40. Sunlight through the window
51. Cold diet Pepsi
52. Claire’s pride at putting on a hat all by herself
71. Sister giggles
107. Paw saying, “I sure am glad that Wayne and Teeny had a daughter named Chris.”
110. Talking baby names with my sister
115. Finding plastic animals in odd places
154. Lila and the “communication” juice
166. The joy of writing and sharing my words
179. Watching Aubrey in her play
182. That salty air smell
193. Humble words from one daughter
194. Hopeful words from another daughter
225. David’s giggles when I kiss his cheeks
230. Kind words from unexpected places
234. Paw’s face when she saw Chase today
248. Green beans cooked in butter and brown sugar
250. Laughing with all of these crazy daughter women
252. Feeling that sense of belonging
262. My bedroom fans
273. Watching the smoke from the fire lift up during worship outside at our family Bible study
282. Paw’s dove pin
288. The song, “My Soul Sings”
This is just a sampling. Some of them are so close to my heart that I just can’t type them out for the world to see, they’re between Jesus and me. Some things I’m thankful for two or three times as I turn the pages and I laugh at my redundancy. Lots of things are food related! Many of them are about being a mom. About Bible study nights, about our home and our family. But these are all things that:
1. I may have missed if I hadn’t been looking for them.
2. I can now remember by reading back over them.
I may have missed the way the words of that song touched my heart. I may have missed the way the sunlight came through the window to kiss my hand as I washed the dishes. I may have missed the beauty in Creation that God made for me. I may have forgotten to say thank you for the beauty and the joy and the glory He has made…just for my pleasure. He delights in me and He gives me good, good gifts.
He gives them whether I say thank you or not.
And I may have forgotten the words Paw said to me back in January…before she was too sick to speak anymore. I may have forgotten the way her face lit up when Chase arrived. I may have forgotten the funny things that happen when you’re the mother of many and they are all so different and glorious…all their notes joining together in beautiful, harmonious chaos. I may have forgotten about the night that Deanna, Julia, Aubrey and I stood at the landing and talked about life for who knows how long…but it’s written down now. I can read back over my gifts and feel them all again…feel my gratitude again.
I can relive His love for me, over and over.
And I think about how it was before and how I tried to control my disappointments. I went looking for what was going to go wrong so that maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much when it happened. I expected the worst, I called myself a realist. I told Him and I told me that I would ask for no other blessing…that His Presence and His Gift of Salvation were enough to sustain. And yes, they are. He is with me and He is faithful to the end.
But He also is a Good Father and He gives Good Gifts.
There’s no doubt that horrible, awful things happen. There’s no doubt that in the world we will have trouble. Doesn’t the Word say so? John 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble…”
But, beloved ones, there is also no doubt that “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
There is goodness to be seen. I have a spiral notebook that is filling UP with goodness. And imagine if I had been faithful to record every day! Sometimes days have gone by and I’ve forgotten to write things down so I know that I must be missing 100 gifts, at least.
5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
And here are more of my joys…