as you've been able to see over the past week or so, we had such a super trip to the beach. the weather was incredible, the ocean was gorgeous, and the company was divine. we were totally bummed to leave the peace of that wonderful place.
it was a long five-hour drive home that day. the kids were precious and we had a great drive....but we had really enjoyed our getaway and we weren't necessarily looking forward to getting back into the grind of "normal" life. but as we drove down our street and our house came into view, i could immediately tell that something was different.
there were fresh flowers on my doorstep in place of the gnarly, dry, twisted mess that had been there when we left.
i LOVE fresh flowers, but because god gave me two pitch black thumbs, fresh flowers don't seem to care for me as much as i do them. but the outdoor flowers were nothing compared to what i found when we got inside. this was on the fridge:
"dear lewis family, we hope you had a WONDERFUL time at the beach! we pray it was relaxing and re-energizing and that the focus was on having fun as a family. now that you're back, there's no reason that the vacation can't continue a little longer. our family wanted to help you savor the calmness as you slowly slip back into reality.
GOD gives us friendship to help sustain us on earth until we are collected into the arms of our heavenly FATHER. your friendship strengthens us, sustains us, focuses us, challenges us, and grows us in HIM. we love you all."
my amazing friend (who has asked to be referred to only as "McCleany") broke into our house while we were gone (ok, she and josh actually snuck a key away without my noticing but it's more fun to say she broke in -- and she's certainly not beyond something like that!), and she cleaned my house from top to bottom, prepared all of our meals for the first several nights we were home, baked homemade desserts, left a goodie bag of toys for the kids, and filled several rooms around the house with more fresh flowers and fall decorations.
no, i'm not kidding, exaggerating, or making this up. it was unreal! but the most meaningful gift she gave me is that she covered us in scripture and prayer by posting handwritten verses and reminders throughout nearly every room in the house. i've been walking through some very difficult circumstances over the past several weeks and McCleany knew about it, prayed diligently for me, and took clearly HUGE steps to let us know that, in her own words, "we support you and lift you up daily to our LORD and SAVIOR."
as i walked slowly through the house smelling the freshly cut flowers, giggling at the drawings her sweet children had scribbled for me, and resting in the words of GOD, tears began to quietly roll down my cheeks. i had been given such a tremendous gift, and i'm writing this today to remind me always of the love behind the action, to spur myself on to serve others as i was so selflessly served, and to thank McCleany for her sacrifice.
she is greatly admired and deeply loved.