|The irresistible scent of home cooked goodness permeated the air, torturing our faithful yellow Lab and her spastic beagle companion. They struggled to restrain themselves, maintaining perfect posture, as their eyes followed every move, hoping their patient obedience would reap tasty rewards.
Suddenly, the beagle began to shake violently; her eyes bulging; looking as if, at any moment, she would spontaneously combust! Finally, I picked some samplings of the coveted feast and headed toward the two beggars. The beagle could no longer contain herself. She broke her obedient posture and began impatiently flailing and squawking about.
“Sit!” I commanded.
The rule is… if you want a treat, you have to sit still and wait for me. But, she refused. She had been patient long enough!
Our Lab, however, was the perfect model of discipline and obedience; never once breaking her posture; but patiently watching, as the beagle repeatedly disobeyed. Finally, she realized that her blessing wasn’t coming until the beagle submitted. So, she reached out her paw, placed it atop the beagle’s sitter, and shoved her down into the sitting position.
Grinning at her firm correction of her impatient, unruly companion, I treated the Lab to a double portion.
“Okay, God!” I chuckled. “I get it!”
It was our first Thanksgiving in our new house. The previous two years, one month, and thirteen days… our family of six cohabitated in a rented camper on our farm, while we undertook the task of building our own home with our own twelve hands.
“I’m a good sport!” I assured my husband, when the builder announced the project would take six to nine months. “It’ll be an adventure, like a six-month-long camping vacation! Let’s do it!”
My enthusiasm sprang from our certainty that God was calling us to stop pursuing the country club lifestyle and move to the country instead; to release our children into the wild, and teach them the values and blessings of a simple life and good old fashioned hard work.
Everything that could go wrong… did! Avid do-it-yourselfers, we eagerly accepted the task of doing all the cosmetic work, after the builder completed the structure. But one heartbreaking disappointment and delay after another resulted in our family becoming responsible for way more of the building process than we ever intended.
Every day, my husband ran our business, while the children and I did what little projects we could. Every evening, he came home, ate dinner, kissed the kids goodnight, and the two of us worked on the house until we got tired and started making mistakes, or until we got on each other’s nerves. Some evenings we finished late… some early!
I learned how to use rechargeable power tools, because waiting on my husband to finish the construction all by himself was taking too long! We had already spent two Christmases in the camper! Finally, our power was scheduled to be turned on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving number three. Victory was soooo close… we could taste it!
But, our power lines had been improperly installed. We weren’t going to have power for Thanksgiving, after all. At that point, I must have looked like the beagle. I think my husband was afraid that I might actually spontaneously combust! Like our faithful Lab, he took control and made me “Sit!”
He dug a hole in the sand, lit a charcoal fire, and cooked corn on the cob in a stock pot, using an old grill rack and two cinder blocks. He plugged a portable roasting oven, atop a lawn table, into the camper’s power pole and roasted the turkey. We cooked sweet potatoes inside the camper in a portable skillet and boiled green beans in a crock pot inside the house using a fifty foot extension cord.
We savored our Thanksgiving feast in our new home without electricity, but not without power. When I finally submitted, became still, and waited upon God, He blessed us with a double portion of His power, provision, and blessing. It was the best Thanksgiving meal we ever tasted… not because the treats were great… but because our God is!