance and forgiveness truly happen
- hearing him say he had a good day
- pretty tea pots
- new teas to try
- oldest and youngest brothers carrying out the plan they've had all week, inside rather than out, but together...and happy
- the middle two jealous at first, then forming their own plan to be together
- young man stopping to say hi in the mall, just because