Bill and I managed to get her ready 15 minutes early, which was quite a feat given how slowly she moves in the morning, and the two of us set out at 7:35, just as the sun was climbing through the rosy glow of the morning sky. It was a glorious day, and with each step I felt my spirits rising.
Allyson held my hand the whole way there, often lacing her little fingers through mine. She told me all the reasons she loves first grade, the most important being her beloved teacher, whom she was thrilled to see at our church recently. We talked about the day to come and prayed that God would help Allyson to enjoy learning and to share His love with others.
When we got to the crosswalk where Ethan used to dismiss me when baby Allyson and I walked him to school--he was in fourth grade then--I asked Allyson if she'd like me to cross with her. Of course she would! I grinned.
But when we got to the door, she told me I could hug her, but not kiss her. "That would be embarrassing in public," she explained. I laughed as I gathered her into a tight hug, and laughed harder when she couldn't resist slipping me a furtive peck.
On the mile back home, I talked with God, thanking him for the joys of the day, and then just enjoyed walking in silence with Him. When I got home I felt so happy--HAPPY!--that I just had to send a quick text to some loved ones about what a great morning I was having.
My sister Melody replied, "God gives us just enough 'manna' for one day at a time. He is faithful! Praise the Lord!"
As I look back over my week, I can see that manna is the best way to describe the little (and big) ways God has reminded me of his love. I haven't undergone a radical transformation so that suddenly I can trust God and let go of all doubts forever. Instead, I've come to the realization that it's okay to be weak some days because God always has the encouragement I need, just when I need it. But I have to reach out and take the manna every day. Like the Israelites, I can never collect extra for the next day.
Here are just a few examples of the manna God has given me this week:
- Phone calls, emails, and text messages from loved ones
- Hugs all around at Tuesday night Bible study
- Laughing with my Bible study friends during introductions as I recounted the story of my trip to the fabric store with Gentle when we decided we were going to make cloth pads
- Multiple reminders to BE STILL
- Reading a passage in Romans 5 about perseverance, character, and hope, and then having someone else read it to me the very next day
- A card from a friend just when I needed it most, reminding me that God is holding me close to His heart
- The way my friend Angel's face lit up when I walked into Pilates on Thursday morning
- At Ethan's drumline competition, recognizing the faint strains of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" on the marimbas during another school's performance, amid the clashing cymbals and the snares' staccato rhythms. This same song had so encouraged me at church last Sunday. Encountering it twice in one week shocked me since it's an old hymn I scarcely ever hear.
And then there was the unexpected laughter yesterday morning at 6:30. I was taking Ethan to band practice before school, and three times when I tried to start the car, the engine wouldn't turn over. After it finally started, Ethan, who literally never utters more than a grunt on the way to school, remarked that I need a new car.
"We have to replace Bill's truck first," I said. "It's much older. It'll be a year or two before we save the money to replace this car."
"You should get a moped," Ethan mused. I chuckled, pretty sure he was joking. "My friend Bryce's dad has one," he went on.
"Yes, we saw Brice on the back of it on the way to band camp, remember?" I laughed at the mental image of Bryce's father, a former body builder, hunched over the handlebars with Bryce clinging to his waist.
"They get 50 miles to the gallon," Ethan said. "And if you get one that's freeway legal, they go up to 70 miles per hour."
"Yes, I should get one." I snickered. "And you can ride on the back in the mornings."
"Of course, it might be crowded when we need to take a friend home," I said solemnly.
"No way. Not happening."
"I'll post a picture on my blog. Hey, you could take Meggie's color guard flag and let it flap along behind us," I said. And then the laughter broke out. Not the little ha-ha kind, but belly laughs that filled my entire body with joy.
Wonder of wonders, Ethan laughed too. At 6:30 in the morning. Sounds like divine intervention to me.
Speaking of school, I've been meaning to post the pictures from the first day. Here they are...
|Allyson in a Tartan Skirt She Picked Because It Reminded Her of Bill's Grandma, Who Was Scottish|
|Ethan and Allyson Enjoying First-Day-Of-School Ice Cream|
|Hiked to Top of Multnomah Falls With Friends Nancy and Rita|
|Rita Snapped This Shot of Me at the Top|
You must have been praying for me. Please keep it up!