No empty chairs at dinner!

For so many years, the six chairs around our kitchen table were filled. First, with little girls spilling, making messes and needing their meat cut up. Next thing I know, we're paying college tuition bills and a chair is empty most of the time. But the other five were filled and life goes on. Then, a second chair became empty as another daughter venrured off into the world. Suddenly, the girls filling the chairs didn't outnumber the girls missing from the chairs, and the time passing begins to seem accelerated! Removing a leaf from the table still didn't bring back the complete feeling of a family. 

Allegra returned Wednesday night and her Mom and little sister returned from a school DC trip last night. So, for the first time in a long time every chair was full and there were no empty spots. We prayed and thanked God for his loving care and protection. A lot has happened and safety wasn't guaranteed. It truly is a blessing to have them all home, even if it's just for a little while. I realize these days too, will become shorter and shorter as the next girl already considers where her next chapter will take place. So, for now I'm just enjoying the crowded table - realizing that some parents don't have their kids come back. Some fall to illness or tragedy and the chair remains empty. God's grace has spared me from that kind of pain and I thank him for his goodness. Nothing in this life is certain, so I'm focusing on this day and the abundance of blessings God has given me.