It all started with the cleaning out of the spare room.
Try to sell that line to some publisher for a real cliff hanger beginning…….. (snicker, snicker…)
But it’s true, that is where it all started.
And pile after pile of loose papers and cards and letters that had fallen out of a plastic storage tub, compliments of one of the Royalty littles.
I almost halted our “Operation gut the spare room” when I saw handwriting I hadn’t seen for a long time.
That of friends, family, even notes from a special friend of mine who used to call me “Deen” when we first were getting to know one another.
BUT, because my sweetheart ‘s love language is “Acts of Service,” we pressed through the mess. Even as I type I chuckle at God’s goodness to me. After all, how can we go through one day and not clean and teach and make dinner and such. So without even thinking about it somedays I am filling a tank of love.
And when the last crumb was swept I indulged in my shoebox of memories.
I went through each piece of paper and some I kept, some I did not, and the ones I kept went into something my Father-in-law taught me about.
He calls it his “Encouragement File.” Well my file is a shoebox, but its purpose is the same: To lift you soul and spirit when you are low.
With some letters I laughed.
With some I cried.
With some I literally held them as if they were the deed to a million dollars.
And to me, they are.
One in particular was from a friend. An old friend who I haven’t spoken to in over 12 years. Probably since my wedding she was a part of.
She and I traveled in a singing Ensemble together and knew each other’s foibles and shortcomings like the back of our hands.
I loved being with her because she was so easy, so free and you could be yourself. I don’t have too many friends like that today and had even less of them then.
For my 30th birthday almost five years ago now, Joel did something for me that still reaches my heart.
He wrote to more than thirty people that my life had crossed paths with, sent them a family picture and asked them to send me a card or note telling me a memory that we shared.
I wept at the surprise birthday party held for me that year, my first one ever, on my Golden Birthday, when he handed me the basket of these memories.
And again I held one of them in my hand reading and re-reading it just because it is so precious to me.
My long-ago-friend mentioned things we did and things she remembers most about me, saying that she loved to hear me talk about something I felt passionate about because of how I would use such expression to talk about it, and some other things that probably would mean nothing to anyone but us.
Then there was a paragraph that today came back to me.
She said that in all of our traversing state after state, in all of our imagining what our lives would be like, she said that she so remembers how I told her that more than anything I will want my children to know that I love them, and I will tell them often.
And I sit in bed typing this and smiling at the beautiful morning sun lighting up my bed. Yes I am in bed, with my nightgown still on, surrounded by my Bible, notebook and Bible study book.
When the day began I felt little arms and legs crawl into my bed on Joel’s side and attempt to cover themselves up. She drifted off the sleep with me and we enjoyed just being together.
The older kids laughed outside the bedroom door playing and chatting way past time for breakfast.
But we here on Humphrey don’t mind.
Some mornings are for lying in bed, or laughing with your brothers and sisters.
I glance at the clock and my little bundle half covered and think to myself how very much I love this sweet little girl, my last little to cuddle in the morning like this…..and I forget the clock and bagels are easy to fix, and decide to wrap her up and hug her while she sleeps.
And I slip down for a bagel and tea and big brother says he would like to take over so I can go have my devotions, and he has already had his and showered and I smile.
And I creep into bed and life could not be sweeter with tea and my Bible and my little babe of two.
And as I stroke her hair and she smiles with eyes closed I remember the words from a letter from an old friend who I could be myself with.
“I wuv you Mama.” She says.
I feel her cheek and feel the love of an amazing God and whisper back, “I love you too, so much, and you are safe and I will take care of you.”
She nods as if she understands and I thank God for a perfectly wonderful very very late morning.