"Why are you COLORING in your Bible?" Myra says. My breakfast half gone, her there at my shoulder, I look up to a wrinkled forehead and blinking eyes.
"She's NOT," Lucy says. "She's circling things that MEAN something to her that day." Lu reaches around and my elbow to grab an empty breakfast plate scattered with cinnamon sugar.
"Like what?" Myra says.
"Like how Caiaphas said that it was better for one man to die for the people than all of them die," I say. "He was actually saying the truth about Jesus even though he didn't realize it."
"Oh," she says, a mental note, an asterisk at the bottom of the page. The day flurries on.
"You can get kind of tired doing that," Jack says next morning. Even before breakfast, a whole box of kindling, he'd chopped it with chisel and hammer. Now we're doing dishes.
"Yeah," I say. I corral spoons sloshed in an overflowed mug, guide them to the dishwasher.
"But if you can sing a hymn while you're doing that, it's not that bad," he says. He slides cheese and eggs and into the fridge, half a loaf of bread into the cupboard, and then back to the fridge with half a gallon of milk.
"Yeah, that's true," I say.
"I just find myself singing when I do stuff like that," he says. Lucy circles back, a bowl under one arm, skiffs of apple inside, the butter dish in hand, butter knives dangling.
"Yeah," she says, "I do that too."
Singing. He finds himself singing.
"Everyone take care of your dishes," Jane shouts. The tail end of breakfast fluttering into the 9:00 hour, we rally the ranks to clean up. Saturday morning and Craig's heading to Costco, kids that are ready can come.
"I can do the dishes for you," Lucy says. She pokes her head out of the kitchen, red plaid rag in hand.
"No," Jane shakes her head, "I KNOW you want to go with Dad too," she says. It's the girls' day for dishes.
"No. No, I can do it," Lucy says, an offering, a small reaching across a chasm.
"No, Lucy," Jane softens her face, countenance, tilts her head.
"Nooo," Lucy galvanizes. Eyes like a surgeon, she searches Jane's face, memorizes terrain beneath the surface. "No, I don't want to go with Dad," she says. "I'll do it." She raises her eyebrows.
Jane smiles. "Are you SURE?"
Lu nods. Jane freezes, then grabs an aqua parka and black goulashes and heads to the door, Craig just out front.
"What about the laundry?" I call after her.
"Oh." She pauses. "Um. Can I just have an extension until I get back?"
"Um," I pause, the perennial laundry pile there on the couch.
"I'll do it!" Lucy shouts. "No, no I'll do it."
"Lucy, you're SPOILING me rotten," Jane says, voice thick. She pauses, eyebrows arched. Their faces open, full like moons, they smile. Something better than affection, Lucy has opened a gate. Trust flows in.
6130. We continue to pray for the baby to not be breech. The children join us.
6131. Jack learns how to start a fire in the fireplace.
6132. Green tea kombucha with melon juice.
6133. Apples. Pears. Buckets of apples, boxes of pears, from the farm, and this after after Gramma's fried chicken.
6134. I continue to sleep exceptionally well for the end of the pregnancy.
6135. The garden finally freezes hard and finishes off most of the harvest. Strangely, the peas and cabbage continue to thrive. I had no idea they were so hardy.
6136. The kids and I meet a group Craig is mentoring at work. They are lovely people. They even thank us for his time.
6137. I finish last minute blankets and diapers before the baby arrives. Jane helps me.
6138. Ham soup with black beans.
6139. We continue to grow in sacrificing and affection. Surprisingly counterintuitive, each gives birth to the other.
6140. We continue to pray for the direction of our country. We pray for revival. We pray for God to give us a better leader than we deserve. We pray to submit and please our Lord. And then, we wait.
6141. Your kingdom come, your will be done.