Thursday, October 17, 2013

IL CP Gathering Day Six and a Little Bit More

There is not much to say for the last day of the Gathering from my perspective since the Raimundo clan left that morning. It mainly consisted of packing and goodbyes and grabbing food from the fridge to stuff it in my cooler as best I could. Vacuums and brooms and Windex flying about inside while shovels and tractors thudded and whirred outside. Getting last minute hugs and farewells and “call me not maybe!” amidst all the cleaning commotion. You see, the Harrison Homestead was in that indescribable state that totters between being College Hangout Central and Nice Celebration Open House. Thankfully, all the CPers provided extra hands to work under the good leadership of the Harrison and Gaines parents.

And you will never know what we were watching...
As we pulled out of the driveway, dog holes were being filled and floors were being put back to their proper sparkly colour. But despite all the cleaning, we managed to get some good adieu photographs. 
A few of the remaining girls
Quite the merry old bunch, eh?
From there, we drove the five hours it takes to get to the Nix home, where Mumsie and Josh dropped me off for the weekend. Between Scattegories and Scrabble, Brielle and Evelyn, sleeping and waking, tea and coffee, books and laughter, church and conversation, classical and Owl City, spending time with Aaron and Anna was the perfect way to close the week. See, their home is peaceful. And loving. And so very welcoming. God blessed me by putting me there!

He also blessed me by letting Brielle warm up to me after an hour’s uncertainty. Perhaps that had something to do with me holding her sister in my arms, me talking to her mum in a very friendly way, and me crawling on top of her counters to put dishes away. But it might have had more to do with my many bags which she quickly set to opening and closing, and with the ever-beloved cheddar that I brought her. What matters is that by the end of the visit, we were playing on the floor like old chums. Brielle and Evelyn are so cute and easy-going, and I think it flows from the security they feel in their God-centred, God-loving little home. Praise God for families like that!

Brielle was napping when I finally thought to pull out the camera, but we did get pictures of darling Evelyn. 

A precious lassie, indeed.
I loved how Anna was so intensely interested and loving over her little girl.
Tata for now!
So that was my week! God showed great kindness in all sorts of ways by letting me enjoy His time as I did, and all that I can do is thank Him for it!
One thing I learned throughout the week is that it is the little things that count:

  • The sunrise over a red, white-trimmed chicken coop and endless golden fields every morning.
  • The hum of an ice cream maker.
  • The many colours a name can take. 
  • Red disposable cups and their accompanying penmanships. 
  • The many smiles a laugh can bring. 
  • Boys clearing away branches for girls.
  • A Bible open and read in the middle of chaos.
  • “Forbidden Friendship” playing on a perfect Autumn day. 
  • Earnest prayers yearning for God and His will alone. 
  • A wonderful woman calling me “chickadee” every new day.
  • A hug from a friend when you least expect it. 
  • A shelf full of books that says, “Yes, this is home.”
  • A church that sings and preaches and prays ~ worships ~ through and for and because of its Saviour.
  • The soothing smell of cinnamon and chocolate.
  • A couple holding hands all the way home. 
  • Babies grinning because they are safe.
  • Old friends reuniting around the word and new friends being found because of it.

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