Happy Hassles

We moved this week. Most women would be excited at the prospect of decorating their new home, but not me. Those who know me best know that I read, write, bake and clean, but I don’t decorate.

Decorating requires at least two of several things which I have in short supply: time, money, vision and creativity. Plus, all that stuff you put on your walls and shelves and tables must be dusted. With only one of our five children still at home, soon there will no longer be anyone around to do the dusting, which as we all know is why we had kids in the first place. Mike and I are not about to dust absent extreme duress.

So imagine my angst at having to figure out how to position the furniture in our odd shaped living room, taking into consideration the fireplace, the baseboard heaters and the wall of windows overlooking the Columbia River. I became increasingly frustrated as my husband and son pushed the bulky couch and hefty television stand around the room in search of the perfect location. Their exasperation grew louder with each huffing pull and grunting shove. Finally, we gave up and went to bed.

When making weighty decisions such as proper furniture placement, sleeping on it is always a good idea. I woke up early the next morning and, in a burst of inspiration, switched the position of the love seat and the recliner and voila! All was right with the world. I poured myself a cup of coffee and plopped down on the couch.

As I gazed out the window, it struck me that while my biggest problem last night had been where to put stuff in my house, there were multitudes who longed for a house or shelter of any kind.

I had boxes and boxes of bedding and blankets that would soon sit on my closet shelves while frigid homeless people sat outside wishing they had something to keep them warm.

My biggest concern this Thanksgiving week was getting to the grocery store in time to stock up on a ridiculous quantity of specific holiday staples before they were ravaged by other shoppers, while the hungry simply hoped for some food to quiet the ache in their bellies.

God had given me a beautiful home in the majestic Columbia River Gorge of the Pacific Northwest in the land of the free and the brave, with overflowing cupboards, an inviting living room and a cozy fireplace with a spectacular view of the gem of the ocean, and I wondered not at the miracle of that, but where to put the T.V.

Forgive me, Lord. Thank you for the spiritual, relationship and material blessings you have showered on me and my family. I stand in awe of you, God – your grace, mercy, compassion and loving kindness. Thank you for being faithful when I am faithless. Thank you for saving me from the folly of my sin and myself. Thank you for never leaving me, never giving up on me and always pursuing fellowship with me. Thank you for all the happy hassles of this life, the blessings of brokenness and your peace that passes understanding in the midst of pain. I am humbled and overwhelmed by you.

May we pass your love on to others, Lord, by giving blankets and coats to those without them, serving in soup kitchens and warming shelters and offering the bounty of our cupboards and hearts to those in need.


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