It’s just a chair that we paid fifteen dollars for at a flea market back in 1991. We were coming home from a weekend trip and stumbled across a Sunday afternoon flea market somewhere outside of Elmira–it’s been too many years for me to remember exactly where it was. We had no babies at the time but hoped that one day we would become parents, so maybe the rocker was like a beacon of hope. Or maybe just a piece of furniture. I don’t know, and I don’t really care what our motive was at the time. All I know is that one rocking chair has moved with us four times in the past twenty-four years and it’s a permanent fixture in our home.
So, why am I rambling on about a fifteen-dollar rocker? Here’s the thing. We’ve celebrated Epiphany and now the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (in the United States, it’s observed on Monday, January 7 this year), so the Christmas season is winding down and we’re returning to Ordinary Time. We don’t really know what the New Year brings but there’s still a glimmer of Christmas hope in our hearts. Not unlike the Magi, we move forward into unknown territory, not entirely sure what lies ahead, but open to discovery and beauty and all that is good. When we bought the rocking chair, we were only two years into our marriage and had no idea what parenting would even look like. We didn’t know, but we moved forward anyway, willing to open ourselves up to a new kind of love.
Our three “babies” are grown and as our youngest prepares to leave the family nest this fall for college, I often find the phrase, “What’s next?” creeping into daily prayer. I have no idea what this next chapter of our lives will bring, but I want to remain open to whatever the LORD has in store for me and my husband and our family. It’s been an incredible journey so far! I leave you with a few words from Jeremiah 17: 7-8 to ponder this week:
But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green.
and they never stop producing fruit.