I’m not exactly sure why that title feels right but it does. I think it’s because today was a satisfying mix of productivity and enjoying relaxing time with my family. The kids and I menu-planned, went grocery shopping and baked muffins and made granola bars. The house still smells faintly of rice and cilantro with a hint of basil and chicken. The kids got baths and were tucked into bed smelling clean and fresh in rooms scented with lavender (we’ll overlook the part where Miles rejoined us to eat a banana after thirty minutes of playing in his bed 😉 ).
I honestly love days like this.
Simple things. Sweet things. My heart is grateful.
I don’t want to be so busy I miss the small moments that add a sense of richness to life. Miles cut his first molar through today, Evie learned what a coconut looks like at the grocery store. I tried a new muffin recipe and Tom was able to go for a long run which he enjoyed. It’s the sacred comforts of familiarity, the reassuring presence of my husband being by my side where he has been through many shared life moments, the gifts my children are, the delight of finished chores. None of those things are particularly noteworthy in and of themselves but together they stilled my heart to worship and humble gratitude for this life I have been given.
I don’t always appreciate it all, some days (more honestly, all days in at least some moments) I get lost in the rush of caring for children. Finding missing shoes, answering emails, caring what people think, clicking through tabs, caring too much about other people’s situations, paying bills, washing dishes, folding laundry, planning events, leading discipleship times, contacting people, cleaning the house. I don’t naturally gravitate towards prioritizing stillness but, when I do try to intentionally seek it out I am amazed at the power of solitude and long for more of it.
Tonight I stood on the porch in the deepening twilight watching the fireflies dance amidst the pine branches. You can tell it’s getting late in the summer because of the way the air is slightly cool in the evenings. Autumn and Winter are my favorite times of the year and slight hints of them were in the breeze tonight. The way night falls early in late Autumn is like a thick quilt tucking you in, early darkness lends itself to early bedtime and, like the earth has a break from the planting and harvesting so Autumn and Winter give a break to my body. It’s a season that invites time with family and dear friends, evenings inside playing games, firelight, soup and cider, the holidays and reflection on the busier seasons of our year.
I’m ready for that and yet, I’m also content here. If there’s one thing this last year has shown us it’s how very much is completely out of our control and what a waste of time it is to try and change that. Grief and loss have been recurring themes throughout the year yet, in close proximity (and likely highlighted due to the stark contrast) has been the theme of gracious comfort. We have come to long for Heaven in a new way this year and it has changed us. I’m grateful.
So tonight as the day is done and the darkness falls from the wings of Night, I find myself reflecting on these simple words;
“To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.” -Barbara Brown Taylor
Today was a day of bending, reaching, chopping and stirring and my heart and my faith are better for it.