The days are passing quickly.
In the mornings, I sit on my chair, cradling my hot cup of coffee against my chest and feel like the time is running out. Every day I cry. A little bit. Not in public, but often when I am in the car alone, dashing from one place to another. I roll the windows down and try to dry the evidence off my face and sing praise songs loudly though my tears. It would never do to dump all these feelings on unsuspecting victims.
Certain Man has been uncustomarily irritable. Not that I blame him. There has been much to ponder, so much keep track of. And his heart is no less occupied with the near departure of his littlest chick than mine. He had planned to take this whole week off, so as to have some quality time with her. But Monday she had a number of appointments and plans for the day, so he decided to work (just) Monday. Besides, his office was having a meal together on Monday morning, and he had agreed to bring in a dessert for that. I made a pan of apple dumplings, and he went off, pleased as can be. Unfortunately, the other Kent County Plumbing Inspector was diagnosed with shingles that day, so Certain Man was needed at the office for the rest of the week. He has also dealt with his father’s death, and lots and lots of ambiguity with that situation, has a new flock of chickens, and somewhere along the line did something really bad to his ankle. It is hard for me to understand how a guy can injure himself so incredibly seriously and not remember how he did it. Purple, swollen, angry looking and painful. It happened while he was working at a frolic for a gentleman who has had a long, discouraging battle with cancer, and I guess there was so much happening that morning that there wasn’t time to stop and think about what happened. The pain in his shoulder, hip, knee and ankle has certainly affected his sleep and consequently, his outlook this week.
Anyhow, he has been just a bit more grumpy, and things were especially difficult the day our church family packed Thanksgiving boxes. I crept into bed Tuesday night after he was asleep, and thought about the day, and felt the familiar prickle of tears gathering behind my eyelids. My happiness is often wrapped up in the words that are a part of my day, and in my head, I kept hearing that impatient edge that had crimped the edge of a number of conversations we had that day. I was incredibly tired from the past two days, having baked 30 loaves of bread, had company, babysat a couple of hours, taken Youngest Daughter to an appointment in Easton, Maryland, worked on the paperwork for the boxes, helped to pack and deliver them, and through it all, had been struggling with an upper respiratory infection. I felt so sad, so weary, so alone. So I began a silent lament to my Heavenly Father.
What mercy is given to me in my greatest need! And as I began to think and pray, I was urged in my spirit to change my perspective, and to think about all the things Certain Man had done for me that day. Things that he really wouldn’t have had to do, but had insisted that he wanted to. Even when he spoke with the tone that I am unaccustomed to, it was often when he was doing things that were helpful to me, or that would make my load lighter. He did a splendid job with organizing the distribution of the boxes, and he always has such innovative ideas and energy and insight when he is dealing with the people who are in need and he loves our church family unabashedly and openhandedly. He had gone and gotten the family Christmas tree because we decided it would be easier if it were already here when Middle Daughter got home from Peru. He had gone with me to pick up an order of chicken that was ready to be gotten just before we needed to leave to pack boxes. He had helped me with the lists and the addresses for the Thanksgiving boxes, and he KNEW what I needed to know because he had spent his entire Sunday evening making contact with (or trying to contact) every single person on the master list for the boxes. All of these things while keeping up with things on the farm and going to work every day. He is just such a good man!!! And usually, he is the same at home as he is everywhere else, with very few exceptions.
It didn’t take very long, once the positives were being enumerated in my mind for me be in a totally different frame of mind, and it was easy to just drift off into a wonderful sleep. I felt much better after that good night’s rest, and yesterday was a better day in every way.
Except one. That issue about the fact that the time is marching on to the day when Youngest Daughter flies for Thailand. Over the months, I’ve put off thinking about it. “I’ll think about that later,” I would say to myself. “We still have that week in November!” Suddenly now, the week is not only here, but almost gone, and I am just not ready. I’m not sure I ever will be, and so my prayer for these days is that I will not put an unnecessary damper on what can be a happy, full of memories, good week. I look at her shining face, and know that God will hold us all in the days ahead. I know that He will be in Thailand with her.
I heard a quote this week that said, “Where you go, The KING goes. And where The KING goes, people bow down.” That is comforting to me. To think that my girlie can be a part of people coming to know the LORD JESUS in a way that will cause them to bow to the King of King and Lord of Lords. How incredible is that? And on the other hand, how very small our sacrifice in the great scheme of things eternal.
“Lord Jesus, once again, I pray that we could see our sadness and the many, many emotions that are wrapped up in the ‘giving up’ of another of our precious children as an offering to you, not just the high and holy God, but our tender and loving Heavenly Father. May we trust your plan for her life without fear, without feeling like we need to somehow ‘hang on’, without constantly dwelling on her absence. Help us to gauge the cost in terms of eternity instead of the terms of our sense of loss. And in all of this, Heavenly Father, may you have the honor and the Glory. We give you grateful praise. May you be pleased with our sacrifice. “
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ,
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
King of kings,
And Lord of lords,
Forever and ever,