These days in May have been so full. Full of children playing, of friendship, sunshine and laughter. Occasionally tears came and went with reassuring words and comfort. There is less than a week left of caring for our little friends. Each day is proving to be a bittersweet bonding of friendship; just as we will be saying a little goodbye, we all feel a swelling of love and appreciation for one another. Elliot, Richard and I will miss the children being here every day. Yesterday while they sat eating brownies and milk at my kitchen table, I shared that no matter where they go in life, or what they do, I am their friend forever. No matter if they grow up and move away, have great success or stumble along, I will care. I promised that we would get together over the summer for campfires and play dates. They returned loving words of affection and smiled at the thought of summer evenings roasting marshmallows and playing in the dark.
There is so much of life to enjoy, even when things don't turn out the way we think they should. It took me so long to finish school. It is taking me even longer to learn how to support myself financially. I know that God knows that this troubles me, like a nagging, unspoken thing under the surface. The negative little critic seeps in sometimes, saying those cruel little phrases like "you're supposed to be intelligent. Why did you work so hard just to end up making frivolous things and taking care of children? Why are you so foolishly hiding in your house when you could be out there wearing nice clothes and being someone important? What do you hope to accomplish by teaching at home to one child instead of attempting to influence many?" And it goes on. And I have to move past it. Ignore the chatter. Put a gag on the mean, mean little abuser. Remember that I'm doing exactly what I feel inside is the most fulfilling way to live.
So I took a walk. It was bliss outside. The air was balmy, not oppressive. The afternoon was fading into evening, and I soaked up those weakening rays of light that reached over the sky, above me and through me, to a bank of towering white clouds that pushed together in piles of heaping meringue. Purple wisteria bloomed in arches over mailboxes. Day lillies reached out in sprays. A neighbor passed by in a station wagon and waved. Then I heard the still small voice. I hadn't heard it in such a long time. I'm learning to recognize this phenomenon when it happens without questioning the source. I used to wonder if it was my own thoughts because the voice sounds like me talking to myself. But the small voice came to me when I wasn't trying to answer any particular question. It came after I had been observing the beauty of this life all around me. It said:
"Let God provide for you."
And I realized that I had been trying too hard to provide for myself. I was missing the real value that I swim in daily. Not the artificial value of money. And when I started to think about that artificial value of money, I realized that sometimes people carry it so far as to abuse and hoard and use up so many resources; they are never satisfied; they can never have enough.
I have plenty. More than I ever thought was possible, and more than I thought I deserved.