Matthew 14:20 “They all ate and were satisfied…..”
I had to laugh when I read this verse today. I know it is completely out of context but it did make me smile when I thought of all the satisfaction that is in my family today. Laughing kids, smiling adults, crowded around a table of plenty. Stories are shared, food is served, football is played in the yard outside.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel today. My thoughts were first on my baby boy, all grown up and serving in afghanistan. His first holiday away from home. My heart ached with wanting to have him be a part of the group. To hear his laughter, see his face, feel his hugs. He has always been my hugger. He always wants to be right next to me. The class clown, the one who can make us all roll our eyes and laugh out loud. I know everyone was thinking of him. But I didn’t want that to cloud the happiness of the day.
Then there is our daughter and her husband in Chicago. She is a pastry chef at a hotel. As the newest member of the staff, she doesn’t get holidays off yet. She is our newest child. No really! My sweetheart had put a child up for adoption in high school when it was decided by his girlfriends parents that they were too young to have a child. They never knew anything about her. It was an age of closed adoptions and no internet. Last year I started searching for her to give my family some peace about her. I placed some ads around the internet on adoption sites. No luck. One day an email came telling me to look on a certain site for a certain girl who had posted an ad. Within minutes I knew it was my sweethearts daughter. There was no mistaking her face. She had her mother’s eyes and her fathers features. When I tried to email the unknown woman and thank her, the email came back undeliverable, no such email. I am absolutely sure God’s Hand was in this. We haven’t been able to have a holiday with her yet but we have spent some wonderful time together.
Our oldest son and his wife live in Hershey PA. Chocolate town. Without a doubt, we love visiting him the most! As luck would have it, I speak at a convention there every year. So we are able to see them. But holidays are always their busiest time of the year as they both work for the Hershey company. So visits home are few and far between. They have given us our oldest grandchild.
Our next son lives not far from us. He is in college and working on his second degree. He has a wonderful girlfriend and we are able to time with them so when they said they would be going to her family’s house for the holiday, it was ok.
Our next daughter lives in Fayetteville, NC. She owns the grooming business I gave to her when I left. She is married to a soldier in the army and they have given us three grandchildren, two girls and a boy. They meet us every summer for camping trips and every other holiday they come here. So this was our off year.
Our next daughter also lives in Fayetteville, NC. She is a college student completing her final year of her teaching degree. She is also married to a soldier in the army. With him came our newest grandson. Her husband has been gone to war for most of the last few holidays. His time with his family is precious and he rightly yearns for time at his own home, around his own table. So they stayed home this year as he will be leaving next year to go back overseas.
Our next son lives in Fayetteville with his sister. He suffered brain damage from a drug overdose several years ago. I used to beg the Lord to save my son from drugs. It wasn’t quite the answer that I had in mind but I believe the Lord knows what He is doing. We don’t know what my son’s future holds but we are all grateful our Father gave him back to us. He is relearning the simplest things in life. I truly believe that one day God will heal him. I am forever grateful that his sisters and their husbands are willing to help him get his life back together.
Our next son has been in Guatemala for the last two years doing mission work. He just arrived home two months ago and spent a couple of weeks here. We decided he would spend thanksgiving with his dad and christmas and new years with us before heading back to U of Alabama where he is studying engineering. He is enjoying the reunion of family in Alabama.
Our next daughter lives a couple of hours from here. It is her first holiday with her fiance and they are spending it with his family. They had to work yesterday and tomorrow. We will see them in a couple of weekends when they come to visit.
Our youngest daughter lives at home. She is carrying our newest grandchild. She and her fiance are going to be married in June. She is maintaining her A/B status in school and on track to graduate in May. He is attending college and lives with his parents. They went to his family’s house for lunch earlier.
So here I sit alone at my table. My sweetheart won’t be home until evening. His work keeps him on the road, often times at holidays. I have every reason to feel miserable and upset. But that just isn’t the case. My heart is filled with love for all my children. For their ability to step out into the world and be the wonderful adults they have become. For their love of family and friends and God. For their ability to make the best of every situation. For their phone calls, texts, and facebooks. Our rich military background taught them that holidays can be held anywhere, anytime. So today is a day to be thankful for who you are with.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
My heart is in a dozen places all over the world. Each place is making memories to be shared at a later date. In a few hours my sweetheart will be home and we are planning a nice quiet dinner at home with youngest daughter, her fiance, and unborn baby granddaughter. I will miss each of my children, their families, and my wonderful grandchildren. But my table will be full of holidays past and thoughts of holidays future. Plus it will be full of this marvelous pumpkin pie that youngest daughter made. Her first pie and it came out AWESOME!!!