It was Saturday afternoon, around 2:00 pm. I’d spent all morning cooking and cleaning in preparation for our Third Annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Most of our volunteers had left after lunch to head home for a break before returning a few hours later for the dinner. I was by myself taking care of last minute details… putting out the table clothes, wiping down the coffee bar, mixing ice tea, refilling sugar and creamers, washing dishes, and checking on the bathrooms. My feet hurt and I really wanted a nap.
I could feel myself starting to slip into a bit of a funk, wishing I could go home for a break instead of refilling soap dispensers and wiping down baseboards. Thankfully God didn’t let me linger there too long. He gently nudged me to remember what this was dinner was all about… giving thanks for all we’d accomplished at CrossRoads with the help of so many people.
He reminded me that the Men’s House was now complete and housing our first residents. It was built almost entirely through volunteer labor and donated materials. Joe’s vision for CrossRoads as a place of second chances to help men get back on their feet was now a reality. It was really happening!
He reminded me of the church groups from Frederick and Rockville that had helped build our gardens, rebuild a walkway, repair a shed, maintain our grounds, and set up scaffolding for painting.
He reminded me of the young woman who celebrated her birthday by bringing friends up to volunteer with us not one Saturday, but two.
He reminded me of our faithful crew of five to six guys who show up nearly every weekend willing to pitch in and do whatever is needed from installing insulation to weedwacking the fenceline to repairing drywall and painting bedrooms.
He reminded me of the ladies who cheerfully prepare a hot breakfast and lunch every weekend for our volunteers, using produce picked fresh from our garden and other foods they donate out of their own pockets.
He reminded me of our BBQ contest and the fun we had just enjoying being with each other.
He reminded me of the many people who pray for us every day, that God would bless us and protect us as we remain faithful to the work he’s given us to do.
He reminded me of the support and love that was showered on Joe and I when we learned we’d miscarried… again. Our friends were with us.
He reminded me of the small victories we saw in the lives of the men living at CrossRoads- getting a new job, reconciling with a loved one, resolving a disagreement, offering grace, asking forgiveness, staying sober during a crisis, learning compassion.
He reminded me that thanksgiving is a spiritual weapon that destroys the attempts of the Enemy to make us think we’re alone, inadequate, unfit, or powerless.
So I thanked God for all of this and so so much more. I felt my mind clear and spirits lift as I began to look forward to the potluck in just a few hours. Setting aside my dust rag, I gave one more thought of thanks to God… and went home to take a nap.