this is kind of all over the place, my apologies in advance
For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.
O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.
I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you.
O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.
All I have needed, God’s hand has provided. Great is His faithfulness! And I’m stopped dead in my tracks when I realize that it is demonstrated unto me.
I talked Nana and Papa into taking Jeremy out for lunch for his birthday, because Richmond is directly on their way to Norfolk and that forest green mini-van that my family has been driving since 2000? Remember that one? (‘How could we forget?’ you reply, I only giggle and joke about that ol’ sauna mobile a couple times a summer) Well, it reached the end of it’s productive life and I have the license plates in my bedroom and I really wish that I could have siphoned the tank because I filled it up just one day before the van decided that she was done done done with all things driving and being safe. So I borrowed cars from roommates (they are actually the best!) to get to my preceptorship, and fixed the chain on my bike and made do. But I wasn’t about to bike to Norfolk so Nana and Papa were kind enough to swing by and it took every minute of the 2hr drive down for me to update them on my life.
Seeing Jeremy for the first time in nearly two months was a balm to my heart. He’s doing great, studying hard and mopping up Hurricane Matthew flooding in his living room. (I’m assuming that he’s done with that by now)
That was two weeks ago, and today (Monday, ahem, posting this a bit late) I’m sitting, surrounded by red and gold leaves and a brilliant blue sky after testifying before the board of health (why not?) and signing up for an international medicine course (again, why not?) and planning the road trip/conference adventure to Kentucky in less than a month (just because), oh, and working on homework for that thing called “school” that is still very much a part of my life but which I sometimes banish into the recesses of my daily doings for a few days at a time. Why not?
Last weekend I picked apples, went to a wedding, and my Aunt and Uncle lent me a new, yet older, green mini van! It’s a running joke that I now provide hospice care for forest green mini vans. I actually get a little choked up whenever I walk to this new (1998) van to drive someone somewhere, because what a gift it is! Literally, and in many, many other sweet ways.
And then I turned 25 on Sunday, which hit me with a wave of homesickness because I’ve spent too many birthdays without my family, hearkening back to when I turned 18 while my parents were in China. Goodness, guys, I’m old! And I’ve been writing on this little blog for over eight years. If you’re curious what 17 year-old Hannah wrote about… just attempt to suppress that desire (or peek at the archives – eek!).
I am a stranger and a sojourner, and my days on earth are like a shadow… yet look at all of this, all of this abundance — these blessings! It’s all from the Lord, the Provider and the comforter. He tests the heart, He has pleasure in uprightness, and He enables us to offer freely and joyously to Him. Oh, may may heart be directed towards You.
I’ve begun studying for the Nursing Boards, preparing for the upcoming adventures to new places, and, I’ll admit, I turned on some Advent music yesterday. Monday was a heavy, heavy day, and my aching soul needs to be reminded of the One who has come for our ransom, so that we might rejoice.
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.