Earlier in the week, I'd arranged with a gal from church (we'll call her "Friend 1") to help me take the three younger girls to the pediatrician for a long overdue check-up. At 8am, I received a text from Friend 2 asking if she could run errands for me. I happily emailed her my grocery list. At 9am, Friend 1 arrived to help schlep the girls into the car. We rocked the doctor visit, and were on our way home...a mere 2 1/2 hours later. We arrived home to find Friend 3 dropping off dinner for us, so she joined us around the lunch table. Moments later Friend 4 arrived to deliver a beautiful necklace, made by yet another friend who I've never met, with Ava's name and her fingerprints on little charms.
Six friends helped to make one day in the life of the Harms family possible.
On another afternoon, Miss M handed off the girls to Friend 7 while I was at yet another doctor appointment and Friend 8 dropped off dinner to feed my family so I didn't have to stress when I got home late.
When I asked her to, Friend 9 went shopping on a broken foot, and brought every plaster impression kit she could find, so we could capture Ava's precious hand and footprints.
Our pastors call and visit to encourage and pray with us. Ava's nurse brings me caffeine when she arrives for her weekly in-home assessment. Friend 10 comes on a moments notice to give us an extra set of hands. Friend 11 picks up Elizabeth from school in a pinch. Friend 12 delivered flowers and handmade treats from her daughters for my birthday. Friend 13 does my online shopping, and along with Friend 14 is my acting "administrative counsel", letting me use her brain instead of mine for problem solving all sorts of things. Friends photograph our children and film our family moments, providing us with treasured memories to keep forever.
Friends bless me with birthday conversation and yummy desserts and ambush Matt with a lunch, drag him off to a movie, and keep him going on his weekly runs. Friends leave their children with their husbands and in-laws, drive seven hours with big pregnant bellies and haul their three kids across the state lines to come and be real-time help. And still others are just waiting for the go-head.
Grandmothers hop on planes with a moments notice to come help while Grandfathers fix faucets, repair windows, paint molding and help build garden boxes. Friends and family call, pray, cry, laugh, send notes and gifts to encourage us, bless the girls with treats and hugs, hold Ava, do our dishes and fold our laundry. All-told, friends and family have given us thousands of dollars to help us hire full-time help. People we've never met run errands, fix our computer, shovel our sidewalk when it snows and mail our daughters notes of encouragement.
We call this our pile o' love. It is evidence of meals that have been lovingly prepared for us week after week. And these are just the dishes that weren't disposable!
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God.
Philippians 1:3 (The Message)