I remember one night last summer, I was really craving steak for supper. I didn't have any steak, and I doubted whoever owned the cattle across the way would appreciate my "borrowing" one of them for the night. So, I let the idea go. About an hour later, I hear a knock at the door. There are only a few types of callers here: neighbors stopping by to retrieve their dogs, hog semen delivery people, guys wondering if you were the folks who needed the new grain bin, and apparently, frozen steak salesmen. Yep, at my door was a frozen steak salesman who decided that even though most folks in these parts raise and process their own beef, he thought he'd try a couple dirt roads just for the hay of it. I think my knees went a little weak when he asked if I wanted to try one of his steaks--for free. I mumbled something he recognized as affirmative and handed me a frozen steak and drove off. I know. Sometimes that "still, quiet voice" speaks a little louder than usual. The frozen steak episode set me to thinking more about how everything that passes through my hands is from the Father.
I don't need much, and for this I'm grateful. (I write this and go back thinking it sounds arrogant. Forgive me if it does.) I think growing up with folks whose checking account balance was usually one or two decimals away from zero actually made it easier for me to give thanks when frozen steaks appear at my door. I'm sure my mom, who would charge packages of summer sausage and cans of nuts on the Walgreens charge card (the only one they could get) when the cupboards were empty, felt differently. But I don't really think so. I think she had something better than money. She had kids and a lot of love, and these gifts, the ones that passed through her hands, were the desires of her heart. And these things that pass through my hands, they too must be the desires of my heart, even when I don't know it. What my heart desires:
1. Simple beauty.
2. Homemade living. To learn how to make my own soap. (Building my supplies from finds at Et. Cetera. So far, I've spent about 3 bucks.)
3. To grow things good from the garden and give thanks for the miracle of it, one I can't begin to comprehend though I see it daily.
4. To love the animals He's made. This includes the possums and raccoons that eat here each night.
5. To give thanks for this warm place to rest and be near Him.
6. To spend some time each day cooking something simple and good for the body, which the soul must wear for a time.
7. To study, to be moved, to believe, to hear, to learn, to do, to teach, to live. His word.
8. To never leave a gift unused. (Okay, this picture is confusing. It's the cap off a juice bottle, and it makes an excellent pan-scrubber when you have the baked-on, caked-on blues from all that good food you're cooking.)
9. To not fear butter or sugar or heavy cream. To really taste and see His sweetness.
10. To make a space for Nora that she loves.
11. I don't know the words for this one.