day twenty-seven: prepare to be unprepared

day twenty-seven: prepare to be unprepared

Thursday at 5:30 pm, the front door opened.

I expected to see Carl’s smiling face but

it was Courtney’s sweet smile instead.


Not that she had come home following midterm exams because

that had been the plan.

The surprise was that the parents and the student had been texting all week making

pickup plans as her class schedules changed and changed.

Funny how text messages can be so fast and convenient but leave

out some essential details.

Carl and I were focused on her being finished on Friday.

Courtney knew she would be outta there  on Thursday.

We discussed the time but not the day.

An important detail.

Carl planned to take off work early to retrieve her on Friday.

Courtney wondered why no one had said a word to her as time passed on Thursday.

So she strapped on her backpack and made her way to the shuttle bus.

I am sure she felt a bit forgotten.

Because of the day mix-up, I had not done any of my usual preparations.

You know, stock the fridge with her favorites, clean her bathroom, make sure her

room was warm and perhaps even put flowers on her desk.

I love doing those things and I know she appreciates it.

What I realized on Thursday evening about 5 minutes after she left my hug to find

other arms around the house, open and waiting to embrace her was

that Courtney came home to be with us.

I know that sounds obvious.

We…the five of us and a furry pooch represent home to her.

The fluffed up pillows, the bouquets and her favorite foods are great but are

like continuing to eat when the fork should have been lowered several  trips


We five satisfy her need for home like nothing else can supply.

Everything else is just window dressing.

I wonder how often I try to accessorize my relationships?

I may even do this when I approach God.

Do I feel that I need to present myself in a particular way in a certain

setting to be acceptable to Him?

Don’t I realize that His waiting arms are pointed in my direction

and expansive?

He’s the one who cleans my room and fills me and my fridge with good things.

I wonder if my ears in prayer only hear what I think makes sense?

What encounters  might I miss?

This weekend, I am settling in and enjoying the love and joy between

these walls.

I hope your  weekend is found to have equal measures of love, joy and

when you meet outstretched arms, you will know

you can walk into them with empty hands and absorb the truth  that you

are enough.

That my friends, will be the best kind of surprise.

3 thoughts on “day twenty-seven: prepare to be unprepared

  1. I loved your post and your wisdom taken from your sweet surprise to have Courtney a day early! I pray you all have a wondeful weekend together.


  2. Life can be so unexpectedly sweet. Courtney’s grands got to share some of that joy just hearing about yours.


  3. Family is so precious and when a child wants to return home at any opportunity you can hear, “well done Helen and Carl”. Love you guys!


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