It is five o’clock in the evening.
It’s watching my dog scarf down her food, tail a-wagging, and wishing I could–just this once–give her a bone. Nothing doing.
It’s going for a long, leisurely walk and commenting on how each pine tree, every crunching leaf, the various candle scents pouring from our neighbors’ windows, and every delightful cooking smell tell a compelling story.
It’s the pounding of hammer and nails as Jedediah fixes the skylight.
It’s the buzzing of the television from the master bedroom, and the knowledge that the brand-new television is playing everyone’s favorite sportsball. Perhaps you know that I don’t classify myself as “everyone” in the preceding sentence, but that’s neither here nor there…
It’s listening to Naomi sing in the kitchen as she and Hannah prepare the rice. A little more than two cups of water, a little less than two cups of rice. One steamer, received several Christmases ago and attendant with so many precious memories.
It’s the fragrance of Givalia coffee, that indoor rainbow, wafting through the house and making our entire home fragrant. “An indoor rainbow”, I say, because rainbows represent God’s promises, because coffee only seems to be a factor in our lives when all is going well, and because our Lord has restored so very much to us, taking all of our heaviness and replacing it with the garment of praise.
It’s all those decisions we have to make. You see, it’s never just “salmon”. It’s tender salmon for Naomi and Hannah, crisp salmon for me; extra lemon-pepper and sometimes teriyaki for me, and light seasoning for the other two ladies; hickory for me, and none for anyone else. T-bone steak for Jedediah. And, on top of it all, the love that goes into Jedediah’s grilling, which makes the salmon taste better than I have ever encountered anywhere else. The same thing with the rice–regular or sea salt? Butter, butter substitute, or none? Cheese bread or regular and, if cheese bread, how much garlic? And, should I live dangerously and have Jedediah add the bread to the hickory-chip-laden grill?
It’s prayers before this lavish meal, thanking the Lord for all His goodness to us.
It’s eating together on our brand-new, very soft sofa, propped against pillows with little patterns weaving in and out of them. Better than a lavish table, beautiful tablecloth, company plates, and Grandma’s antique silver any day!
It’s a good, hearty dose of Red-Letter Reading. This, one of the most glorious projects we’ve ever worked on together, consists of either Naomi or Jedediah recording all the words of Jesus, chapter by chapter. It goes even deeper than this, but a fuller description is for a different post.
It’s all the interactive things we seem to be doing lately–sharing our blog posts, watching Jedediah enthrall us with his WII exploits, listening idly as Naomi exclaims in delight over the most recent moves made by her sportsball teams, laughing with Hannah as she regales us with her latest adventures. I tell you, that girl can transform a trip to King Sooper’s into a tour of Rome!
It’s that prayer I prayed earlier. “Lord, take this discouragement and loneliness from my heart, and fill me with the joy of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to spend quality time with these people I love so much, and remind me of Your great faithfulness.. And it is knowing that, ever and always, my prayer has been answered.
This is dinner with my family, and the normal, quotidian excitement that follows it. Need I say that 5:00 marks the beginning of my favorite time of the day?