the candle of joy

Blowing out the candles after dinner, these three pause to sing and smile.

Incline Thine ear to our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee; and make bright the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

the gifts of god, for the people of god

(Taylor Lake, summer 2011)
Around five, everybody clears out.  All the mamas say, “I’ve got to get home to cook dinner,” and the kids suck ice pops and bounce, shaking water out of their ears and sand out of their shoes, all the way to the minivans.

But not me, at least not today.  I leave my mama-spot in the shade, abandon my smart phone and my sun hat, and dive in.  Rosie and I have the lake to ourselves.  She runs out and runs in, jumping, saying “dino-ball”!  I swim deep into the cold, then flip and come back to her, pretending to be a snapping turtle nipping at her toes, just like my mom used to pretend with me in the pool in San Antonio.  She giggles, “Be a snapping fish again! Again!”

The wind is strong at the lake, the early evening air is mild.  It’s quiet and it’s peace on earth, it’s summer in its purest form for me, and I float on my back and kick my feet and feel like I’m fifteen at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Rosie jumps into my arms.  “I love you, Mommy!” she cries, passionately, and I love her too, and I know it’s not really just me that inspires that cry, it’s this me - the undistracted me, the wholly abandoned to the present moment me, the unashamedly swimsuited and swimming me.  It’s the clearness of the sky and the coolness of the water, it’s the wind and the sun and the daddy who is willing to cook dinner.  It’s the gifts of God, for the people of God, and it is for all of us, common grace, and there is nothing we have to do, and no one we have to be. We are just us, thankful.