My very long week, great, but very long, ended with a double blessing. A couple to be exact.
Taylor and I were going to have dinner guests! We never have people over, ever. I went into guest mode, figuring out a menu, pulling out dishes that had not been used in a couple of years, getting up early(ier) to get the crock pot started. Oh, so much fun!
After work I hurried home to start the baked potatoes and green bean casserole, Taylor making a detour to pick up dressing. Dinner guests! Actual dinner guests!
Taylor reorganized her apartment. She had run into a brick wall just after her birthday. She thought she was just putting cards away but came across birthday cards from Grandma Susie and Archie and then her world froze. She had to leave things just as they were…for a while. NOW she had the accountability and encouragement to move forward, beyond that wall. She was excited to share her personal world with special people.
When our guests arrived, Taylor the tour guide greeted them at the door as I was setting the table–we don’t even eat at the table! Our guests were a couple that knows us best, so honestly, there was no fear of judgment. I had to explain that the meat was in the crock pot for probably longer than it should have been. They were gracious and reassured us it tasted just fine.
The amazing thing is that she loves coffee as much as Taylor and I and that is rare. They brought a lovely cheesecake for dessert and Taylor and I asked her to choose the coffee. Southern Pecan. Perfect choice.
In my time with my heavenly Dad this morning He was speaking to me about places of safety. That became very real to me as shortly after, my fury kids needed to go out. While out, a sudden downpour occurred and I scurried to the door to let three dripping, shocked pups into the house. We hadn’t seen it coming. They RAN in, leaving a trail of wet pup prints and sprinkles of water. I headed out to the garage, Dash at my heals. I retrieved a fury kid towel (we have older towels that we reserve for the “kids” so we don’t have to share their hair 🙂 ), spun and without a word, began towel drying my soggy fury son. He looked at me with surprise and gratefulness. NEXT! “MOOOOOOOOLLY!” She had her turn, her chicken legs nearly pink as her fur is so fine and she was drenched. On to Max. He is, as described best by a beloved family member,”simple minded.” He really didn’t understand any of the instant shower and looked at me like,”Why the heck am I wet?”
After they were comfortable, we retreated back into the house and they resumed their positions. Dash is tucked under my left leg, Molly is pressing against my back, and Max is laying over the backsides of both of them to create a weird “V/U” shape as I type. Remember, I did NOT say I was lonely today, or cold, for that matter (they are little heat sources) :).
Our home is a place of safety for the fury kids, just like when you have teenagers or wayward adult children. They know that crap happens (you get caught in the rain) and without even asking, “Mom” is there to support, not fix them. I couldn’t make them dry, I could only make them more comfortable until time could take care of the rest. Home is safe, without judgment. No,”Stupid dogs, why didn’t they run under the shelter.” We all make mistakes and sometimes situations take us by surprise and we can’t prepare for the disaster ahead. Like when Archie went home.
That was quite the spider web to bring it back to this: we are drawn to places of safety where there is trust and you can let down your guard w/out judgment. I opened up my place of safety and invited those that I knew “have my back” and wouldn’t take the conversations we had and use them for gossip. It would be very easy for them to say,”I think Tracy and Taylor are doing_____ because when I talked to them they said_____.” You know what? If someone wants to know how we are doing…THEY can ask. It is a coward who gains information about individuals from anyone other than the source. But what do I know? I still have the plague ;).
Do you remember the story of the prodigal son?
“Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.” Luke 15:27
Though the son knew he had massively screwed up and had done nothing to earn forgiveness, he knew home was his refuge.
Your turn: where is your place of refuge? Is it home? Is it a place you visited as a child and when you go back you feel like everything is going to be ok somehow? Is it at church, with or without people there? Is it a “prayer closet” where it’s just you and God because the world feels like they are looking for ways to condemn you–even your family?
One more thing, I need to be a safe zone for others. I can only do that if I stay “tight” with my heavenly Dad. Otherwise it’s toooo hard to “share” what I’ve heard about “so and so” and not realize until much later that I left that zone for the other person. Crap. I am sooo far perfect sometimes I wonder why my heavenly Dad puts up with me. Then He reminds me of the basics:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
It’s because I’m screwed up that His son died for me. Hello! There’s no greater love than that.
Until tomorrow: Blessings!