To say this week has been stressful would be like saying childbirth was uncomfortable. Understatement. Husband just past the flu, son with 102 fever, daughter sick with 102 fever and Mother (me) slowly losing her mind. I generally LOVE to be home all the time, it is in my nature to be a world class Hermit - but not this time. I needed to GET OUT for a bit, just to breathe with no one asking for something or touching me or whatever. I know, that probably makes me sound like a horrible mother. Oh well.
But I've been trying to be more mindful of giving thanks, especially in difficult times. I've been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp (HIGHLY recommended) and it has opened my eyes to things I have forgotten to see. So, today, in the middle of the chaos it started to snow. Not the blowing, wet snow of last week that made the world wet and cold and slick; but light, fluffy, beautiful snow that made you want to sit and watch. Made me sit and watch Henry (our "pet" squirrel) sit on the branch with his tail over his head, hunkered down against the wind and snow and beautiful all covered in white flakes. Made me remember my place, my happy place, the place where I used to meet God. The place where, like Jacob, I wrestled with God on MANY occasions, also the place where I felt his presence most in my life. My park. You can read about and see pictures of My Park here.
Watching the snow today made me LONG for my park. I haven't found another like it. I have nowhere to go to walk through the quieted, crunching snow watching my beloved pet romp while I talk to God. Several things in that sentence are absent now, the crunching snow (most of the time) and my beloved pet. But, I've also found, this is sometimes a good thing. I have been forced in my daily, mothering, housewifely life to find common "Peniels". Find places in the everyday to meet God. Praying as I do dishes, fold clothes, getting up early to sit and read before the chaos of the day begins. Enjoying common everyday life with God. Isn't this what being a Christian is about? Enjoying God every day in our common, potato-peeling life? I'm thankful for the mountaintops, for the Parks in my life - but I'm also thankful for the God who is opening my eyes to the everyday. The common. The ordinary life lived with "God always set before me" (Psalm 16:8).