"We need another bench," he said, jotting it down on that little notebook he keeps in his pocket, a running record of things to do, to buy, to work on. Yes...another bench for our little dining room table, the one we keep cramming children around year after year. The room has shrunk some, with the piano in the corner by the window, the closet housing my sewing/crafting stuff right next to it and the makeshift pantry/filing system I have going on the other wall. Our dining room is where we eat, make music, write, learn, fold laundry, play games, create...it's packed with chairs, benches, tables...life. In a 1200 square foot, 100 year old house with 6 children, every inch is claimed. Entirely lived in.
So, another bench. Because on benches you can scoot closer, make room for the cousins or neighbor kids who crop up. There's always more room on a bench, although your brother may kick up a fuss if you elbow him squarely in the jaw when he's trying to sip his soup. These are the tricks large families in small spaces preach and practice. These are the tricks I've learned, the way to keep some semblance of order in a home half the size of families half our size.
Another Spring comes and I say it again, that this is the last year. This past winter the last I'll spend with more laundry than I have space to put it away, a baby in a pack n' play in the spacious closet of her sisters' room. I don't really know that for sure, of course. I say it in a plaintive way. Come on, God. Please? Just a little more space. I won't be greedy, I promise. The kids can still share rooms and I don't even care if I have a master suite. Just a little more space? Please?
I smile when I remember a friend telling me three children ago that it was time for a little more room. "Y'all are pretty crowded," she had said, sitting on my one couch with my three toddlers crawling all over her. "Yeah, I know." I had responded, not knowing then that we'd welcome two more boys and one beautiful baby girl right upstairs in that tiny bedroom under the eaves. Life has a funny way of taking what you think you know and turning it on it's head.
I remind myself to stay contented, to keep my eyes on Him and me, the two of us all that matters in this relationship. Do I trust Him with my heart? My life? Does He have the best plan ever...for me? For not just the future, but for today? I believe - yes. Even here. When I'm wondering when it will be my turn, I turn right back and it's then that I remember - He's got this. My desires and my hopes, my dreams and my disappointments. He loves me and wants for me so much more than I could ever want for myself.
How can I help but content myself with that?
So I sew curtains and keep house like it's the home of my dreams because, for now, it's the home He says is best for me. A heaven-send. Just exactly right. I wonder when it's my turn and I realize - it's now. My turn to be lavishly loved and richly blessed on His terms. The only ones I'd ever want to live on.
Another bench for the beautiful kids He gave us. Another summer in this house my kids have always called home. Just what we need.
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