Tonight, we loaded our children into the car and went for a Sunday drive. We would have preferred a brisk stroll, but our plans were thwarted when the wind ushered charcoal-gray clouds into our side of the valley. We watched as the sky darkened, threatening rain. We knew a drive would be a better option.
I frequently have the best conversations with Lilly while we are driving around the city; running errands, going to play dates, visiting the library. Our chats are often humorous (like the time she told me about the cute boy in her preschool class) or deeply poignant (like the time she told me she watched my wedding from heaven). Our "transportation talks" (as I like to call them) are quickly becoming one of my favorite pastimes.
Tonight was no exception. As the wind whipped around our car, and an occasional raindrop splattered across our windshield, Lilly started reflecting on Jesus.
"Jesus gives us everything," she said.
"That's right," I answered, contentedly, as I laid my head on my seat's headrest.
"He gave us our bodies. And our house."
"Yes," replied James, from behind the wheel. "And He gave us our friends."
"And our families!," Lilly said, excitedly.
And thus began a tender, fifteen-minute conversation with Lilly, in which she recounted all the things she has to be grateful for; a "gifts from Jesus" list. Her glorious list included:
Beds. Toys. Oceans. Trees. Mountains. Space. All the planets. Ears. Eyes. Our hearts. Feet. Shoes. Clothing. Knees. Arms. Cars. Rain. Snow. Clouds. Sunshine. Animals. Strawberry Shortcake. Our brains. Food. Juice boxes. Toes. Babies. Teachers. Music. Mouths. Teeth. Stars. Playgrounds. Roads. Flowers. Grass. The moon.
With my favorites being:
Nostrils, so we can breathe. L-Bones (she means "elbows"), so we can bend our arms.
Later, as I prepared to retire to my bed (thank you, Jesus, for my bed...I am a VERY tired mom), I thought about our Sunday drive--our family's uplifting "transportation talk"--and awarded it the "best part of the day." Ah, the moments when being a mother is so, so, so fulfilling. The more I pondered, the more I noticed the telltale lump forming at the back of my throat that always precedes the onset of tears. I felt my heart swell with genuine "mama love," until it felt as though it was about to burst in my chest. I recognized the spirit of gratitude at my core and--inspired by my daughter--created my own "gifts from Jesus" list: