Earlier this year, as it was starting to warm up, I would open the back door of our rented house and look out at our little fenced yard. I would anticipate the summer heat and spending time with the kids in our little inflatable pool, or under the sprinkler. The door opened to a set of concrete steps, which abutted the yard. Thinking of the mud and grass that was going to get tracked into the house, I wished there was a patio there. Nothing fancy, just somewhere to hose off the kids before coming inside (1). I started to evaluate my options- Craigslist, IKEA patio squares, Lowes. All of which involved spending money to unnecessarily improve our rental house. Needless to say, it wasn’t going to happen.
Then the first warm day came. Wanting to be outside with every fiber of my being, having been apathetic towards every cold day since November (2), I went outside while the babies napped and started tinkering around outside. I’m not very good at sitting still, so doing anything outside, while also getting some vitamin D, is a double win. I decided to rake and hoe around the last concrete step, just to clean it up a bit.
Tink. I hit something. After a little investigation I pulled up a paver. The side of another peeked through the dirt along the rectangular hole now in our yard. I dug that one up, too. Excited, I dug and pulled, over and over, sweating and pulling pavers out of the yard. Somewhere in our house’s past, someone had made a little walkway out of pavers. There were just enough to make a sweet little patio for our summer fun.
With every paver, I thought of how the Lord knows our needs, how he provides, even when we don’t ask, and so much more when we do. That little patio was a want, not a need. It was a blessing, sweating, raking, leveling, lifting, in the sweet spring sunshine. Each paver was a gift. It was a gift because it reminded me that God is present in everything we do. He’s provided so many things for us, big things, things like finances for seminary, jobs, children, an amazing and supporting church family. He provides these things that we don’t deserve, huge things that we are eternally grateful for. And then the pavers, reminding me that He also provides the little things, the sometimes seemingly silly things, and that even those little things are in His control, and in His care. He cares about the details, and that is an amazing thought.
I’m writing this week to give Chris a break, as the day to day grind can be a little wearisome. Support raising is slow work, but it’s also humbling and encouraging. The prayers and sacrifices of those who are supporting us are real reminders of how God is providing for us in a big way. This weekend Chris is going to a men’s retreat. Please pray that God will bless his time away, will give him a renewed spirit, and that he will have encouraging fellowship with other men. Also, please pray that our children will stay and get well. Thank you so much for your prayers and support.
(1) I only ever hosed off Avonlea, Oliver really never got that dirty.
(2) That’s a bit of an exaggeration; it’s just that I love the hot weather. Seriously, even when it’s humid. (Editors note: this is true. It’s never really been too hot for my wife.)
(3) Oliver had the hand, foot, and mouth virus, so he’s been kept home this week.