I went a whole week without counting gifts. I made it into July, faithfully naming God's graces daily, all the way to #813. And I kinda fell off the wagon... I got busy and way distracted and some days it didn't even cross my mind.
The smell of rain always reminds me, though. And today, we got a summer rainstorm. I heard the fat drops smacking our metal AC window units and ran to let the dogs in before they got soaked. My son immediately asked for his rain coat and boots because when God gives us puddles, we splash in them. I dressed him and as I opened the door, I breathed in that damp earth smell. The smell of life. Immediately, I grabbed my book, my little book of gifts, scratched out and scrawled, day-by-day.
And I wrote:
- Rain -- J in it, puddles, the sound and smell
- Sliding down the wet slide -- "Clean shorts?"
- The smell of coffee and rain that reminds me of honeymooning in Scotland
- The rain. God sends literal life-water over all the earth, growing crops, nourishing the creation. Rain is provision. It is our survival, our continuing. Today, it cooled and watered and allowed for growth.
- My son. He sends out joy like rays of sunlight. He lives right in the moment, fully present and aware and so curious. He ushered me into motherhood which God has used as a mighty tool of sanctification in my life.
- Our home. A summer rain is fun for us, an escape, a place to play. We come inside, dripping and muddy, and we have our shelter. The storm is not an inconvenience, not something to be hidden from, and it is not lost on me how very blessed we are.
- Cleansing. No other water drenches quite like a downpour. The fat drops smack you and make even your bones feel wet. This is the closest we'll ever get to the physical feeling of redemption.
- Play. Play requires time and freedom and space. It requires a clearing, and we have the luxury of that place. We have margin in our days and we spend it on joy.
I missed a whole week of moments, a whole week of gifts. And it's not that I didn't live them; I did! I was there. I drank joy. But I didn't take the time to slow and see. I didn't open my eyes to the presence of God in those moments. Mostly, I didn't take the time to say, "Thank you, Lord." The longer I go without remembering God in my moments, the more I start to think the moments are mine, of my own making and for my own design. But they aren't. They aren't when I remember and they aren't when I forget. All the moments are God's moments and all the gifts are God's gifts and they are all meant to point our eyes to the Giver, to remember and give thanks.