For a long time I've mourned the absence of a creative domestic mentor in my life. My own mother never had any interest in sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, canning, baking, or cooking from scratch. On my own, during the last three and a half years, I've learned to cook from scratch, bake from scratch, and even make pies, but pie crusts and yeast still intimidate me. Sometimes I manage a bread loaf or some cinnamon rolls that come out beautifully, and other times the yeast confounds me. Or a child plays with the yeasty loaf after I’ve patiently let it rise, and suddenly it’s flat again. Bread dough is not Playdoh, I reprimanded them.
In my home there are no made-by-me quilts, Afghans, dresses, scarves, or sweaters. Some women have no interest in these things, but to me they’re as much a draw as the four seasons were when I was growing up in California.
I guess I just long for the old-fashioned, early 20th century life, sans the skinning of squirrels and deer, and the scarlet fever and polio.The Lord knows the desires of our hearts, and even when we don’t make a campaign of prayer over a desire, he still comes through to delight us. I’ve prayed some for a domestic mentor, but not consistently and not as fervently as I pray for other things. But still, the longing was there, and God knew it.
This last Saturday a friend from church came over for dinner with her two daughters. They taught us to knit, and promised to also show us crochet, quilting, needlepoint, and sewing. We had the best time!My friend’s husband died of a massive heart attack 8 years ago at the age of 54, leaving her with triplets who all have disabilities, including one daughter who is profoundly mentally disabled, being 20 years old and functioning like a 3-year-old child. The triplets were born at 28 weeks gestation, and the more disabled one, Laura, weighed a little over a pound. Sadly, she had a stroke, which can happen to the smallest-weight babies. The doctors told my friend that she and her husband should “pull the plug” on Laura because she would never be able to walk or talk.
Being Christians and parents who tried for 12 years to have children (3 miscarriages), they told the doctors they would take what God gives, and Laura did walk and talk by three years old.She is still serviced by the local high school’s special education department, despite turning 21 years old soon, but she doesn’t know how to read. My daughter Beth brought a library book and sat next to Laura, asking her to please read it. The look on Laura’s face broke my heart. She seems like a happy young lady, don’t get me wrong, but I wonder if she wishes she could read?
Lastly, this family is rather poor, living in a trailer. They are forgotten by the world, but dearly loved by our Holy God.
What’s so wonderful to me is that my new friend needed a friend, as much as I needed someone who could teach me and my children (yes, even the boys want to learn) how to knit and create beautiful things.She needed more than a friend, actually. She needed another whole family to fellowship with, laugh with, and share burdens with. She needed a family who also has little money, so as not to embarrass her with invitations and outings she can’t afford, or with great stylish outfits, compared to her simple, worn, thrifted clothes. Someone who would make a wholesome meal and say: come as you are and gather at our table. (My friend is not a cook and appreciates someone serving her a homemade meal).
My son Peter, who has the more severe OCD compared to Paul, has often lamented that no one understands him…and yet my friend? She has OCD; she understands.The less disabled of the daughters is going to a two-year college to become a vet tech. She has some cerebral palsy (but I certainly didn’t detect it), and a learning disability that affects her comprehension. She will take six years to finish a two-year program, because she can’t handle a full college load. Still, she is earning all A’s, two classes at a time.
Peter struggles with dysgraphia and it will do him good to have a friend who understands that you can be smart, but need more time than others, and that’s okay…it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The Body of Christ: sometimes it’s a disappointment, isn’t it? Sometimes there is just no one there who understands or has time, or who will refrain from judgment.Sometimes it can seem like even God isn’t there, and this is the time for real faith. This is the time to remember that to the Lord, a thousand years is as a day.
2 Peter 3:8-9 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.In God’s timing, we are filled. Praise Him!