I took a sip of my lukewarm unsweetened tea. Very different in Massachusetts from the cold sweet tea I loved so much back where we were from in Georgia.
I scanned the group gathered to eat lunch―my husband, Jerry, our eight-year-old Aaron, six-year-old Bethany, and a host of new people we were just getting to know. My husband, a pastor, and I, a worship leader, were here to help lead services at a family camp just north of Boston.
“When does school start for your children?” our new friend, Elizabeth, asked. She had been the person who initially contacted us about coming to the camp.
“We start next week after we return home.” I’d been planning and pulling together resources for our second year of home school before we’d left to come to Massachusetts. Our daughter would be joining her brother for the first time as a home schooler after going to kindergarten in a traditional school setting.
A little voice said, “Mama, I want a desk like Aaron’s.” It was Bethany.
I put my tea glass down as I felt the eyes of everyone at the table on me. Her brother used an antique school desk I’d found long before we even thought of home schooling. It was early twentieth century, made of oak, and had an ink well. Of course, he just used the ink well to put his pencils in, but I could see why Bethany would think the desk was special. Where would we find one so close to the start of school? I had not seen it as a priority. “Sweetie, I thought you could just use a table for a while. It might take some time to find a desk like Aaron’s.”
Her eyes pooled with moisture. “But, I wanted one like Aaron’s.”
I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t realized how important it was to her, and I tried to console her as much as possible, but tears began slipping down her face.
Our week at the camp passed too quickly. Between outdoor services, we toured the North Shore, visited historic places, and dipped our toes in cold seawater. We even took the train into Boston to the science museum. It was all so much fun, I prayed the desk issue might fade.
Later in the week, we said goodbye to a group of friends who drove more than sixteen hours to join us in Massachusetts. They were leaving early the next day and taking a few of our things back to Georgia with them, so we wouldn’t have much luggage to check on the flight back later in the day. It turned out, we’d leave much later. Due to storms in Boston, our flight was cancelled, so we had to wait for another flight to open.
Though I hoped the desk issue would go away. It didn’t. It came up again on the way home. Oh, how I prayed for an answer. I’d have to go out scouring antique stores the next week, something I didn’t have time to do. What if I didn’t find one?
When we opened the door to our home around midnight, I could tell our friends who traveled by car had beaten us there. I could see a pile of luggage in the kitchen from the back door. We put our bags down and moved toward the collection in the kitchen.
When we did, we stopped short. There sitting in the middle of the floor was an antique school desk, just Bethany’s size. Where had it come from?
I picked up a note attached. Our new friend Elizabeth remembered she had an antique school desk in her basement. She sent it back with our friends. On closer inspection, the desk was stamped on the base with the place where it had been manufactured, Boston, Massachusetts. What a treasure!
When we started school, we remembered Elizabeth, all the fun we’d had at the camp, and that the way people drink tea may be different in Massachusetts, but God’s sweet love is the same everywhere. And sometimes he demonstrates that love in surprising ways.
I’m excited to share that I have a sequel to The Key to Everything releasing in January. The book is entitled, A Plan for Everything. In that book, more than one of the characters makes a surprising discovery about God’s love.
So, watch for my new book, and if you haven’t read The Key to Everything, the link is below. I love the surprise in it, too.
When nurse practitioner, Dr Genny Sanders inherits her late-grandmother’s house, she moves back to her hometown of Worthville, Georgia, determined to leave her past—and her scheming ex—behind her with a new job and new friends. But during a meeting with her grandmother’s estate attorney, David Worth, she learns of a threat to her property. A local developer wants to buy her land and demolish her house.
Genny refuses to sell, but the land developer isn’t taking no for an answer. As if personal threats aren’t bad enough, a foreclosure proceeding looms, and a fire flashes in the night. Everything Genny holds dear is threatened. If she can’t find a way to save her grandmother’s house, Genny will be forced to give up the fresh start she so desperately wants. And to complicate matters further, she’s falling for David.
While going through her grandmother’s belongings, Genny finds a mysterious key with a red ribbon. What does it fit? Could it possibly be the answer to her problems? What do the messages of love and forgiveness she keeps hearing have to do with everything? As she searches for these answers, she learns more about herself and her grandmother’s legacy than she could have ever imagined.
About Beverly Varnado:
Beverly Varnado is an award winning author, screenwriter, blogger and artist who lives in North Georgia with her husband, Jerry. In addition to The Key to Everything, she has written two novels,and a nonfiction book, Faith in the Fashion District. She has a screenplay optioned for a film.
You can find Beverly at: