Autumn Flowers and Happy Dances

autumn2All I did was wash my hands after vacuuming the living room carpet, glance at the vase of beautiful autumn flowers sitting on my hutch, and now I’m caught up in tears of joy as I thank God over and over for the small things that mean so much to me.

I can distinctly remember the days of gazing at houses twinkling in the darkness, beckoning to me as we would drive from motel to hotel during our days of music ministry. My heart ached for a home to call my own; to have lamps softly lighting the family room, the kitchen teeming with delicious smells, delightful sounds,and of course, laughter. To welcome, to nurture, to relax, to love. I wanted it all.

Now I do. I have it. My space may be small, and I may not have a husband to enjoy it with anymore, but my children want to be here with me, and I am completely grateful. It actually caught me off guard last night as I looked into the living room from my kitchen and noticed the way the light was casting a warm glow over the room… and my heart remembered what I had longed for so many years ago. SO many bridges have been crossed since then; so much learning and hurting and stretching. And now, not only do I have a space to call my own, but I also have a simple luxury like autumn flowers bought from the grocery store to add to my Thankfulness Picture.

See, today I also experienced the incredible satisfaction of being able to catch up on my rent. Years of always being behind on bills, countless moments of anxiety, hyperventilation-sessions, and stolen tears in the shower are all behind me now. Not because I’ve won the lottery or hit the business-big-time, but because I am in process of learning the valuable art of Rest.

What a glorious word. What a coveted concept. We all want it, but often don’t have a hot clue how to attain it. But my Lord is teaching me, and I am a slobbery-wet-mess-of-thank-you’s for it.

I had a deadline to come up with what I owed in rent by November, and I wasn’t exactly sure how I would pull it off without having my utilities shut off or go without gas & food. My paycheck as a care-giver to the elderly is adequate to just get things taken care of by the skin of my teeth each month, but when the unexpected happens (which it did), and I fall behind (which I did), I’m screwed. But in my time with God that I selfishly crave each day, He has been teaching me to trust Him completely. That my life matters to Him, and no matter what happens, I am not alone, and I matter. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll have unicorns flying around my head pooping rainbows with pots of gold at the end, but that there is Someone who gives a damn about me, and He calls me Beloved.

He makes me cry.

Good tears. Happy ones.

He sees me. He gives a rip.

I know that what He is doing is cultivating a die-hard trust in Him, because life will always have its yucky stuff to throw at and around me. But knowing that I am seen, that I matter, that there is purpose and goodness here too — well, that makes a big difference to me. There seems to be such an endless amount of pain in this world, so much dark stuff that overwhelms and chokes and disheartens, leaving us to feel helpless or hopeless or both.

The thing is: He Is Our Hope. That’s why He came. To help.

To bring us Hope.

And Faith.

And Love. Lots of strong, blow-your-mind kind of love.

So I chuckle at my silly tears (I’m still getting used to the ease with which they burst forth since I went for nearly 10 years without letting any slide), and let loose a gushing million thanks to the Lover of my soul. For the small things that make me feel so big. For being able to do a happy dance with the apartment property manager and celebrate a victory only God could win.

geez, where’s the kleenex?



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