Unexpected blessings are the best, aren't they? Some people claim that they love to know when a surprise is coming - the waiting is the best part. Why is that? I wonder if it is because nothing here on earth is completely satisfying. Even the good things, the best of the best, are only weak echoes of those things promised to us by God - IF we are His.
My life has been full to overflowing with unexpected blessings recently. I mean really. Really really. Let me try and put down here a few of the amazing things that have happened recently:
I found a doctor who not only seems to understand my condition - he takes my insurance!
Right when I had come to a good peace with where I was, God gave us a big house to live in for at least 6 months!
The house that was offered has concrete flooring, greatly cutting down on our allergies (you know, as long as we don't open closets or cabinets).
The house has a wonderful loft where the children can play and a huge plot of land, acres and acres to run with the dogs.
Church family and friends have banded together, donating clothing, dishes, blankets, furniture - even three crockpots! We own nothing but want for nothing.
This is a weird one, but I have suddenly thought of why roaches are a blessing (this is a 50 year old house that was empty for 4 years, so there are a few unsavory inhabitants). You see, this is a beautiful old house on a gorgeous plot of land. It would be easy to be covetous - to wish I could live here, that I could own all of this. But the roaches keep all of that in check. Hm. NEVER thought the day would come when I would be thankful for roaches. I am thankful, but I still do not like them. At all.
And now let me mention a day of blessings - today. Today is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a day when we traditionally put up our Christmas tree. But of course we have no tree, no decorations. Not a problem - who am I to complain with all that I have been given! And today, out of the blue, on the very day that we normally put up our tree, we were given a beautiful Christmas tree, the most gorgeous, wonderfully Christmas-y smelling tree that I have ever had. With a stand. Our friend not only graciously gave this to us, she listened so carefully that she knew our tradition of giving ornaments to the girls each year. She gave them each an ornament (they are carefully bagged so that we can take them to our new house someday). She and her husband gave us two amazing poinsettias. I get one each year - that is my Christmas treat. This year I knew we would not have one - and yet here we are with two! In the year that I was content with what we had, content with not having what others would be enjoying, we were blessed with not only what we usually have, but double. Yeah. Wow. Words can not express....
And the blessings today continued. We have nothing to decorate the tree with, so we brainstormed. We got coupons and purchased some buttons, some felt, some thread. And some scissors, since we didn't have any! I spent several wonderful hours with my daughters singing Christmas carols and making ornaments. We cannot keep the ornaments, of course, when we move to our new house. But we decided that after Christmas we will give ornaments to special people. So as we sewed, we talked about the people we were sewing for - who will get what, why we think they will like this particular ornament, what the person might do with the ornament - we spent our time for others. And while we thought of others, we found ourselves adding more detail, trying to put extra effort into making our ornaments special. What a new experience! We realized that if we each sew one ornament a day until Christmas, we can bless almost 100 people with an ornament - one sewn especially for them, sewn while they were being loved as best as we are able.
Can you think of a better tradition to start? I have learned enough recently so that I know I cannot count on having the ability to continue this tradition - that would be in God's hands. But if I can.... this is one that I would love to continue. Imagine a tree each year filled with gifts for others. A tree where nothing is ours - nothing is permanent.... except love.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins
Instead of your shame
there shall be a double portion;
instead of dishonor
they shall rejoice in their lot;
therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
they shall have everlasting joy.