"Glads for sale", the sign reads. I want to pull in and gather in the crook of my arm a bundle for myself, but I’ve promised two little boys a trip to the playground, so I continue on imagining the smell of those brightly colored "sword lilies", sweet honey and almond next to me.
They've worked hard for a few weeks now at the little table by the glass door. Math and reading, writing and the continual reminder to, "be polite" and "wait your turn to speak." That's the sum of my days and I love this school year already because of it...Because of them.
It's just about fall now. Just about time to switch out t-shirts for sweaters, and sandals for socks. Just about time for wood stacked on the porch and dinner by candlelight.
Just about.... just about....
We wait for the still days of autumn and winter when the blanket-basket’s piled high with extra layers for all who enter, and when the crockpot is stacked often with a mountain of potatoes from our garden and beef from our neighbor, dotted with carrots, salted and peppered.
There’s so much living in those cooler days, those frozen to the bone days. As if we can do nothing better than huddle together like a tiny community sharing the same wood stove flame. I look forward to them again. Though sure enough February will once more find me at my wits end when teacup rims are stained from the steady flow of Lady Gray and Chamomile and the word “too” is used daily.
“It’s too cold”, I’ll hear from my mouth and others.
The summer proved itself difficult, and in many ways heartbreaking. We left our church of 10 years. And that’s all I’ll say here about that, though you’re welcome to ask me privately. God has given us a new church home and I’m convinced it was all part of His plan to begin with, hard as it’s been on everyone.
All summer I sent important documents away to be state authenticated and mailed back to me with gold fasteners and official statements adhered to them. I watched the mailbox for the “okay” from Homeland Security for months. Tears fell when it finally leaned against the inside of our box by the road. We’re finished with the paper chase, the document collecting, the waiting on this form or that appointment. “And really, Lord?” I say all too often to myself, “is this really for us?” A gift this grand feels hard to imagine, hard to fit into a box or one solid emotion in my heart.
9 months of collecting documents and signing papers, arranging sessions with our adoption psychologist and asking banks and doctors, employers and friends to write detailed letters on behalf of us. A two-inch-thick stack of paper was mailed away last week, and in the blink of an eye, it was weighed and handed to someone around the corner.
And so we wait...
I recently heard someone say that every worthy story needs to possess beauty, goodness and truth. I do hope my story here, clings tightly around those three words. And that you feel it deeply too when you visit. But mostly that you find your story treading the same waters, even in the brokenness of the world around us. I pray you choose to let your story sink into the goodness God, the beauty of His works and the truth of His word, whether you get to stop for the gladiolus on the side of the road or you have to dream up their honeysuckle and clove smell.
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11