Today I sat in the backyard, mosquitoes at my side, green leaves above me. The green leaves were dancing, touching one another and running away. I watched them for awhile. I took a picture, but it didn’t do it justice – so I memorized it, wrote it down, and sent a prayer up above thanking God for the dancing leaves.
I’ve been doing a lot of giving thanks lately. I carry around my little notebook, tucked in the back of my purse, and I write down a list of things I thank God for. A challenge to find 1000 gifts – gifts of grace – in each moment. I can’t even describe to you the joy that’s exploding in my heart as I look for God’s gifts each day. I’m hungry, searching for them, and when I find them it truly is the sweetest gift of grace. Like manna to my hungry soul.
I am being reminded constantly to give thanks in all things. In the hard days. In the tears. When my heart is hurt. When relationships seem so hard.
Pulling out my journal and writing down my thanks. Praying out my words of praise. Naming the good gifts He gives.
And so I thought it timely, underneath that dance of the leaves, to write my gratitude to you. Life hasn’t been perfect and our relationship never has been, either – I guess none ever are. There’s been hurtful words dripping with pain; there’s been hard conversations where we’ve put on glasses that wouldn’t allow us to see the other’s perspective. We haven’t always been what we each needed.
The leaves above me whisper grace and I open my eyes to see you in a different way. I see your hand outstretched, reaching for your long since grown up girl. A gift.
The way you laugh in delight, your eyes mischievous, when you’ve told us a something only you will ever find funny. Another gift.
When you text me, the moment I need to hear it, that you’re proud of me. Yet another gift.
The way new passions that make you feel alive give you breath in your lungs. When you work long days, hard days, frustrating days, ever the hard worker, an hour early to work. Long strides across gravelled roads, taking each step in each moment with eyes ahead. Each weekend filled with family. Soccer games watched. Oil changes made. Engines checked. “Expensive” coffee paid for in Starbucks. Shared chocolate bars. Montreal Sangria. Washed bathing suits for the next hot tub visit.
Dancing leaves, soul food, kind of gifts.
And I want to name the gifts you are. Whisper them tucked into prayers. That God is good, and you show me signs of His goodness.
You are loved, Dad, on this day and always,
for you are a gift.