The Promise of the Feast

A few weeks ago, I was pretty sure I was pregnant. 

The thought kept me up at night and I lay in bed googling “signs of early pregnancy” and wondering how life would change if my hunch was right. How would we do it? And what would people think? Particularly after I have spent the past couple months telling the internet what a rough time I’m having with the kids that I already have. Would people think we are irresponsible? Crazy? Stupid?

And how would I manage? The months of puking that accompany pregnancy for me. Followed by the years of interrupted sleep. My attention spread between 5 baby birds, all with mouths wide open, all so urgently needy. And what would another baby do to my marriage? So many days I have so little left to give to the man who loves me so well…could we do it all again? Could we manage?

How would I have enough?…

Tonight we got home late after dinner at our friends’ house. It was nearly 10pm and as we were rushing the kids to bed, the big boys began complaining that they were hungry. They headed towards the pantry for their go-to snack-granola bars-and were upset when I shooed them from the kitchen and told them to go downstairs to their beds. My oldest looked at me dejected, snaggle-toothed in the way 9 year-olds are, eyes red from pool water, hungry like a teenager even though he still sits on my lap some times. He whined, “It’s just that I’m so hungry.” 

“I know.” I said. “Now go downstairs to your bed.” Reluctantly he obeyed. I followed him down, past his room and to the storage room. I went in, and took a Costco box of granola bars down from the shelf, opened it, and took one to him in his bed. 

“The box in the pantry was empty. You didn’t think I’d send you to bed hungry, did you?” I asked him with a smile.

Is this not how I am with my God? I cry that I am empty forgetting He is the storeroom. I fear a future wherein I run out, forgetting His promises.

I wasn’t pregnant.

But on Labor Day afternoon the our phones rang.  “A 10 year-old boy and a 7 year-old girl need a place to stay, tonight. Can you take them?”

We talked for about 5 min and called back with our answer, “Yes.”

But to look to the seeds and believe He will feed us? When what he gives doesn’t look like near enough? When it looks like less than a handful instead of a plateful, a year full, a life full. When it looks inedible. 

These seeds, are they food? It looks like a bit of a joke.

To hand someone seeds for his swelling, panging starvation, and ask him to believe in a feast? Is this what everyday faith is? 

Behold! For those who have learned to see-He gives, He gifts. He gifts with seeds as small as moments, grace upon grace, and the unlikely here and now, it shall sustain you, feed you.  Do not distain the small.  The promise of feast is within the moments. Our enough is always in the now because He never leaves us.” -Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional

Follow up: The kids we were asked to take were able to stay with a friend of their family. For their sake, this is preferable to them being placed with strangers, such as ourselves. We look forward to the next time we can say “Yes.”

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