As I was mixing bread this morning, shaping loaves, and punching batches down to wait their turn, I was thinking about my neglected blog and all the hopes and dreams I had for this space when I finally finished the site shuffle and rebuilding I worked on last year. Many times in these past few months, I’ve thought that I ought to get something up. Even if not brilliant, or particularly encouraging or interesting, it’s still special to hear from old friends on their blogs, and that’s a gift I want to give to you, the reader, too.
It’s been an interesting year, jammed full of new experiences and old, familiar routines, growth and stress, strength and weariness.
So far this year, I’ve spent the majority of my time at home. I never thought of myself as a traveling sort of person, aside from the time when I was eight or nine and exclaimed to my mom, “I wish we could take a long trip!” . . . or something along those lines. I remember her smiling back at me from the front seat of our old white station wagon, “I’d much rather be home.” I love being home, too—the quiet, predictable routines, my enthusiastic siblings, my loving church family that often do feel more like family than friends. But some days, I’ve caught myself looking wistfully out at the mountains across the valley, wondering if the Lord will call me away to help another family at some stage, or if living at home has a special purpose for the season I’m in right now. As time has gone on, I’ve realized I miss traveling.
After living away from home for nearly a year several years ago, moving from one family’s home to the next, my life and experiences have broadened considerably. There’s something special about being invited into someone else’s life to share a few days, weeks, or months together while they’re going through a difficult season. Not only do you learn to know people on an entirely new level, but you get to know their friends and family as well. It’s a gift. Something precious. And in some ways, I miss that. I miss wondering where my next posting will be, and what new surprises the Lord has in store for the next chapter.
But even as I write the words, I realize there are surprises in the mundane as well. Special moments, like cuddling with my sisters while we read a story together, or watching my brothers’ eyes light up at the mention of fresh-baked bread and butter. Or when we have company, and the house rings with laughter as we swap tales and play a game of dominos or Imaginiff. Life is beautiful.
And as I reflect on life these past few months, I’m thankful. God has richly blessed me, and I don’t want to take it for granted.
Life changes all too swiftly to be taken for granted, anyway. Just a few weeks ago, I got a message out of the blue from a friend I’ve only chatted with two or three times. She was wondering if I could be a nanny for their two young children for two months later this year. Another friend—one I helped a year and a half ago—asked if I could come to be with her for a few weeks while she recovered from surgery. And yet another friend asked if there was a possibility I’d be able to help family members for a time. So far, I’ve agreed to the nannying job, even though I’ve never done anything quite like what I expect that to entail! But I love children and have loved the times I’ve spent helping various families, so I’m telling myself not to worry about it . . . too much. As for the other two needs, time will tell when or if either of those will eventuate.
Our God is a God of surprises. And as I wait for the next batch of bread to come out of the oven and the last batch to finish rising, I’m thankful to know that, one day at a time, He is leading and guiding my life.
I find great contentment in that.