Every September, we trek to Maine for a week of recreating and renewing ourselves and our friendship. The Maine Ladies have almost a decade of memories tucked away that we sometimes bring out and inspect and admire yet one more time, relishing our treasure.
We are a group of seven. Although we are almost never all together throughout the rest of the year, we keep in touch. We share a spiritual connection and, when any one is missing from the September Maine vacation, we feel as though our body lacks an arm or foot or hand.
The amazing thing about us is that … we are. All agree, this is a combination of ladies that none of us would have ever thought to put together. We come from different towns and varying life circumstances. No two of us attend the same church. Yet, somehow, this group came together, clicked, and endured.
All of us agree, this group is a gift from God to each one of us.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
May I just say AMEN! and stop here?
Oh, the joys of placing myself and my life in the hands of our Father,
instead of resting my hopes in those who are so sure of their
own capabilities, strength and control
or laying my life on the altar of all those things the world today worships and
What joys? All the wonders He performs for us. And I could write about the monumental, life-changing miracles like making us new creatures or engineering a new job or healing a heartbreak. But today, let’s think about the small, too-often overlooked gifts of every day, like friendships, a word of encouragement at just the right time, a rainy day.
I’m still reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. It’s a book to be taken in small bites and then digested. To remind herself to look for the daily gifts, she keeps a written, numbered list of all those things for which she is grateful. Her list tells of ordinary things in her farmer’s-wife life, like “nylons without runs” and “kettle whistling for tea on a cold afternoon.” She calls this a list of all the ways God loves her, “the pulse of His love.”
I can make my own list every day:
a grandchild snuggling close
music of the rain in the woods
someone else cleaning up the mess after I cook dinner
These tiny little things that we love season our lives, come as gifts from the heart of our Father. When we start paying attention and offering thanks, we do indeed hear the heartbeat of His love for us.
And what excitement, what security, what peace comes with knowing that God’s plans for us are too numerous to list!
I rest in that, knowing the Lord of the Universe has plans for ME (amazing) and hearing every day the pulse of His love.
Scripture: Psalm 40:4-5(NLT)
You can read more of Ann Voskamp’s thoughts on her blog at www.aholyexperience.com. (Her post today on forgiving your parents is … wow … for every child and every child who has become a parent.)