Friday, November 25, 2011
Ode to "Joy" and Fellowship in the Valley
Well it's the Friday after Thanksgiving and I will admit to feeling like we dodged a huge bullet. We made it through last night and none of the rest of us have been struck down by the illness that had my younger son up all night Wednesday night. Yes this meant that we were unable to travel to spend Thanksgiving with our wonderful cousins and grandparents. This was a hard pill to swallow. However, our family was remarkably bright eyed (particularly remarkable for the two of us who'd been up all night) and able to find so many things in our lives to be thankful for. Then, as if to reward us for this positive upbeat attitude, God showered us with the most amazing Thanksgiving gift. Our wonderful friend Joy called to say she had some extra turkey and a pumpkin pie she wanted to bring by since she knew we had not planned or shopped for a meal here. In fact we had very little in the house because we'd planned to be out of town for the next 4 days. We were overwhelmed with gratitude. A sick little boy, a tired mommy and daddy and a very disappointed 8 year old who was trying to be as thankful as his little heart could muster in the face of not spending a few days with beloved cousins. We were by no means helpless but this meant the world to us to be thought of and cared for. Not only did Joy bring us turkey and pie, she brought the fixings for an ENTIRE Thanksgiving meal. When I saw it all on my counter, I completely broke down in tears. Yes, I was very tired, but I also felt so loved and cared for. It was yet another example of the family God had built around us here in Yakima since we'd moved here a little over a year ago. It was a leap of faith and we knew God had orchestrated this move and we were excited about it, despite leaving home and family and friends behind us. He led us here, to a job that my husband loves and that makes him more joyful than I've seen him in years, friends and neighbors that have made life a joy, to a church that has epitomized the life we want to live, a slower paced life that focuses on relationships and building the community around us, and to a FAMILY that loves us completely. Our church family and friends have never let us feel alone here, in the many moments we've started to long for connections they've been there. They visited the hospital to provide company, support, and even gifts for Levi when he was hospitalized 6 months after moving here, meals when we came home, invitations into homes in case weather prevented us from spending holidays with blood family, countless invitations into homes on a regular basis to enjoy time together and now a full Thanksgiving meal brought to our doorstep by our very own Thanksgiving angel. We are blessed beyond measure by the bounty God has provided for us, not in material things, but in relationships and love here "In the land of apples and hops".