Here and There

Today I woke to the sun streaming in through the shades in our bedroom window.  It was sweet to just lie there and wake up with the morning – especially when it doesn’t take long for the day to move you quicker than you’d like.  I had the privilege of running the cafe during the boys’ basketball games this morning.  After a small hiccup with the coffee (as in I didn’t know what I was doing and was really thankful when someone who did showed up!) all was well.  (So thankful for the friends who stepped in to help while my attention was side tracked by those little men of mine out on the court!)  This weekend’s games weren’t quite as exciting as last weekend’s, but all my boys played well, had fun, and each made at least one shot!  I love watching them grow; though, one of them is getting a little too tall too quickly!  During the hot dog selling and the basketball cheering, Hannah was playing gleefully in the kitchen with a sweet little miss.  They’d chase each other around, laughing loudly!  Sweet music.  Unfortunately, Nathan wasn’t feeling well today, but strong meds do wonders!

This afternoon was spent at home.  This is probably the saving grace of our 3 months in Upward Basketball.  We are at the Church Building 5 days (3 nights as well) a week and it is a bit wearing!  I can’t imagine doing this year-long as many parents with children do; my hat is off to you, but I say ‘no way!’  When we get home on Saturday afternoon, after setting up the worship center, we really do get a time to sit and be quiet.  The kids even!  We eat, nap, play quietly, or just sit and chat a little.  I suppose it gives me the simplicity of home that I long for all week – all school year long until summer comes.  Sitting and talking reminds me of days gone by: Great-Grandma’s house on a Saturday afternoon after a big pot of butter beans; Memaw’s house on a weekend afternoon, sitting at the table, drinking a cola, and talking about whatever – usually gardens and cars!  Twice this week God has gifted me with “moments from my NC home”; both have brought smiles and tears.  I am thankful for where I have been, where I am, and where – someday – I might be.  A day anywhere with Him, doing anything with Him, giving all for Him is better than a thousand elsewhere!

Tonight I sat on the floor with my 2 boys and 1 girl (the other is out with Dad at a hockey game) and read a Dr. Seus.  We prayed – giving a special thanks to God for our Compassion sister Jenifer as it is her birthday today!  Everyone got into bed, and I made another round to cuddle and pray for each of them individually.  Aaron – laughter and joy to have and to share.  Timothy – growth and understanding for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Hannah – grace and joy to have and to share.  Aaron and I quoted our favorite book (we no longer need the book as we have read it over and over again!), Timothy gave me double hugs and kisses, and Hannah lay with her thumb in her mouth, ready to be covered up.

I came downstairs, washed some day-old dishes (smile), and put on the French Press.  While waiting for it to finish steeping, I sat down to write out some gifts.  This counting of gifts has become a natural part of my life, but it is so very unnatural!  Some days I don’t stop in the moment to write it; some times, like tonight, I sit and think back over the day(s) and number what I remember.   A shadow here, a service there, a word shared.  Some days they really do seem to all run together; while other days I pluck them out individually like I would the petals off a flower.

The house is quiet for a bit.  Maybe I’ll do some exercises tonight before I read or watch a movie…

So, why a record of my day?  Well, I’ll share more as the days go on, but what I will say now is this: I am here in Colorado Springs.  I have a wonderful husband and 4 amazing children, and recently I was reminded that they are my ministry.  Many times my heart has longed for a mission field to share God’s love in, to wash dishes and toilets in, to hold children for hours in.  I think of how my heart might leap for joy at the opportunity to spend hours teaching children about Jesus.  He has held me in the last few days as He has reminded me that I have all that and more right here.  What I call mundane here, I call a wonderful opportunity or ministry there.  I have longed to reach and touch and rock orphans there, and He has opened my eyes to my children, who could be made “orphans” here if I don’t wake up to the sun rising in these mountains rather than on those plains.  I read wonderful posts about life “over yonder” and I think, “wow, what a life they are living!”  I have forgotten to “read” about my own days – my life.  Their days are filled with similar responsibilities as my own, but I call there’s “living” and mine “surviving”.  I read about their joys and smiles and what makes them laugh, and I find the very same things going on in my home that might squeeze out a small smile every now and then.

God has given me Colorado Springs, and more specifically this house on Piros Drive, to love deeply, laugh loudly, and smile greatly!  He has given me 4 + children (I help with the Children’s Ministry) to touch, hold, laugh with, cry with, care for, and share Him with.  He has given me daily tasks to do for the glory of His Name, uncomfortable situations to find joy in, trials to trust and believe in, heartache to reach out for Him in, and joys to relish in.  He has withheld no good thing from me just because I’m here and not there.  I have demeaned what I do here and puffed up what they do there, but the same God Who is there, is here.  The same Spirit Who is alive and active there, is living and breathing here.  The same smile that is there in them can be here in me.

So, I write about my day – this TODAY – because I want to share what God is doing in this ordinary, “simple life”.  I want to write it out, so that I may SEE that the same miracles happening there, are being performed here as well!

 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9 NIV