1. Good: When the three of us are singing around the kitchen table and the baby is eating cake crumbs directly off the floor, and the 4 year old wants her pacifier (help me get rid of that thing!), when I forget to wash my hands after being outside and leave weed-green, sweaty fingerprints in the book, and there's a load of laundry growing wrinkles sitting on the deep freeze and the sun tea is good in second-hand glasses, and there it is: God and He takes our voices and lifts us up out of this scene and we're sailing over the linoleum floor lifting voice to Him and finding an island of sound for ourselves like some 3 1/2 minute vacation. As much as we love our lives, we still need lifting up to higher ground so we might settle down again with more patience, more breath, more voice, more of His love still vibrating in our chest from the sound of songs made for Him that He then gave back to us as a way to live more deeply inside the gift of the lives He's given us to live. As you can tell, there's a lot of back and forth in this relationship. He gives it. We give it back. He takes everything and gives you life.
2. Good: Knowing your mom and your friends and your Grandmas are praying for you. Seeing the results, not so much in specific things that happen because of prayers, but in your ability to rely on the fruits of the spirit to get through the changes of them happening or not happening. How the prayers bring peace and patience in a time that feels unsettling.
3. Good: The Nebraska sweet corn explosion. It is, indeed, sweet.
4. Good: Talking canning with the girls. How she keeps asking, "Are you laughing at me?" "No! I just love talking about this stuff!"
5. Good: A call from my dad saying he's driving up from Colorado to visit this weekend. How I can hardly believe it. Dad. Here. Soon. I can't wait to show him everything we've been up to: show him Nora's world, sing a few songs for him, brag on the garden, crack open everything I've been canning.
6. Good: Being able to respond to Nora's tears with compassion rather than with the feeling that I need to toughen her up because life is hard and blah blah blah. Life isn't hard when you know someone will be there to lend an ear and a hand, Christ living through our reaching out. Teach me to do this more and more and more. Because there has always been a hand or an ear just when I needed it. Always. This is most certainly true.
6. Good: Tom Waits and holding on, baby. Sufjan still inspiring me to crochet dish rag after dish rag. A sausage, rosemary, butternut squash, potato, carrot, green bean stew in the slow cooker that just about killed me to stop eating. Another good movie series about love and love and love.
7. Good: Reading and praying to be broken open so that He might enter, and feeling it happen. Or...knowing...this is hard to explain. Feeling confident that He is always working with me on this because my mind and my heart go to Him so frequently, and the more this happens, the more I understand what Pastor Jurchen meant when he said, "He's not just some figment of my imagination. He's HERE. Right now. As real as you and me." I know this to be true.