Monday, May 10, 2010

Small Gifts

Remember the first time you saw a rainbow? Such a faint, yet striking and unexpected beauty. A gift. A small gift after the rain. Recently, a very talented musical artist who I know wrote a song about "the calm after the storm." Ever since I heard it, the melody and the words have echoed again and again in my soul. I guess for me this song came at just the perfect time, reminding me that God brings calm and serene after the storm--just as the rainbow. If we look up, we will always see small gifts after the storm.

Nothing earth-shattering, I just happened to have a rocky, unstable, and stormy few days. Emotions unbalanced and on the edge, struggling to keep life and responsibilities balanced in perspective and harmony. Falling down, falling apart, then getting right back up and trying again. Sometimes this is life. And, on the heels of Mother's Day, it's fair to say that most moms can relate. I've had several other jobs in my life. I've dealt with other people's children; dealt with the public; trained employees; had to meet sales quotas; helped families in crisis. But, this job of motherhood is by far the most difficult. I'm all tied up and tangled up in it and I'm not going anywhere. I'm committed! I cannot give up or give in. And sometimes, it takes every bit of me and then some. It had just been a stormy few days for me when I first heard this song. Then, how timely I was reminded that there is always a calm after the storm. If I look up, I just may see a rainbow--a small gift after the storm. God's love becomes evident!

God loves to give gifts to mothers. And sometimes the small gifts are the most precious. After settling myself and taking some time to look up instead of looking in (at me) I began to see all the small gifts around me.

On Mother's Day, my 6 yr. old son used all of his earned children's church points to purchase a small gift for me. At first I didn't realize this. He mentioned before church how he really hoped the Spectrum store (where children of a certain age can redeem points earned for attendance, bringing their Bible to church, and scripture memorization) was open so he could get something. In the past, he has purchased a model car, model airplane, and other small toys he enjoys. When he handed me a small nail-grooming set, I thought it was his. It wasn't until we got home that I noticed it said "Happy Mother's Day." He got it for me! He could have used his points for any new toy but he chose to give me a small gift. I still tear up thinking about the sweet generosity and thoughtfulness of his heart.

My baby said "mama" for the very first time early in the morning on Mother's Day. In the midst of waking up to a crying baby in the middle of the night...what a delightful gift!

My sweet daughter Ella often comes and holds my face in her hands and just puckers up to offer me a kiss. What a precious gift I never want to take for granted!

My son Luke has been learning to write his name. He is writing it so perfectly and is very proud of himself. His face just beams when I recognize him for doing this so well. He also willingly and happily holds my hand when it's just the two of us. It's a rare occasion, but when we have it....what a gift!

When I look up, I see so many rainbows. There are many small gifts after the storm. I'm not promised calm, peaceful moments all throughout motherhood. However, I am learning that I will always receive and enjoy small gifts if I take my eyes off myself and look up. Just as the rainbow reminds us of brighter, more peaceful moments ahead, these small gifts are reminders of God's love for mothers. He has enabled us to do this job, though it may be rocky, unstable, and sometimes stormy. He sure doesn't have to give us the gifts. Nonetheless, they are always there. Always. We simply have to look up, after the storm, and we will see all of the treasures that are as evident as His love for us.

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