Last week began with my husband feeling under the weather even keeping him home in bed away from work for two days. We tucked him in with extra blankets to combat the chills and didn't peek back until lunch time came with a tray of chicken noodle soup and oyster crackers to help sooth his dry cough and fever.
Downstairs we went about our business learning most everything we had set out to. Math sheets and drilling facts, writing assignments and book reports, beginner reading lessons and Playmobil castle building. The everyday elbow grease we’ve come to enjoy.
We were all deeply moved by our read aloud over the past two weeks, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. It helped that the chapters were long and the more I read aloud the more husky my vocal cords grew giving my fabricated southern drawl a bit more of a strained and (possibly) authentic sound. The kids enjoyed the characters coming to life in our living room as much as Andy did listening on upstairs from bed. So much so I was asked to shift my morning reading to evening once he returned to work. And on that last night before the book was due back to the library, with one chapter left Andy read quietly to himself so as not to miss out on the following night's dinner table discussion. It’s not common I find him reading so I snapped a quick picture to show the kids Daddy’s dedication to the story. We loved having him home even if it was only knowing he was upstairs. There was a sense of togetherness we don’t often get to feel past the weekends. I’m thankful for the time.
The kids and I read a few proverbs in lieu of the gospel of Matthew we had been reading. Proverbs 15:15 captured my attention, "A cheerful heart has a continuous feast..."
I think often we try to cheer ourselves up by some means of self pampering or captivating diversion rather than asking, what do I have to be thankful for right now? A continuous feast is one that is replenished repeatedly never allowing one dish to run dry, keeping up with the need to provide for hungry bellies expecting to come back for seconds.
Herbed breads that fill cloth covered baskets without fail, Brightly colored steamed carrots piled high in stone crockery covered in an endless blanket of maple syrup, limitless pots of bubbling pineapple chunks floating around with meatballs and red peppers full to the brim.
If my heart is feasting continuously, what is it eating? Well, thanksgiving I believe! Thankfulness is the root of cheerfulness. A thankful heart will become cheerful if it spreads before itself a buffet of thanks. One that’s replenished often and incessantly stocked making a trip back to fill up easy and available time after time. If a heart lacks cheer, it likely lacks thankfulness as well.
So what must I do to find cheer? Find thanks and the cheer will follow!
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11