Shavuot…

My hubby and I celebrate the Feasts of the LORD, as did Jesus, as did the disciples and the early church. They are found listed in the book of Leviticus, chapter 23.

This year, we had a rainy, cold spring and early summer. The day of Shavuot, or Pentecost, as many may know it, occurred on the last Sunday of May. I awoke to a rainy day. We hadn’t planned on hosting the feast this year, as we had only just moved onto our property two weeks earlier. The shop wasn’t ready, and the house not big enough. But, friends kept asking, so we decided to do it. We hired a few out of work due to COVID friends to come clear out the unfinished shop and move all the excess building materials, gardening stuff, tools, and so much more from the large room in the shop to the small room. We blocked off the staircases with plywood so no one could possibly go upstairs and get injured due to a lack of permanent, stable, stair and balcony railings. I asked a few teenaged girls from our gatherings to come and help me decorate for the occasion. Special individual sized cakes were picked up from the bakery, a huge shopping trip was made. By the Friday before, everything was ready.

As I said, we awoke to rain. Not just a drizzle either. Full blown, hair wet in a minute rain. I found myself in tears. All that work, and now the weather isn’t cooperating. We weren’t sure how many people we could hold in the shop yet, there was no working heat, no outside for the kids to play in, only ports potties to pee in. I began to doubt anyone would come. After a simple prayer, I began to realize that this was a test. Would we be willing to celebrate, and meet with God on this, HIS appointed day to meet with his children, even if it was just the two of us who were there? I resolved to say a resounding YES.

I wiped my tears, put a pair of tennis shoes under my beautiful dress and began the process of toting food from the house to the shop. The first guests arrived as I brought the third batch over. And they continued to arrive for the next hour. One guest took over guiding the parking, the ladies pitched in organizing all the food on the tables. We improvised on our reenactment of the giving of the covenant at Mt Sinai by setting up a ladder in the shop for my honey (Moshe) to read the Ten Commandments from, several ladies held up gray pillows I had gathered to be clouds to shroud the mountain, and several men with shofars sounded the trumpet blast to announce the activity. The Ten Commandments we’re ready, the recount of the giving of the Holy Spirit many years later on the same day was shared also. One man waved our two loaves of bread and led us in prayer. One gentleman shared a short message, a sweet couple led some praise. A few ladies asked if they could sing for the group. They had voices like angels. At one point a couple young women started some Hebrew dance. Teens sat on the blue plastic Adirondack chairs under the covered porch outside, wearing jackets, and visited, kids played in the puddles outside.

It was a beautiful day of remembering the sacred covenant between God and his children. A day of joy, celebration, and sweet fellowship with the brethren. The room seemed plenty warm, you didn’t notice the unfinished walls, only the beauty of the decor and of people fellowshipping. The day began before noon, the last guests usually leave around 9:30 pm. We end the day physically exhausted, but spiritually renewed. Completely satisfied, but wanting more. But, more will have to wait until the Day of Trumpets in September.

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Big yawn…

The sky has been gray all day long, with a fine mist falling at various times. The hum of a space heater and the growl of my father’s outdated computer tower have been the white noise for my day of rest.

I spent an hour answering questions in my grandparent’s reflections book that I am filling out for the four grands we currently have, the one in the oven (idiom for our son and his wife’s pregnancy), and hopefully more grands and greats to come. Once my honey woke, we talked politics as he read through the newspaper, then talked about our plans for celebrating the Feasts of the LORD out on our property once we are done building. The smell of Marie Calender’s mushroom chicken pot pies filled the house with warmth as the conversation meandered through upcoming birthday celebrations, the visit we had with friends last night and the ugly clock sitting in our living room that belongs to my father.

My father and I spent a bit of time finishing out one of our Scrabble games. I won, 353 to 322. And then I settled in to do some Bible reading and praying for our children, our grands and the body of believers we call family. My eyes began to feel like sandpaper and I dropped off for a five minute snooze. My honey went upstairs to take a nap, and here I am now, blogging about my uneventful, yet satisfyingly restful day. My mind is at peace. My body is resting up to begin another week.

There is something special about the Sabbath. I have taken other days off to rest, but it is never the same. God meets with his children on the Sabbath in a special way. Try it. It can change your life once you give yourself permission to jump out of the rat race for 24 hours and spend time with the Creator who made you and loves you. Shalom.

Yummy or yuck…

Since the weather turned cold and wet, I decided on a warm, spicy breakfast for Sabbath. Dutch babies with hot cinnamon apples over the top. My honey would want whipped cream on his, however, due to sugar inducing hot flashes, I would avoid that. The apples would be sweet enough for me. They were frozen chunks of last year’s Honeycrisp harvest from our backyard tree. Everything had been prepared and precooked yesterday, all I had to do was reheat.

Despite the dishwasher overflowing suds just before going to bed, and having to google how to “reset” it so it would stop flashing and binging loudly, I slept fairly decently. Any night that I only wake up once is decent right now. If I wake up before my dad, I will hesitate to cook anything that smells delicious because I know the smell of food wakes me up, and I try to be considerate. I skimmed the newspaper headlines, stopping once to read about consumers increasing their organic food purchasing, enjoyed each and every comic on the last page. Our old cat came up and trilled for some attention, flopping on the ground with her belly up. With this one, belly up does mean rub my belly. With the other one it means come touch my belly so I can rip your hand to shreds for doing so. I finally turned on the toaster oven to warm up the Dutch baby and went back to the cat. That’s when I smelled it.

It was a cross between stinky shoes and tacos, maybe mixed with a litter box. I checked the old girls back end, since she sometimes has cling-ons after using the box. There was a little one that was quickly remedied with a baby wipe and some vigorous hand washing on my part. Not enough to explain the smell that remained though. I went back in the kitchen and turned on the topping pan. As the smell of cinnamon apples began to fill the air, I moved toward the toaster oven to check the Dutch babies, when it suddenly dawned on me what the smell was.

Last night’s dinner. I had broiled sweet potatoes in that oven last night. Doesn’t sound like that should smell bad? They were coated in cumin, paprika, turmeric salt and oil. If I recall, that smell tends to linger on the toaster oven elements for a couple uses after. Obviously, I like that smell, since the recipe is one repeated often in our home. But when you are expecting a warm, buttery, bread smell, and it has mixed with those strong spices, it does something. Smell plays a huge part in what we eat. If it smells bad, our brains assume it will taste bad too affecting the way we taste it. So I am struggling with the mix of the strong smells. I can smell the cumin, but am tasting apples. I want to smell only cinnamon, but, alas, it is too late for that.

Yummy or yuck? I still can’t decide. Maybe a second piece will help me make that decision! Hope your day is filled with more yummy than yuck!