The roar of motors and rushing wind rivals other noises in our house—kids laughing, kids bickering, television blaring, dogs barking. Three high-powered fans sit in the floor of our dining room-turned-office and the kitchen near the laundry closet. A giant dehumidifier with a hose draining into the nearby bathroom sink is there, too, working to dry out the subfloor after a faulty gasket on a newly-installed pump in the washing machine caused a leak, which we discovered when we returned home from the beach last week. Floorboards in the dining room had buckled into mini mountain ridges.
It’s a small thing, really—an inconvenience for a few days. And soon we’ll have new floors and a great appreciation for homeowner’s insurance. But we have to leave these very loud fans running for a few days, so we’re yelling to speak to one another and trying to not let the noise drive us crazy. In a nice way, it reminds me of my childhood, when our air conditioning was a couple of window units at either in the end of the house and we used floor fans in between. The roar of those motors was a regular sound of summer.
More childhood memories came this week in the form of a pair of wingback chairs. I purchased them through an online auction—I was outbid on everything else—and they were a bargain, especially considering the sentimental value they hold. My parents were kind enough to pick them up for me, and my dad helped me load both into my minivan after church on Wednesday night. The former owners of the chairs are both deceased, but it doesn’t seem so long ago that I was in their home, with my parents and sisters, having dinner. This couple from our church were gracious hosts, kind and welcoming, and their home was a showplace. Now the pink, formal chairs that I remember in their fancy sitting room, are in my not-so-fancy house. They are unlike anything I could probably find in a store today, and they are totally out of place in my home, but I love them, and so do my kids. The chairs remind me of friends and hospitality, they smell like memories, and they are much more comfortable than they look. I hope to rearrange my daughters’ bedroom for the girls to each have one, but for now--until we have to move everything into a pod in the yard while the floors are being replaced--one of the chairs sits in our living room, not far from my work desk, in the middle of the all the chaos.
Work has been especially challenging this week. For part of it, along with the noise of the fans, we've had all four kids at home. It’s hard enough with three kids being on summer break, but when I found out that an outbreak of the virus at preschool meant shutting down the four-year-old’s classroom for a time, I admit, I panicked. I half-jokingly screamed into a pillow. I pretended to bang my head against a wall. Then, I remembered to count it all joy. My four children, whom I love, are under my roof all day. That is a blessing. A hardship when I am on phone meetings for hours, yes, but still a blessing. We have a comfortable home in which to spend our days, exposed subflooring and all. And we are well. Thank God, we are well. I’m praying for friends who are sick right now. And I pray for those who may be struggling to find childcare.
Other than work, dealing with repair people and claims adjustors, taking kids to instrument lessons, church, guiding kids through the day so they’re not constantly on devices, making sure the refrigerator and pantry are stocked for six people, preparing meals, and cuddling our four-month-old kitten who enjoys being held like a baby while I’m at my desk, I’m also finalizing plans for Vacation Bible School. VBS kicks off in a little over two weeks, and I'm praying that the Lord will use it to draw people close to Him.
Since I’ve attended my church for all but the first two years of my life, I have lots of great memories for VBS there. I pray my children love going to VBS at our church as much as I always did, and still do. But directing takes a lot of time. There's much to be done. So, I’ve had to realize that, with everything going on, writing the newest novel should wait; completing the short story I started should wait; and, even helping someone dear to me edit their first book should wait, for a little while. To everything there is a season.
So, why am I taking time now to write about renovations and furniture, work and kids? It helps me process emotion and clear my head. When all the thoughts and feelings start jumbling together, I let them out, so my brain can work better. And the extra benefit? It boosts my faith. When I write about life, the written record proves the goodness of God. His blessings are everywhere--including at funerals and in minivans on country roads--which He showed me this week.
Around 9:30 Thursday morning, while the man was here ripping up our floors, I closed my work computer and left to go sing at the funeral for my friend's father. Alex stayed home with the pets and the kids and the demo guy, and there was no doubt which of us had the easier task.
The funeral was a sweet tribute to a man who loved the Lord, his family, music, and writing. (I only knew of him, but I think we are kindred spirits.) It was an honor to celebrate his life, to grieve the family's loss, and to worship God with them. There was a beautiful peace in the room--the stillness of a loved one's race now finished and the blessed hope of a reunion in the sweet by and by.
Driving home, I could see that the interstate was backed up as I approached the exit, so I kept going, traveling on country backroads instead. The longer route could have been an inconvenience, but it was exactly what I needed. The sun was shining, and the color of the sky and brightness of the clouds was mesmerizing. Seeing the cows and horses, farm ponds, old barns, and the seemingly endless green fields, brought me joy. God was there with me. And there were no loud fans. In the quiet of my minivan, I thanked Him for His blessings.
It’s not been an average kind of week, but there's joy to be found in all of it. I'm waiting and watching to see all the good things God will do, and above the roar, I say, "I’m blessed."
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Thank you for visiting my blog. I share devotional articles and musings about life, parenting, and the writing journey, as well as important news about my books. I hope you find something of interest here!