Friday, November 11, 2011

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Joan had been cooking for two days. She enjoyed cooking for her family. The pies had been baked and salads prepared. The rolls had been steadily rising all morning and were ready to be put in the oven. The turkey was cooked to perfection.

Joan could hear the family laughing in the living room. She smiled as she listened to the teasing. There was always teasing when her grown children were together. She looked around her kitchen and remembered the many meals she had cooked here.

Tomorrow she and her husband would move to their new house. They were retiring and excited about their new life. They had built a beautiful home in the small town where they were actively involved in the church and community. It was close to the lake so Roger could fish and they both enjoyed the friendships they had made through the church. They were looking forward to moving to the community permanently. But still--they had celebrated over thirty Thanksgivings in this house. There was a time when her children were chasing each other around the couch instead of sitting on it teasing each other. There was a time her children were sitting around the table in high chairs instead of serving themselves from the buffet line. There was a time she was teaching them to pray instead of asking one of them to lead in prayer.

They were celebrating Thanksgiving in this house today because the children had asked for it. Joan had been surprised at their reaction to the move. She hadn't realized that her children had such strong bonds with the house where they grew up.

"You sold the house?" "You sold our childhood home?" And other such questions had been asked.
"You knew we were selling the house. We told you that several years ago when we bought a place on the lake. You knew we planned to move up there when your dad retired."
"But you sold the home where we grew up." "This is home." And other such accusations were made.
For these reasons the family had decided they needed one more holiday at 'home'.

Today she stood in her kitchen alone, yearning for the past, enjoying the day, and excited about the future. Tomorrow her life would change completely. Even though they considered this home, her children would return to the homes they had built with their families. After today a new family would call this house home and her family would never return. Would the new family appreciate the house as much as she did? Joan and Roger had built the house with their own hands. Would the new family appreciate the work they put into it?

Tomorrow they would move to the new house they had built--also with their own hands. Joan had chosen the plans carefully. The house was designed to sustain them in their old age and welcome the kids and grandkids when they came to visit. Joan had designed the bedrooms to accommodate several guests. She had put in special features to assist her and Roger in their later years if needed. The house would serve them well for the rest of their lives. They had dedicated it to the Lord and asked His blessings on it. They intended to use the house to entertain church members and in any other way God lead them.

Today the family was celebrating Thanksgiving together in this house for the last time. The meal was ready. Joan thought, I need to call everyone to the table, but I need just a little more time. Can I do this? Can I walk out of my home and close the door for the last time? Lord, please give me the strength to do this. I know this is Your will. You have worked miracles to make this happen. There is no other way our plans could have worked out except for Your divine intervention. Please help me to celebrate with my family today. Amen.

Joan took a deep breath and called out, "Dinner is ready." Suddenly everyone from the living room hurried into the dining room. They found seats at the table that Roger had extended and he asked the blessing. Joan became teary eyed during his prayer.

"Are you alright, Mom?" One of the kids asked.
"Oh yes. I'm fine." They are just tears of regret, sorrow, joy, and contentment. She didn't know how to explain it.

Yesterday she built this house, raised her children, and said goodbye to them one by one. Today she welcomed them all back for a time of Thanksgiving. Tomorrow she would say goodbye to the house and the children.
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