They move from event to event, stoic, chin-up with game faces squarely on.
Determined, fierce-competitors, steely-glass eyes starring the moment directly in the face without blinking. Unflinching. Taking on the challenges with grace.Brave. Unwavering. Strong. And appearing to all the world as though they have no fear.
Mighty warriors on the world stage. Grace on display in diminuative packages. And they amaze.
I watch these young Olympians strong-jawed and graceful, gymnasts who take my breath away with their poise, beauty,and skill packed in lovely small packages of pure muscle.
They are like marathon runners pacing their emotion. Pacing the celebration and victorious grins and all-out over-joyed thanksgiving for their wins, the milestones.
Because until they are finished, they must pack their bags and unwrap their wrist-wrappings and move to the next big event.
But I am not an Olympic gymnast. Very far from it. But sometimes if I am not careful I will move fists clenched and jaw tight from one event to another without stopping to rest in moments of thanksgiving and praise for God’s goodness.
And I have seen God’s goodness in many areas of my life. So I have to stop. And be still for long moments of the heart. To let myself catch up with my living. To let the soul soak in the worth savoring. Because I have seen break-through’s and they are worthy of noting with praising lips.
They are worthy of big Alleluias and Hallelujahs back to the Giver. They deserve a return of praise. They require a thank you note of the heart.
If I am not careful I will race ahead without engaging my heart and soul in a long grateful embrace. The moment worth the long savor risks being passed over. The answered prayer of the heart and lips risks going by without an outpouring of gratitude.
I will rush ahead of myself and God into the forward moving moments of life. Without rightful praise. Without rightful thanksgiving. Without giving the breakthrough its long celebration of being born into my life. I risk being stalled out and stuck in a place of forward moving living which races into the next without pausing and looking long on the beautiful miraculous milestones of God gifts of the now.
The now is so deserving. The right this minute is so worthy of marking and noting. And of celebrating.
I see these as the happy middles. No longer wanting to desire only the happy endings in life, but rather finding joy in the happy middle moments. The good stuff on the way. The stumble upon small things which are truly grand. Like the small Olympic gymnasts we pack a pint sized punch, these little life-moments are grander and more glorious than we often give them credit for. They are huge if we but stop and marvel.
Just because its good. And just because The Giver of Good Gifts, a holy God, has given with and in Love.
If I miss the opportunity to walk into His presence with praise, I miss a holy moment of intimacy with God. And we were made by Him to praise Him. The praiseworthy moments then, are just what we were created for.
And some just seem due a longer pause, a wider smile, and an even more joyful heart. I don’t know why they seem to stand out, accept that when you journey with Him and cry out to Him, and pray to Him, there are moments which feel so glorious. Maybe its the ones we thought we’d never live to see. Or maybe its the ones that come after long periods of drought or what feels like extra-long waiting. Maybe its the ones which look so transformative as to have God’s mark, His handiwork so beautifully displayed that we are in awe. Of His Goodness. And His Love. Maybe it’s the ones that have a bit of the prodigal son peppered in the narrative.
That God in His mercy works beautiful gifts into every day is worth an outpouring of gratitude every day. But sometimes it feels hand-stamped,hand-delivered right to the door of our hearts. Because it is.
It always is when it comes from God. And thanks be to Him, the Giver of Good Gifts.
Counting gifts today. And it truly feels like Thanksgiving in July. And grateful to Ann and her book 1000 Gifts for helping point me in a grateful direction of the heart.
*a beautiful worship service yesterday with glorious music and a very very funny guest preacher. Joy in the laughter echoing all through the sanctuary.
*a transformation in a relationship. Restoration, love, and tenderness.
*a moment to mark and celebrate a moment with a mother in church which involved seeing great things in the lives of our sons.Seeing her beautiful tears of joy at God’s hand in our lives. A gift.
*Seeing my man/child in his new home loving His job and seeing glimpses into his future with his career. Feeling God’s hand of protection and love on his life.
*Hearing my middle son say how much he enjoyed our family day together, after not wanting to participate. Hearing him proclaim the joy in the day. Amazing. Grace. A mother’s heart hears how very much we are wired to be in relationship.
* Four of the five riding back from Charleston and my daughter looking out at the marsh and marking the beauty. Then, passing the river and marking the beauty. Her words of longing to be on the beautiful water. Seeing her mark beauty.
* Hearing my son sing in church.
*watching the Olympics with my family
*Mother-daughter time of fellowship with friends laughing and savoring and spending hours, the four, for a celebration of birthdays. It is good. Friendship.
*Finally telling my husband how very badly my heart desires a literal white-picket fence, and having him sweetly receive, and try to see where and how he can provide my silly heart’s desire for one.
*A loving text message filled with gratitude from someone in my life, early this morning. A welcomed-Monday morning sight for these eyes.
*Seeing the joy in a woman’s heart upon receiving home-communion yesterday. Seeing the power in breaking the communion wafer for someone for the first time. The beauty. The holy of the moment. Grateful for the opportunity to serve. Seeing her touched by the love of Jesus.
Writing in community today with Ann, who is helping me develop a heart of gratitude. And I am joining with Michelle at Graceful today.