“In this family, no one fights alone,” the sign said.
A lump rose to my throat and tears began to overflow as I saw the picture on Facebook. Two blue coolers filled to the brim with over 500 ounces of breastmilk was being sent down to a four month old baby girl whose mother had been killed in the line of duty as a police officer just a few days prior.
Someone who knows that fallen officer’s family got wind that the baby was having a tough time with the formula she was being given, and so this caring woman rallied her tribe and asked for breast milk donations to send down to this sweet baby who had just lost her beautiful, brave mama. Within 24 hours, she had 2 coolers full.
Goodness gracious, what an amazing demonstration of how, even in the wake of a tragedy, a group of people can turn their broken hearts into something helpful for humanity.
It is times like this, times when my heart feels like it can’t handle any more brokenness, like I’ve got more ache than I can contain, that I turn back to the ancient practice of noticing. I intentionally start noticing and cataloguing all the goodness around me. Whether small or big, I list the things that bring me pleasure, the things for which I am grateful, the things that remind me that God is still good, that humans still have the capacity for kindness, and that I am seen and loved by God.
This is therapy for me.
So here I go. Today I will share with you just a bit of the “everyday goodness” I have seen this week:
- Breast milk for the fallen officer’s four month old baby girl
- A surprise cheesecake from my Bible study friends to celebrate my birthday
- A long hike with a group of girlfriends, followed by a bite to eat at the Alehouse
- My daughter offering to “be on toddler duty” (aka take care of her younger brother) when I let her know that I would be leaving to go to a meeting for a few hours
- My husband arriving safely home every night this week
- Enough money to buy groceries and give gifts to a few friends in need
- Sunflowers on my dining room table
- Having the honor of hearing a new friend’s life story— and how she recently found God for the first time in her life
- Sitting in a circle of friends— all seven of us with a different skin colors, backgrounds, ages, and life stages— holding hands and praying to God for unity and reconciliation in our churches and in our nation
- Watching my friend’s daughter, a freshman in high school, light up with excitement as she showed off all of the beautiful upgrades some friends of hers did to her bedroom (while her younger brother, who is battling brain cancer, sleeps in the next room)
- Seeing the look of relief in my daughter’s eyes when her kitten, whom we hadn’t seen in several hours, was found again
- Falling asleep, feet entangled with my husband’s, after a long, emotionally draining day
- Listening to my toddler’s scratchy little voice as he explains his drawing to me: “It’s you and Daddy getting married,” he says.
- Having a much-needed talk with a couple girlfriends about what is really going on in each of our hearts and lives
- Hearing an apology from my husband over the phone after a particularly stressful morning
- Sitting in the new coffee shop downtown, drinking a cup of hot tea with a tasty lavender scone on the side
- Rising before the rest of my household so that I can grab some moments to myself before the chaos of the day begins
- Laughing hard with friends about all our goofy quirks
- Hearing from a friend who was encouraged by something I wrote
- Studying Ephesians 1 and having my mind blown by all God reveals about Himself in just that one chapter of the Bible
- Staining wood blocks with a couple friends and realizing my fingernails are still stained and dirty two days later
- Tiny twinkly lights illuminating mason jars
- This guy’s face after he drew “a happy face” on himself
- Watching Abby swim again now that her broken arm is all healed up
- Meeting a fellow mom at the park and discovering that she loves Jesus too
- A hug from a friend who genuinely cares
- Realizing that now, after almost 15 years of marriage, my husband and I have finally developed the skill set to, at least sometimes, work through major disagreements without it always stirring up a significant amount of drama
- Having a conversation with a friend who “gets” what my life and challenges and stresses are like right now
- Walking along a two lane country road, past horses and cows and bluebirds and farm dogs, hearing peacocks hooting in the distance
Lord, I thank you for all of these things. Thank you for reminding me to open my eyes and list out my gifts. Thank you for all of these beautiful moments I have had the pleasure of tuning into this week. Thank You for reminding me that there is much to be grateful for.
[This is Day 16 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. This year my focus is on the role of STORY in our lives. Click here to get to the landing page with links to each post for this series.]
P.S. As a big fat THANK YOU to all of you faithful readers who have been reading along during this challenge, DaySpring is offering one lucky reader a $100 Shopping Spree to Dayspring.com! Click here to enter yourself.
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What about you?
What are you grateful for today? What simple, ordinary blessings have you noticed lately?
Please share your story in the comment section below.