It’s that time of year again. We are very anxious to get out to our Sukkah again! This is our fifth year keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. It is really hard to believe that we have been blessed by the truths of Torah for that long. We have grown in many ways, and have discovered how much we still don’t know.
I thought it would be fun to remember our very first sukkah. It wasn’t much, and we couldn’t do much but eat lunch in it, but it was a start. Since then, Sukkot has become a passion for my husband. After Sukkot, he starts making plans for the next Sukkot.
That first Sukkot, we slept in a tent designed for summer camping. It swooshed and shook in the rain storm. Sadie was only 4 months old and slept in a snow suit. Our air mattresses kept losing air. But we learned something about rejoicing in hard times. We learned to laugh and enjoy the ride. We made it a personal mission to not complain. And we had a blast. Doug built a campfire in the middle of our driveway and our family came over to visit. We even hosted a party for the last day. But that year was only the beginning.
Our second year gave us a lot more room. Doug cut down some trees and built a frame which we then covered with house wrap and a tarp. We spent the entire day out there and cooked all our meals. I even washed the dishes in there. Doug built a great little firepit in there, but it was very smoky. We so enjoyed the late night chats as Doug poked at the little fire. Then we would sneak into our little tent a few feet away and sleep on our upgraded air mattresses. It was a year of closeness, sharing, and mud. lol
Our third sukkah was also very smoky lol. I was eight months pregnant with Elisha and discovered that my air mattress made a nice hammock. The tight quarters made for very close fellowship. My Mom continued her tradition of reading books out loud to us. We upgraded our tent to an army tent. We slept very warm due to the woodburning stove in our tent. It was a year of trust, learning that YHVH protects no matter what is surrounding us. That lesson was very close to my heart when, a month later, I ended up with a second c-section. I was able to have total peace, knowing that YHVH was still with me, still protecting me, and nothing could touch me without His authorization. It’s amazing how the lessons learned in a sukkah stay with us when we return to real life.
The smoke was gone at last, thanks to my brilliant idea of installing the woodstove in the sukkah! This sukkah was very comfortable. We moved everything way out in our pasture, with the goats walking by from time to time. It was a time of discoveries. I found out I was pregnant with Noah during a 3 am trip to the bathroom. What an awesome experience to lay in a tent pondering the future, listening to the night noises, watching the moon and stars.
Every year has been different and special. Each year has been cold and rainy, too lol!
As I wrote this, I thought of a thread that I have carried from one sukkah to the next. I have always had a knitting project during Sukkot. It is special to me to work my needles as I watch the flickering flames. I have knit wool pants, mittens, socks, a sweater, and even a little stuffed teddy bear for a family that finally got to adopt a little girl. This year I am working on a vest for myself.
As I look at those projects, I can picture myself in the sukkah. I can see my family around me: Doug poking at the fire, my children wrapped up in blankets, Gramma with her hood up trying to keep warm, Marme reading Scripture to us, Gramps with his feet up and a satisfied grin across his face. Perhaps he is pondering what I am pondering. In real life, things don’t always look pretty. People aren’t always charming. Life isn’t always simple. But in the sukkah, life is good. My family is a gift. The peace and quiet is cherished. All I can think about is how good YHVH is to us for giving us such a fine gift as Sukkot. No wonder we look forward to the millenial reign. It’s Sukkot, only we don’t have to go back to reality at the end. It will be our reality.
Even so, come YAHSHUA! Dwell among us once again.
I pray that you have a wonderful Sukkot this year, whether in an outdoor sukkah, a tent, or a sheet in your living room. May you be listening for the little lessons taught only in a sukkah, and meant just for you.
Check out these great Sukkah resources.
Torah family e-magazine Sukkot edition- Issue #2 (print this off and take it in your sukkah for some great reading material)
My Week in a Booth (a delightful little story about my daughter Naomi’s experience in our sukkah)
A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays available at Heart of Wisdom Homeschool Store
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