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Unexpected: Rearrange Some Rugs

December 11, 2021

Another Way for week of December 3, 2021

Unexpected: Rearrange Some Rugs

“Unexpected” is the theme the worship planning team at church chose for Advent this year. When so many of us have had our plans and worlds turned upside down in a matter of seconds or hours … yes, we have to expect the unexpected.

This November, our youngest grandson had not been in our house for a year and a half, due to Covid and very careful parents. He is a little over three now and still not old enough to get his vaccine. So the little fellow is the only one in the family who is not vaccinated. Earlier this fall, he unexpectedly endured quarantine due to having a positive Covid test (had a runny nose) and had to spend many hours in his room when he longed to be playing with his brothers. I doubt he could really mentally process what being in “quarantine” meant, other than “alone.” He did enjoy messing with a computer tablet—since he is not usually allowed unsupervised access.

At any rate, his older brothers certainly remembered our house at Thanksgiving, but Edward didn’t really remember it. So, I noticed he was staring at a large photo of our family from about seven years ago. He easily recognized his mother and father in the photo and the rest of us, but I knew he was pondering why his parents were only holding one very small boy—about four months old. That baby was matched on the other side of the photo by a six-month-old cousin.

I lifted Edward onto a chair so he could see the photo better, and began to explain to him that the baby was his oldest brother, and that he and Henry weren’t even born yet. He looked like he was taking it in, and I think he was kind of making sense of it. After all, there are many photos around his own home of his brothers without him in them.

The braided rug that caught Edward’s eye, near our front door, which my husband never liked there because it tended to fray the weather stripping.

After I helped Edward down, he began further exploring our house and commenting on the many oval braided rugs we have in our house. He went around pointing to them and saying “There’s a zero.” He loves numbers. Next thing I knew, he was picking up the small brown “zero” inside our front door and carrying it back to one bedroom where we had recently put a large brown braided oval rug given to us. Edward planted the small rug near a desk in the room and I loved it: my new interior designer. Totally unexpected.

One of the “zeros” Edward spied, under Grandpa’s recliner.
Where Edward decided to place the zero.
Which was absolutely perfect, and I have a new interior designer. Not that I ever had one.

Back to the “Unexpected” theme for Advent. At our church we usually have a beautiful, natural green wreath with candles for each week of Advent. Families, couples, or individuals take turns reading a scripture, and then lighting one additional candle each Sunday.

Our first Advent candle at church this year. Unexpected.

This year, the worship leader placed a single jar with a candle inside and lit that candle representing “hope,” saying that instead of our normal wreath, various candles would represent the unexpected nature of our current pandemic times. The scripture from Jeremiah 29 spoke to the theme of sorrow and difficulty when the Israelites lost hope as they were forced into exile in Babylon. The prophet Jeremiah told the people to build homes, start gardens, and settle in, and that there would be a better time in the future as they held on, together.

Honestly, most of us can relate to this loss of hope. Will things ever get better? Will we be able to celebrate Christmas with our families, or will last minute colds and coughs and positive covid tests keep us home and in isolation? Worse, hospitalized with unknown futures? We have all lost so many loved ones from various causes. Our hearts ache for each other.

The God of hope, love and grace be with us all as we travel these uncertain roads. We need the courage and chutzpah of a three-year-old to make ourselves at home, rearrange some rugs, and do the best we can even in isolation, or new and strange surroundings. One of my favorite songs at church goes “May the God of hope go with us every day, filling all our lives with love and joy, and peace.”

The rug fits much better in the brown bedroom, which doubles as my “office.”


Have you had any surprises so far this December?

What are you looking forward to? What are going to miss?

Do you like rearranging things in your house for the holiday season? Or not so much….

Comment here or send stories or comments to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. Your little re-arranger enjoyed his creative play and amused his grandparents. He also taught himself and you a lesson or two.

    By the way, you have pretty wooden floors.

    On the theme “unexpected,” a bit of wisdom I read this week: “When God wants to change the world, He sends a baby.”

    Merry Christmas to you, Stuart, and gang.

  2. Edward is big into numbers and adding things, together compliments of a kids video program that I cannot name in this moment. I loved his little rearrangement. Could possibly re-arrange things in the family too as he grows up with two older brothers, and he so wants to be like them but also be his own person. Right?

    I saw that wisdom too–on some Facebook pages. I believe. I am anxious/looking forward to sharing posts for the next two weeks on Mary and Joseph as the “unexpected” parents.

    Hope you have good preparation time too, these days are busy busy but enjoyable and we’re just keeping our fingers crossed that all stay well from the common cold variety of ailments as well.

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