Abundance – Life Around A Table

This is Day 15. To read the collective, that is all posts in the 31 Day Series click here. Today I am joining Amber Haines for her concrete words writing prompt.Today’s word is table.

The round, the oval, the rectangle memory builder, maker.

The dining, the coffee, the end, the side,  the row, column of data. The table.

A vehicle for feasting the soul, the heart, the mind.

In  one transformative sweep it morphs from holder of today’s bills and mail to the meeting place for high school english project. Piles of candy recharge, refuel the teenage mind, while brainstorming crisscrosses her mahogany Pledge shine surface with ideas to make the project better. More A worthy for the teacher.

And its held recreations of a Civil War battle and the solar system, glued construction paper replica, comes together where china, crystal, linen napkins share the place of honor.

She becomes the family board meeting table, hosting discussions of what went well, what bruised hearts at school this day. She, firm, steady, noble bears up under tears of joy, tears of happiness.  Tears. Holds up well during squabbles or were they full-blown fights.

She has born witness  to those who failed to  follow the family  protocol sent from her to their rooms, off to think in solitude, of how they hurt, whom they hurt. Her eyes have seen the dogs fed scraps of cold peas, stewed tomatoes remnants of the unwanted slipped beneath her.

And all the Cheerios spilled. Thrown. High chairs pulled up to her until the graduation to a real seat. Elbows on her. Nervous hands rattle silverware, ADD herky jerky knives and forks tap tap out like morse code on her chocolate brown surface. Spilt milk, water pools over, rivers of running liquids spilled and wiped, wiped and spilled again.

Like the family secrets. Spilled. The table holds the family up together while the abundance is passed, salad, bread, more than enough even in times of want. And there is pass the salt, pass your words so we can know your heart. More spilled liquids, more spilled dreams and then we move from the table.

And the every changing centerpiece of the real centerpiece of the home is this place of nourishment. The sunflowers, baskets of shells, rosemary mixed in, the gardenia and hydranga, they mark a season, mark a life.

It all is so abundant there. The way He has filled us up. The way the mana keeps on coming. Flowing.

The way a table is not needed when you grab a tray a plate and balance on your lap, serving from the table now becomes a buffet for a house full. She serves so graciously. Always ready to transform into the wooden vessel of service.

It is the departure point for life, we move from her after nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls. The side holds books, the coffee holds papers screaming a headline. The bedside holds bibles, more books.

And she has heard the voices of the High -Low game, played over her. The best of the day, the worst of the day tossed back and forth like ping pong ball over and around. Marking the day with baked chicken mashed potatoes. My high is being here with you, The Patient one says. This meal, this time. She hears confessional of what blesses the breadwinner’s heart. The being sur la table. Looks out and on his family from the head.

And she bears witness to the words of thanks for the grateful hearts creaking back in chairs, rocking back on back legs wobbly.We are grateful for the abundance. Children and friends and friends of friends. Monopoly and dominoes shuffled cards.

Blessings sung, off key, in unison, blessings spoken. Children’s easy God is Great, but for all ages, because God is Great and He is Good. And the long ones spoken by the mother while her children squirm and say the food is getting cold.

She has seen eggs died, dipped, rolled on her at the celebration of His resurrected life. And Christmas mornings too, with Luke and children’s books read. Moravian sugar cake, coffee-cake, casseroles, and carols, candles. She has heard the telling of His birth seen the bird carved up and served. Thanksgiving feasts laid in thanks with gratitude through the years.

Her memories tabled in a column in a row of data, she sees the life lined up and stacked. Life and portions served from the left, cleared from the right. Napkin in your lap spoken one thousand times or more. Mabel, mabel get your elbows off the table. Candle wax dripped, cut off with a knife. Red wine spills and stains, tears spilled and stained.

Announcements made, plans made, the best laid plans made and tabled, the discussion is over. You may go to your room. You may clear. You may set. You may be excused. May I be excused too. You may.

Bow your heads. No peeking. She could write a book.

There was the time she opened her engagement ring, wrapped in a box in a box in a box, from him, there, at the table, at her parents. And there was the time. All the time, the rhythm of the meal, no bare feet, the knife guards the spoon from the fork, its a battleground sometimes. Crease in the napkin, more linen than paper. No condiments random, must be wrangled in a proper container. And there was the time.

Chapter One. In the beginning was the table, she served her family well. May she rest well after years of service.

Until she takes her place with the next generation.

And takes her place as the centerpiece of service, serving others, always.

God is Great, God is Good, Let us thank Him….for the table a place for feasting on the life abundant.

Counting gifts, gratefully, time, crisp air, hope, pink morning sky, peace, good news, more peace, gracious words, more hope, pink mums, time to reflect back on a life of a young mom who died at 48 and hear the words of the funeral from two of our children, cherishing the days we have, seeing the abundance in this life, time with old friends – tender, sweet, seeing God’s hand of protection and sovereignty, too many to count.

Joining Ann, Laura, Amber, Michelle ,  L.L. Barkat, and The Nester.

And now its time for your words. Because hearing yours is an important part of being in a community. You may leave one word or many, but I do love to hear from ya’ll. There is a comment box below, there is a leave a comment link on high. Either way, they wait for your words to spill and add more color.

You may leave words on Facebook, Twitter or my email inbox. Those are great word repositories too.

The Morning Art Gallery of Life, A Grand Opening

The Web of Life

She opens her gallery in morning bright light early

Displays God Art.

 First fruits offered in obedient love.

Weaving with legs strong graceful

Navigating  strength,symmetry

Strong small presence, centered

Delicate lovely home made art.

Like a prayer labyrinth she walks alone, in her, on her,

Home made strong, receptacle of nourishment

Quiet delicate web net of protection.

Quiet masterpiece holds fast in love

Holds strong in love.

And in woven winsome beauty, she makes her way through,like a maze.

She waits,  heartbeat holding watch.

Glimmering gleaming hopefilled web

Offering order in chaos,

Perfectly alligned with His will for her.

Perfectly imperfect, seeking Grace

She hangs in the net web,

Soul centered place of still waiting waving in the gentle spirit breeze,

Peace-filled knowing

Anchored here, anchored there.

No fear takes space, finds a space in the perfect web of peace.

No angry broom will knock down, rip down, tear down.

Grace for her, grace for all.

She and her God art catching the morning light.

Masterfully weaving this artful way through the life web.

Tied in obedience to the One who teaches  art of making the way

through a beautiful web maze, the story

that is her sparkling sticky, glistening fragile, light-catching, light-relfecting,

Hidden to some,

 Yet visible to the lover of Beauty, God Art

A Hopeful, graceful web.

Catching nourishment for the soul.

Counting Gifts and Linking with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com and with Michelle on this Monday.

And with Laura Barkat and Laura Boggess for In On and Around Mondays and  Playdates at the Wellspring.

*A lost cross purchased in New York, found this morning, a treasure found on the floor.

*Beautiful time with volleyball family, winning, losing, fellowshipping

*Long day in the creek after church, salt, sea, friends, The Patient One, counting the gifts of close finish-your-sentence friends and a day on the water and in it too.

*Encouragement coming in so many different forms, delivered sweetly in love

*New connection with old friend

*The Patient One giving gifts, a lawn cleaner and tidier and the gift of time lovingly spent together

*During woship, watching The Patient One sway in the breeze of praise, singing sweet the songs of worship

*Planning a Monday night family dinner- Joyfilled family meal, with hopes and dreams to play our High/Low game again. (naming the highes and lows of our day).

*Making plans for a trip to Haiti, and feeling the call in Peace and in Love.

*Receiving my Compassion International Packet in the mail with the precious picture and information on the sweet sweet girl I am privileged to sponsor. So hopeful about her future and a budding relationship.

Looking At Life Through A Lense Of Forgiveness

That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.  Romans 8:28

It was a little over a year ago.

Cracked open a mothers heart.

Busted it wide slap open.

The phone rings at night.  I need to come home.

And so the next morning he brought him home.  Away at school, a boarding school, he had 21 days left of the school year.

But he needed to be home, with family.  Under the roof of protection.  Under the cover of love.

And now forgiveness starts. Like hatchlings peck pecking at the shell, the hard outer, to gain freedom, to fly free, forgiveness is like that. Freeing you up to be unbound. Releasing you outside the hard shell to live in a place of freedom, not bound by pain and anger.

But more importantly he forgives.  And he has forgiven.  He forgave. It’s like conjugating a latin verb, the repetition of the drill brings perfection in the recitation. I forgive, he forgives, we forgive, they forgive. Its really important to perfect this excercise in full, flat-out, nothing held back forgiveness.

At least for the mother. And she believes for the son.

The mother knows because he forgives because he told her.  And Romans 8:28 pierces, raw red beating, pulsing mommas heart with new power.  With new meaning.  It delivers Truth to the threshold of the home.

When pain inflicted by words and actions wound deep in the inner parts, healing deep and wide is required in the embrace of a father and Our Father. And a mother. And home heals.

And forgiveness begins.

So The Patient One, he barely sleeps through the night like the restless protector at the gate keeping watch over his family, one eye open, heart bruised but braced for the extraction. The extraction of a child from woundedness and pain beyond what he can bear up under.

Twenty some odd days left, but the challenges have become too great. And the hurt it got into the soul and the heart and the head and banged around too much. Delt some blows that carved craters in the inner parts.

Words wound and insults, like stinging nettles in the sea, they rip into the flesh and scar. Pain inflicted through words. We know well the power if we were blind to that before. We know now full well the power of language and actions.

It was time to come home.

And I know because he told me.

And he told the mother, you know those guys why did they do that stuff, and why were they so mean. And the mother says they were hurting, they had pain in their own lives. And the mother says I don’t know, but that they were unhappy.

And he says, you know I forgave them.

And the mother blinks back tears, a blend of sweet sorrow and salty pride, and warm love and says she is glad.

He says you know I am glad it happened because I am home now. And I am so glad to be home.

Healing continues, restoration is complete, and he looks at life through a lense of forgiveness.

And the mother understands Romans 8:28.

And God gives the mother new understanding of what a shelter of love and protection under the covering of home can look like, feel like, and live like.

A mother views life through a lense of grace……and forgiveness.

counting gifts on Monday, here, with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com.

* Family time with sand,salt, sea and kayaks

*Having all three kiddos under my roof, bliss—pure joy

*Planning the Great Art Adventure and watching God work out all the details

*Celebrating graduation with neices, with my god-daughter.

*Awaiting the birth of our precious Sadie’s black lab puppies soon. Watching The Patient One and my man/child build the welcome box for the puppies.

* Seeing the excitement in my daughter’s eyes and heart at the count-down to the birth of these young furry children in our home–new life, new furry love, the miracle of God’s design for new life and how we are privileged to play a small role in loving momma dog.

*Spending time with precious friends on the boat, on the river laughing and planning and just being–the simple joy of deep trusted invested in friendship.

*Having middle son tell me how much a certain scripture speaks to him and how he went into his bedroom and spent time with his bible. How the Lord gave him the verse.

*Middle son enjoying his time on the beach after a 92 pound weight loss. A mother’s heart watches years of pain erased by new mercies on these sunny days on the beach, on the river, with friends.

Linking up here and here and here and here too