Nate and Anna Kate got cabinet latches on many of the drawers (we didn't think we could, but he figured out a way), so now I have a few minutes to get things done. For several weeks all I did was run interference on a busy toddler.
Caleb and Krista visited on Saturday, the first time they've been here since Christmas. I was relieved to find that Malachi had not forgotten his big brother. He adores Krista too, she's stronger than she looks and she hoisted all 32 pounds of him with aplomb. Next time Caleb comes home (realistically that will be around Easter), I want to see him practice his stethoscope skills on his baby bro. And while he's at it, hammer a few knees. Basically I want to see the "real" doctor kit in use. When Isaac and Caleb were two and three, I overheard this conversation while they played with a toy kit:
"Caleb, you are dying, wite?"
Then, "No, I'm the goctor I said."
(Loud cries from Caleb).
Isaac, emphatically, "You are dying I said."
Somehow they (and their little sisters) survived childhood. Every now and then I have a jolt of terror that we have to go through all this again, only this time we are much older and more worn down. And the culture around us seems more damaging. And we have pulled out of the amazing charter school that gave our kids safe - and it turns out, life-long - friendships.
But back to our week. Isaac got a job at Boston Scientific. Yes, Praise the Lord! Honestly, Praise Him. I don't think I've ever seen my husband so happy as when he found out our first-born was offered that job. He was offered another job in a neighboring state, but we're delighted that he chose Boston Sci. As soon as he took the job, Nate sat right down and figured out the expenses that would now be lifted from our shoulders. Drum roll, please. It's about a thousand dollars a year. Yep, that's it. Turns out Isaac is our cheapest kid. He's been paying his own rent and food through most of his college years. We truly don't coddle our kids. We nurture them, but more in the way of prayers and cookies than with outlays of cold hard cash (which we don't have anyway).
On Thursday, we went to the Como Conservatory again, this time with my parents. It was as warm, tropical, fragrant and green as last time. This time we had the benefit of my dad's stories from the jungle. When we came across a palm tree with a thorn-covered trunk - these thorns were serious, about three inches long - he said that once in Jungle Camp (where Wycliffe members used to go for jungle survival training), he was yanking open a tube of plastic and his hand flew back, right into the thorn-covered tree next to him. The thorns were removed, but his hand became infected. Then he told a worse story. A man from the Shapra-Candoshi people was running like fury through the jungle, trying to escape a herd of wild boar. He was forced to climb the nearest tree. You guessed it. A thorn-covered palm.
As my dad said, that Candoshi man was between a rock and a hard place. And although most of us haven't had to run from wild boars and escape by climbing a thorny tree, we can relate to that awful trapped feeling. I hope at those times we remember the great "yet" of God's promises. Amy Carmichael said, "We accept our Father's will and know that He has given us the victory over all the power of the enemy. Nevertheless, there are times when we do need special strength if we are not to break down before the end. Our Father knows this; He does not say, 'You accepted all at the beginning; this that tries your spirit now was included in that.' His love understands and He sends an angel to strengthen us."
His love understands. What a beautiful phrase.
Finally, back to the title of this post. One day last week I found this recipe on Summer Harms's blog. She said these cookies were the best thing to come out of her kitchen. It's the truth. They are so thin, crispy, chewy, almond-y and chocolate-y, that Anna Kate and I couldn't stop eating them. We had to hide them from ourselves. I recommend making a double batch.