Ivy comes to me while I'm at the computer, and I seize the moment to pull her close, nuzzle her hair, breathe in the scent of her. I tip her face back and cup it in my hands, look into her eyes.
"Do you know you have the most beautiful eyes in the whole world?"
Her eyes get wide and round as she gazes into mine. She happily flutters her eyelashes at me.
"Do you know that you are a funny girl and you make Mama laugh and you are a joy?"
She smiles shy up at me.
"Do you know you are God's child?"
She nods her head up and down, solemn.
She glances at the screen at what I'm writing, and asks, "Mama, why are we God's child?"
I wrap my arms around her and say, "Because He made us. But do you know how you really know you are His?"
"The bible says that you are His if you confess your sins to Him, and ask Him to be your Savior, then He takes all your sin away because He died on the cross so that He could do that, remember?" Her eyes flicker remembrance and she nods.
"And then you can go to Heaven to be with Him forever and ever."
"Mama? Does God give you work in Heaven? like hard chores?"
"No. We will worship Him all the time. But He may give us some holy work to do--you know, like how the angels' jobs are to watch over the earth? Well, He may have something like that for us to do."
"Oh." Her mouth turns down sad. I'm sure she must have imagined a magical play land.
"You know...Heaven has streets made of gold, and the gates are made of beautiful pearls."
Her eyes light up, she smiles at me and bounds off, the conversation carried with her in her play, pictures of purest gold and brilliant pearls in her head.
3 things about myself i am grateful for...
#437 my health
#438 the desire to be at home with my family raising my girls
#439 that God blessed me to be able to have four babies
a gift outside, inside, on a plate...
#440 picnic on a blanket with my family, me lying on my back, sun the orange orb behind my closed lids
#441 clean, freshly scrubbed couch, bare floors
#442 Southern-style chicken and dumplins cooked by my Granny
3 lines i overheard that were graces...
#443 Lorna picking Lilly up, carrying her off and snuggling her, telling her, "I just love you. You are the sweetest baby."
#444 Lorna's confession "Mama, I can't stop thinking about Kelly (a little boy with lukemia at our church). He's my buddy."
#445 Lorna's "You know, Mama, me and Ivy haven't fought and we have been getting along all day! It's because last night when we were arguing, Ivy was upset and I asked her why and she said she was sorry about all the things she ever did to hurt me and so we just cried together."
one gift old, new, & blue
#446 my great-grandmother's hand-made patchwork quilt that covers my bed
#447 running gear from my parents
#448 Lilly's baby-blue eyes
something i'm reading, something i'm making, something i'm seeing...
#449 Holy Experience blesses and wrings me out everyday and flows over onto my family...also starting Forgotten God by Francis Chan
#450 a holistic, Christ-centered peaceful home for my family
#451 my husband loving me through my anxiety and worry, calming me with his strength
one thing in my bag, my fridge, my heart...
#452 new running gloves
#453 fresh pineapple
#454 forgiveness! joy! God's radiant love!
3 graces from people i love...
#455 my father saying while he's in the hospital that he knows i have a family to take care of
#456 husband telling eldest girl to help put little ones down for naps so Mama can have a soak in the tub
#457 my Granny's hands, serving and cooking for us in her kitchen
light that caught me, a reflection that surprised me, a shadow that fell lovely
#458 softest morning's patch of light streaming in through window and landing across my bed in shadows
#459 catching a glimpse of me with baby in towel on hip as i carry her from the bath
#460 evening's shadows illuminated lovely by soft candlelight as i cook
a gift in your hand, a gift you walked by, a gift you sat with...
#461 Lilly's soft chubby hands in mine, the way they feel like silk on my face when she climbs in the bed to stroke me and wake me.
#462 walked by a lady in church, gathered up my courage and introduced myself and God used her practical caring to loose chains of fear that had bound me
#463 sitting with my husband in the sanctuary, the sacred union of marriage, how His presence cradles and soothes me.
a gift that's sour, a gift that's sweet, a gift that's Just. Right. ...
#465 Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk
#466 buttery cinnamon granny smith apples
3 yellow things that strike me as fresh mercy...
#467 tiny green daffodil shoots coming up from hardened winter ground
#468 the hope for something shooting up yellow
#469 the sun coming out after the cloudy, dreary rain
something above me, something below me, something beside me...
#470 grey, cloudy skies
#471 beautiful, shiny pine floors in this old house
#472 my bible
3 sounds i hear...
#473 drip-dripping of steady rain
#474 Lilly squealing happy as she goes down the slide
#475 my phone ringing, Husband calling to check on me
Join in on the Joy Dare 2012! Are you thinking about starting a grateful, grace-counting list of your own? Lack motivation and need a little inspiration? Head here to join the Joy Dare and get the free printout with all the crazy-grace prompts you need!
"A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit."--Erasmus
Join me at Ann's for more counting graces?...
And at Jenn's...
And at L.L.'s place for poetry and quiet reflections...