A storm in the gulf made the clouds thick and the rain drizzling intermittent...
Summer draped heavy like a wringing wet blanket. And inside, in that early muted light, small hands shaped dough, sticky and soft. The couch sank heavy beneath a daddy's lap full of babies, his voice changing timbre as he read from the book in his hands. Good-natured wrestling matches engaged pajama-clad boys and candles flickered, as though winking and smiling on.
"On my way" the phone buzzed on the counter under Lauren Carroll's name. She came in laughing and smiling at something the kids had said, her presence already like a comfortable old friend, another member of the family. She has this way of letting you feel seen and making you feel like that's okay.
It was a Tuesday. But it could have been a Saturday. It was a season of Saturdays. And after a long string of Mondays and missed weekends, this was the gift in the uncertainty: to live in the Saturdays together. To live in the unknown, the less than, the waiting and the unpredictability of it all...and to know peace.
It's not something you can explain--this peace that comes when it shouldn't be there. "It's like a blanket God is covering your family with," a dear friend tells me from across the table a few weeks ago. And this blanket isn't heavy, it's light. It feels protective, it feels secure. It defies common sense in the way most comforting things do.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid...". These words from the dearest Friend of all, the Friend I call Savior, they meet me here--in my messy, flour dusted kitchen, our hands holding onto each other's, holding on to the only gifts of eternal worth and not letting go to clasp the temporary...not grasping for what God has not provided...simply holding what He gives this moment.
And He gives grace for this moment.
He gives not as this world gives. It's when our life doesn't make sense to this world--but we aren't afraid of the unknown because we trust the One We Know--it's then we unwrap His gift of peace.
She laughs as Ivy flings dough from her fingers all across the kitchen, "I think Tuesdays have become my favorite", she says as she films the flames dancing on faces round the table. "I love that it feels like a Saturday. Why shouldn't we treat Tuesdays the same as Saturdays?"
And on that Tuesday afternoon, we danced in the soft rain that comes before a summer storm, that comes before a Saturday. Danced with our feet muddy as we harvested what we had sown: our garden's last crop of the season before the tender shoots of newly planted produce push up from the common ground. We let the rain fall on our heads, hearts untroubled and--in this moment--unafraid of the unknown. For what can the unknown hold that the One We Know hasn't already given us the peace to pass through?
I got the text later, the one asking if I wanted to write something to go along with the video post on her blog. My heart bleeds happy onto my screen, words spilling out simply from receiving the permission to do so from a soul that shines bright enough it encourages the ones around them to. And I hit "send"...
Life is made up of a string of tiny moments… like smooth little pearls that can easily slip out of your fingers… easily go unnoticed for their worth. But each moment–each pearl you tuck away as the priceless gift it is–becomes as valuable as an heirloom necklace you wear close to your heart, a hidden storehouse of riches that can never be taken from you, a gift of immeasurable worth.
We’re never poor if we’re rich in small moments of great love. We will always have more than enough if we bring all that we are to every moment we’re given. Our hearts, our love, our time–is freely gifted to us–freely gifted by the Hands that created us–freely gifted to be given away. And the more we give away, the more we have to give. Because isn’t one of the greatest gifts we could ever give the gift of ourselves?
We were made for family. Made to belong to each other, made to give ourselves to each other, to lay our lives down just as our Creator Father did, just as He always does for His children.
And it’s in giving that we receive the abundance of truly living.