I’d never win a good housekeeping award. But clutter clogs my brain waves; dust and detritus pollute my psyche. Over the past twelve days my efforts to keep house have floundered as seven extended family members have visited our home, five spending at least two nights here. In a last spurt of paint-scraping, vacuuming and bed-making before most of them arrived my throat and sinuses succumbed. We were reminded again that the cement blocks of our 70+ year-old house are full of mold as violent sneezing fits seized son-in-law Mikael DeFauw.

Rain, sleet, snow, hail, fleeting sun and wind surrounded us on Saturday, April 2. Inside our crowd of loving, joyful witnesses were keeping “the lamps burning before the Lord” (Exodus 27:21 and Luke 12:35). At Bayside Baptist Church in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, my son Christopher and his bride Mary Susan pledged to keep their lifelong vows. At historic Londontown and Gardens in Edgewater we celebrated the wedding with good speaking, feasting and dancing.

Though I didn’t always keep in step with Duff during the mother & son dance and surely haven’t kept on track over these 42 years of his life and 64 of mine, God is our Keeper (Psalm 121:5-8). This is my prayer for the newlyweds and all of us: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

This morning we said goodbye to daughter Jean, her husband Mikael and sons Judah and Seren. I’m doing laundry, glad to hang the sheets and towels out in the sunshine, thankful for renewed energy to keep house here in Greenbelt, thankful for visitors, for walks by the lake, for peace-keeping and earth-keeping joys, thankful that Duff & Mary (a.k.a. Chris & Mary Susan) see each other as keepers.

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