It's hothothot, the hottest day of the hottest week of the summer, as I stand on a cliff, 20 feet above the water. I carefully shuffle towards the edge, using my bare feet to cautiously feel out the dips in the rock as I cannot see clearly, my glasses left safely in the boat. The water beckons invitingly below, but to get there I'm going to have to jump. Fear has tight hold of my heart. Will I fall wrong, hitting the cliff on the way down? Will I land wrong? Why did I think jumping from 20 feet was a good idea? This looks awfully high up....I breathe in, like my yoga instructor taught me and then, on the exhale, screw up my courage and jump out. There is space between jumping and landing, I hang in the air for what seems like an eternity until SPLASH! I hit the water, go down deep into the delicious coolness, kicking my way up to emerge laughing, triumphant. Over to the rocks I swim, on my way to jump again. My fear is gone, only joy remains. (And some water up my nose.)
Weeks later, I cuddle in the darkness with my husband. I am stepping out into new things, and fear has gripped my heart once again. What if I fail? What if this is ripped away too? Can I survive going through that once again? We've had this conversation often over the last couple of years, but tonight the dialogue strays from it's well-worn grooves. He prays over me, stopping to talk, and then prays again. As my heart opens, he prays into that as well. I stay silent, uncharacteristic for me, meditating on his words and prayers. Something shifts, though I'm not sure what.
In the morning, I remember jumping into the lake. I see myself in the same spot, wanting to trust, wanting to jump and yet terrified. But I jumped and I can still remember the thrill of jumping and then being fully immersed in the cool refreshing water. Again, I choose to jump, metaphorically this time, to step off the cliff and fall through the air into the ocean of God's grace. And when I take that plunge, choosing to believe that God is good, no matter what befalls me, God pours out gifts on me, leaving me dripping with his goodness.
A few of God's gifts, so lovingly bestowed:
135. Smoke alarms. (Yes, there is a story there.)
136. God's protection in so many little, but important details
137. That baking soda and vinegar removed most of the black from my pot.
138. A good teacher for my little girl.
139. "Mommy, today went much better than I expected."
140. A glowing sunset as I drove.
141. A God-planned meeting with someone I've been praying for over the last several years and yet never expected to meet.
142. The reminder that God's family spreads around the globe.
143. Finding community as we strive to eat ethically.
144. A lift to the playgroup at my church.
145. Seeing Kian laugh and play delightedly with other children.
146. New dreams, new teens to love on.
147. Finding energy and motivation this week.
148. My Moosewood cookbook, lots of yummy recipes.
149. "Well, it wasn't the worst thing I've eaten"-from an eight year old
150. "It was good. I couldn't even taste the squash"-from my "I don't like squash" husband.
151. Hot 'n' ready pizza on the evening I can't find the energy to cook.
152. My husband's grace towards me on bad days.
153. His arms around me after I go postal because I am just so frustrated at how little energy I have.
154. My littlest putting away the cutlery.
155. Bright blond boy perched way up high on our neighbour's shoulders.
156. His enjoyment of my children.
157. Our small fire putting to rest my daughter's long held fears about fires.
158. My husband sharing how God is speaking to him.
159. Pink and white bouquet(with an orangey brown sunflower) on my table.
160. "Thank you for encouraging me to go, Mommy. It was good."
161. A sympathy card from my best friend.
162. A beautiful e-card from another best friend.
163. Many words of encouragement, from many different people.
164. Opportunities to conquer more fears.
165. Driving to Hamilton ALL BY MYSELF!