Wealth at our Door…

Murphy and Me: January 1, 2011
…and Blessings at our Table
I’ve been home this week recovering from abdominal surgery. My husband Rich has cared for me and our home as I recuperate. My daughter Elaine called on Wednesday to inquire how I was doing and if we needed a hand with anything. I was touched that this busy young wife and mother who lives 80 miles away offered to assist us.
“Thanks, but Rich has everything well in hand,” I told her. She said she’d be up later in the week to visit.
Yesterday, she, my son-in-law Rob, and newest grandson Sawyer drove from San Diego to spend the afternoon with us. We enjoyed lunch together, then I held my infant grandson for a while, relaxing into his peacefulness. I felt so blessed by this new little life that has come to our family. Not much, I thought to myself, could make this New Year’s Day better.
After the kids left, I stretched out on the sofa for a nap. I awoke to quiet voices coming from the kitchen; Rich and his son Ryan were discussing something in low voices. I couldn’t hear their words.
Just a few minutes later Rich announced that dinner was nearly ready. I wandered into the kitchen.

“Rich? Why are there four places set at the table?”

“Did I set four places?” he asked. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll pick up the extra one after dinner.” I figured he’d been thinking about four of us enjoying lunch together when he set the table as I picked up the extra plate and flatware and put them away.

Just a moment later I turned as our front door opened. There stood….MURPHY!! I did a double take then rushed to greet him.
Andrew Murphy, one of our three “Navy Boys,” joined our family when Ryan was in A-school in San Diego in 2007. Murphy’s family was in New Hampshire; Chad Skyberg’s, in South Dakota; and Dan Antonides’, in Nebraska. We happily provided them with a nearby home base during weekends and holidays while they were in school with Ryan. Murphy had been stationed in Japan once he’d completed school; he’d spent the last three years there.
Facebook had made it easy to keep up with our boys. I knew Murphy had completed his tour of duty in Japan. I knew he’d flown to New Hampshire in December to visit his family over the holidays. I knew he’d bought a car and was driving across the country, and that in January he would begin 10 months of school in San Diego.
I didn’t know he was coming to visit on New Year’s Day. So this was what Ryan and Rich had been discussing in whispers! I hurried to return the fourth place setting to our table.
After dinner, Murphy and Ryan left to spend the evening in Los Angeles.
I got to thinking. I’d commented on New Year’s Eve that 2010 had been so filled with blessings that I couldn’t imagine 2011 being better. Yet the very first day of the new year had brought me two special visits with loved ones. And my husband and bonus son had conspired to make Murphy’s visit even sweeter by preserving a surprise for me.
I should know better than to believe that I’ve been as blessed as I can be, that God can’t top what He’s already done for me.
19 How great is the goodness

You have stored up for those who fear You.
You lavish it on those who come to You for protection,
blessing them before the watching world.

Psalm 31:19 (NLT)