I have to admit, a lot of weeks I go to church and don't feel like I come away with much. I think this is a result of several things. The major factor: Honey Fat. Church ends up more like a silent wrestling match, or at least me trying to be silent as I silence her, during the services. Then I usually spend 90 minutes trying to sneak out of nursery without her wailing. A consequence of being the baby of 4, she is very contented surrounded by family. Or I end up home with sick kids, or a napping child. If I am being 100% honest, church isn't really when I seem to be able to fill my spiritual tank.
That said...sometimes I catch a snippet. A little gem that lifts or inspires me. Today was such a day. The last few years "Gratitude Journals" have been all the rage. It is a wonderful practice. But today, a woman spoke of a different kind of daily log. "Today it Made Me Smile." It made me smile. I love thinking about all the things that make me smile. Here are a just a few from the last two days...
- I won my first race ever. I've had plenty of age group wins but never an overall 1st place. It wasn't a fabulous time by any stretch of the imagination. But it was a cool feeling not a having a single woman in front of me. And the prizes were amazing! What was the difference in this race? The women from my fabulous running group were all there. But not running. Instead...they trailed in front and behind me in a minivan coaching and cheering all 6.2 miles.
|A very unflattering picture.|
- The minivan of middle-aged women coaching me like I was going for an olympic win. I don't know why, but this just has made me feel like a million dollars for 2 days straight. Brent is always asking me, "Are you sure you want to live here?" My response, "I'm not leaving my running crew." You just can't replace...
- Amanda in her tight jeans (which she looks really hot in) running in front of me yelling, "Refocus. Start a new race. Close your eyes!"
- Marie, "Keep your eyes up, focus on the guy in the white. Catch him."
- Josie, toddler in arms, "She's 200 yards behind you. Stay strong."
- Jen, holding all three of her tiny kids, in her sweet soft-spoken way "Come on. You got it. Just up this hill."
- Desi, in the minivan picked up after just finishing her 5k whispering in a throaty voice, "Thank you so much. Come on!" (We switched 5K and 10K spots at the last minute because she got sick.)
I just don't know how many people are as lucky as I am to have these women who are such good friends to me. There is something about doing hard things which really brings you together.
- A Snuggle from Ellery. Not atypical, but the circumstance brought a big inner smile. Our piano teacher asks her students to play their sacred music each Sunday to keep up their repertoire. Ellery was playing through her list of hymns and a Medley she is currently learning. She got stuck. I wouldn't let her stop until she figured it out. She was furious and refused help. "Sweet is the Work" was being pounded as loudly as possible at one point. It wasn't sweet work, believe me. Finally, I got her through. She was still pounding. As she finished the song, Brent asked her to come sit down. In the sweetest little voice she said, "No Daddy, I want to snuggle with Mommy." She nestled right in and spooned with me for 15 minutes, holding my hand. Not a morsel of angst lingering. There is something about doing hard things which really brings you together.
- Callista beating the socks off the big boys in a impromptu foot race home from church. In her Sunday shoes. Believe me they were trying.
- Brent coming home a day early from his trip. Life just isn't the same without him. I had a wonderful long conversation with his mom. She mentioned the only one of the 10 commandments associated with a direct promise is, "Honor thy Father and thy Mother, that thy days may be long upon the land." Brent never wavered in his obedience and respect to his mom and dad. I know many obedient people whose lives seemed to be far too short, but I am banking on the literal fulfillment of that promise.
- Emmett moaning through his fever, in his high little voice, "Mommy...I love you so much." Not atypical, but how could that not elicit a smile. And...Emmett sitting as peaceful and serene as ever while getting blood drawn, for a vitamin D check. It is so torturous when a doctor asks you to choose one of your children to have a blood draw. Ugghhh. I tell you though, those nurses had never seen anything like it as Emmett watched every moment carefully and trustingly, just giving a little moan at the poke. Angel. I take zero credit for him.
- Singing "Come Thou Fount" with the church choir today, and remembering when I sang the same song at my Grandma's funeral. Thinking of her. And of my uncle telling me it was the most beautiful thing he had heard (his emotions speaking).
Hopefully I'll take the time to record more of these moments that make me smile, because they come fast and furious. Something I hope I never forget.