It's Sunday evening and we are running alongside one another, Lorna and I. She says to me, "How far are we going to run?"
"A pretty long ways," I hesitantly tell her. "Well, how far is that?" she asks.
"Four miles," I say, thinking how my feet fall in rhythm with hers.
"FOUR miles?!" she pants it out incredulous.
After several minutes, she stops to take a walk break, and I slow down for her. I tell her to take a deep breath, look at the beautiful sunset, the moon sort of sitting in the sky, and pick up her pace.
After about a fourth of a mile, she needs another break, and I tell her she can just as soon as we get around this curve.
"When are we going to run fast?" she questions me, just a tad impatient.
"We aren't. This is a test of your endurance, not your speed. This is a test to see how long you can last."
"Oh." She thinks for a moment.
"Well, what's the answer?"
"You tell me. Show me what you can do."
She sighs a muffled groan and we keep on in rhythmic stride. Pink and orange sunset hangs low over wheat fields silent in winter's first cold gales and the sun dips to kiss the trees. We run past cows grazing and she points out a baby calf to me.
On the way home we break into a fast run and she beats me to the house, my daughter with the long legs and the inquisitive mind, my daughter who doesn't like children's movies anymore, who reads my One Thousand Gifts book, and who is becoming a woman way too fast--
my daughter with whom I am so grateful to be sharing these moments with.
#365 Bella, grabbing Lilly and enfolding her in a tight embrace, and wrapping arm around her ears when the train comes so she won't be afraid--how they care for one another
#366 how Lilly is so submissive and leans into her big sister until the train passes
#367 time carved out to breathe--driving to meet a friend to run--feeling alive and how I tell her the thing that is really important--how much I am grateful for her
#368 another date with Husband--him taking such good care of me--getting me out of the house--sharing a sandwich and getting coffee--him sitting next to me, shielding me
#369 Husband calling everyone over without me knowing because I am sad
#370 Sunday lunch around the table the way it should be--steaming hot greens, chicken, brown rice, cornbread and rolls--everyone helping their plate and passing the butter
#371 good, rich time spent with family--hearing their voices and laughter ring off the walls of my home--all of us smiling and giggling at Lilly's antics and sharing the best sour cream and pear coffee cake with espresso in my grandmother's china.
#372 sitting on my porch swing with my mother and talking like old friends
#373 a Sunday evening run with my daughter that's big enough to keep up with me
#374 the beautiful sunset I take in as I run, God's creation, that I'm seeing it all and appreciating it all for it's simple beauty
#375 God's amazing love and shepharding care for me
#376 that I felt like picking flowers in the backyard and arranging them in vases for the kitchen--a sign I'm getting better
#377 the branches with red and golden leaves that I took straight inside and put in a tall vase on our dining table after Husband plucked them down for me
#378 how when I am sad, but don't show it or say it, but Husband knows anyway--that's love
#379 how God is branching me out and making me reach out farther and higher in worship and love toward His children
#380 this recipe to Pumkin Latte cupcakes pictured here--how it makes the house feel and smell like fall! And little chubby hands reaching for yummy goodness!
Join me at Ann's today for counting pure graces and gifts from the Father:
at L.L.'s place, Seedling In Stone:
at Jenn's for Soli De Gloria:
and also, join me here as I follow the Compassion bloggers in Equador this week!