What a great day it's been. The Beve and I had a surfeit of riches this weekend with SK, her friends and some of our very favorite friends. We watched SK in the musical "A Cradle Will Rock," saw her rehearse a theater senior project in which she plays a pregnant woman whose water breaks, listened to her sing with Whitworth Choir. It was all a window into the craziness that is her life--and we were glad to bump along at her crazy pace for a couple of days. In between, we had significant conversations with the friends we carpooled east with, and those whose home we stayed in. And this morning we gathered around a pan of Beve's famous cinnamon rolls, all six of us together talked deeply about how we are made, what is life-giving to us in the actual lives we live. We spoke of learning to be empty-nesters after years of kids' schedules driving our lives. It was rich, indeed, sharing deeply with people we would love to do life with if we were fortunate enough to live as neighbors. It's a pipe dream we bring out every time we're together. And the really great thing is that our old friends--he from elementary school--and our best friends/traveling companions have become friends themselves because of us. I love that.
After church, back at the house, ten of us gathered around a table of sub-sandwichs, and we talked and laughed together. And somehow as the talk wound around, the Beve and I ended up telling the "Widest Street in the World" story of our romance. I told the story, Beve provided comic editorial comments along the way, and we all traveled from the Palouse to Finland to The Netherlands to India and back. I could practically feel the backpack on my back, smell the curry cooking over the fire in the village in India where the Beve heard God tell him to marry me. Around the table, there was laughter and maybe even a tear or two, and it was sweet to rehearse that story again. Even SK, who's heard it a time or two, enjoyed the telling.
Then we said goodbye, thankful for the time we'd shared. SK and I hopped in her little "Gladys" (as she calls her Subaru), and we tooled down the road between the hills. Halfway down the road toward my hometown, we reached a rest area, transferred my belongings from SK's car to my sister's, I hugged my baby Bug goodbye, and my youngest sister and I drove through the Palouse to her house among the wheatfields, where I'll be for the next few days. At dinner I sat at my sister's table with eight other people and we laughed heartily as we passed the food around. Grown children, significant others, and other friends are welcome through the doors of this house. Welcome at the table. And the steak wasn't the only meat we shared together.
I'm happy with my lot today, happy with the life it's been my privilege to live. Often in the quiet of my living room, I forget to say thank-you to God for that life. I get so caught up in what there is to do, what I have to learn, where He's calling me to minister, that I forget to simply breathe in His goodness. The Beve is very good at simply enjoying the moments with people, doing what he calls, "Stepping into their lives and walking around with them." He always remembers that this walking around with people is a great honor and gift. And I need him around to remind me sometimes. Today, which has been so full of holy moments, I remember. And am glad.
What has He given you--this day--that you can thank Him for? Just thank Him. There's an old meal-time grace we said at dinners when I was a child: God is great, God is good, and I thank Him for my food. Today I'm grateful for the meaty, filling food of the Spirit. Amen.