Sunday, October 6, 2013

In Everything Give Thanks {Finding Riches in our Mess}

It's evening and I'm driven to create a fall centerpiece. I'm so crazy anxious to do so that I drove to Lewis tonight for just a new permanent black marker because, of course, when I want to do something is when I find out the two black ones we own are inkless. Awesome.

Yesterday we went to a friend's pumpkin patch. She gave us free pumpkins that literally weigh more than the kids and the girls skipped around with eyes the size of saucers at the sight of pumpkins they didn't know could grow so large. While they frolicked and laughed I searched for a dining room table worthy winner. We live life on a budget and this was my opportunity.

The scents of fall are my favorite of the year. Pumpkin, apples, coffee beans....they warm and welcome and help make homes into sanctuaries. I yearn to make it so in my own.

The non-artist in me carefully...okay nervously...penned "In everything give thanks" with the 1 Thessalonians 5:18 scripture reference inside the "g." Our freebie mason jars from my mother-in-law's delicious salsa and canned peaches (sorry, Andrea, you aren't getting these back) served the perfect home for votive candles surrounded by coffee beans whose smell magnifies when the wick is lit. It turned out perfect and I proudly proclaimed it "my favorite dining room centerpiece I've ever made" to my husband who supported me in the midst of my permanent marker insanity and made me feel like I was totally normal. I love you, Charlie.

Once everything was complete, I pointed the camera for a picture.  As silly as it sounds, the decision to write on the pumpkin came after debating many possibilities and I wanted to send a photo to my mom because that was her vote.  But, when I did, I found myself moving for the "perfect" angle to portray the perfectly refined life.

I moved and I moved and I moved.  I looked at the words on the pumpkin.

And I smiled at the reality of my life so evident before me.

My husband and I waited to become parents.  We prayed.  We doctored.  We cried. We lost a baby and questioned if we had courage enough to risk again.  But we also knew that life lived to His fulfillment requires taking chances and stepping outside of comfort zones we think protect but actually imprison.

Grace came.  Hannah came.  And then Ava. 

Our house filled with toys and markers and crafting supplies that delight girls silly.  Day after day around the dining room table they gather coloring, painting, adding stickers to beautify.  And night after night my husband and I scrub away the markings from papers missed.  But, it isn't perfect.  Paint I hope a Magic Eraser can magically erase stains one end.  Sticker residue will require a google search to clean.  This free table loaded into our home when my mom got a new one is now marked with our everyday crazy, blessed, messy, real life.

Perhaps there is no such thing as the perfect angle?

And suddenly I give up trying for perfection because God whispers that sometimes it is our mess that reveals how truly blessed we are.

Thank you God for my man, these beautiful girls, our trip to the pumpkin patch, and the life-changing lesson.

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