We serve an awesome God. Yes, yes, we do. Even amid our daily trials, He is our strength. He is our Rock. Do you notice how He sends special gifts your way? Each day? Do you take the time to notice? And accept each present with humility? And what about praise?
While my heart has been rocked and rolled these last few days, it has also been filled beyond its rim. Even to the point of overflowing. Kind comments on heart-wrenching posts. Warm hugs from a friend standing in his garden. Together-prayers with my son and I holding hands. Smiles and thanks from neighbors (5 miles down the road) as we gave them Walla Walla sweet onions, bread made from those onions & fresh herbs, a jar of fruit syrup, and some printed photos of her most marvelous peony garden. Offers from nearby neighbor to borrow their car as I have nothing to drive today (while they are going through hospitalized trauma of their own). A concerned phone call from a dear friend who loves critters like me, after she read my last post. A husband coming home way early this week–his family needs him. Here.
Below is a note I wrote to a new friend, if I could be so honored to call myself that in her company… I meant it to be brief, but my fingers kept on clicking and clunking at the keyboard. She is hurting. And something is broken. (Don’t we all? Have pain. Have brokenness?). If you want to stop now, I understand. If you want to read on and learn about me, here is most of that note…
Me, I am just a country bumpkin etching out as meager of an existence as possible. Often times our lifestyle doesn’t mesh with the world’s idea of success and achievement. To me, and my family, our greatest success and achievement are the days we were Saved by our Almighty Father God, about six years ago. And the day our 4-year old dedicated his life to the Lord, 18 months ago. I am sure you agree.
You see, fancy doesn’t interest me, although we could probably buy it. Perfect isn’t real. My only style is plain (for clothing, for writing)–jeans, hiking boots, and a t-shirt. My hair isn’t up-to-date, just long and tied up most days. What I am is wounded woman trying to attract others to God by the Salve covering my wounds. My heart beats with that high school teenage butterflies-in the-gut and knees-a-knocking sort of love for my husband, my man since we were 17 & 16. I am a mamma–after years and years of waiting and hoping–our son landed in my womb and Jesus took up residence in my heart. I am a fierce friend. A loyal listener. A daughter. A sister. A goof ball. A hard worker–I can swing an ax, drive a tractor, do farm chores, and whatever else needs doin’ around here. Or at someone else’s place.
I have never been on an airplane, just a bus and a train (I would be fine with buckboards, wagons, and saddled horses for transportation). I have never been to a big ole amusement park (I live in a place that tickles my heart, why risk tossing my cookies with throngs of sweaty people?). I have never owned a new car, err, truck (Mine may be an eyesore, but it runs just fine, well, most of the time). I have never owned a matching bedroom set of furniture (My husband & I built our bed with our own hands–wood and love; our dresser is old and ugly, but I have socks and underwear to fill it.) I have never owned a new couch (Got one in exchange for building a deck and the other for a few bucks outta someone’s garage.)
I wonder–if Ireland’s green is the same shade as America’s western Oregon fern & moss green? This I would like to know. And I would like to see other parts of the world. Deep blue waters and white-washed stone homes of Greece; relaxing exotic islands in the south Pacific; powder-sand beaches along a sunny seashore; spiring snow-capped peaks in Switzerland… But honestly, I would be drawn toward things less fanciful, like little farms or little houses with big-hearted people, gathered around bountiful tables, holding hands, sharing God’s grace, and one another’s love.
I notice the little things…lacy wildflowers scattered under ferns, butterflies riding the wind, buds barely open and even those past their prime, the old lady trying to reach wrangle open a heavy door (of course I help her), the old man who looks lonely at the post office, they way my son becomes his daddy when they are riding horses or working together, the way my hubby falls asleep at the drop of a hat when he is still, they way my strong mamma carries regret in her shoulders.
And I notice the big things…how much room Jesus takes up in my heart! Yeehaw! How it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of me. How I have friends, both new and old, that shine with God’s love light. How His grace saved even a wretch like me. How I am really, really, His. How those Living Words make sense. How my husband seeks the Lord in his leading of this family. How my son wrinkles his brow, purses his lips, squeezes his eyes, and holds his hands tight when he prays. How much strength I find on my knees, or my face, before the Lord.
Oh dear, I rambled on and on here. Sometimes my hands fly and clunk over the keys, all at once. Apparently this was to be the day (or night for you) for me to write a lengthy note to a mere stranger. A mere stranger. In entertaining strangers, we may unknowingly entertain an angel…
Not to diminish the privacy of this note written straight from my heart to you, I may post most of it as a blog post. So, friend (I hope it is okay to call you that), if you stumble upon it, know it was and still is intended for your kind eyes. And even gentler heart.
May the Lord bless all that you do this day in His name. And I will pray for a speedy and complete recovery for you.
If you were my up-the-dirt-road neighbor (rather than across the wet & wild seas), I would bake you fresh whole wheat bread filled with herbs I pulled off the stems and sweetened with honey I poured out of the jug. I would bring you a bouquet of lavender flowers and lacy cilantro blossoms, tucked into it would be dandelions from my son. I would bring you a movie. I would bring you a garden-filled green salad with homemade honey mustard dressing. I would bring you a jar of strawberry-rhubarb syrup I made the other night, and some warm wholesome scones to pour it over. I would bring you ice tea we made yesterday in a big jar on the deck. I would bring you, part of me.