It was after midnight when I slipped under the covers of our bed, squeezing myself onto the sliver of mattress that was still unoccupied. It was a Friday, which meant that Luke was not my only bedmate for the night, but Charleston as well. (Allowing him to sleep with us on the weekends is a treasured “big boy privilege” the three of us share apart from the twins.) I wrapped my arm around my sleeping son, breathing in the scent of his freshly shampooed hair, marveling at the subtle hum of his breath and the steady heartbeat pulsing against my own. Sleep was slow to come, and I savored the opportunity to cradle my boy as he slept.
This moment, and so many just like it, is one of the greatest and most unexpected joys of motherhood: the chance to snuggle with my son who, at six years old, still delights in spending a night within my nourishing embrace. Before becoming his mom, I imagined the many blissful memories we might one day share, but tiny moments like this one have exceeded my greatest imaginations.
There are other mothering moments that are far beyond the scope of what I ever might have fathomed—so much better and more beautiful than I would have dared to dream. Sully’s gentlemanly manners, with the “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me Mom” that just about kill me in their cuteness. Kali’s enthusiastic waving up to the moon, so overwhelmed with excitement at spotting it that she bursts into dance and song. Watching my children’s minds and bodies mature before my very eyes, which feels like I’ve tricked my way inside the butterfly’s chrysalis to bear witness to their remarkable transformations—changes that are a universal part of humanity, but astounding when observed up close.
My year of pursuing and embracing wonder has bred innumerable blessings. Perhaps the most significant is that wonder has birthed a sense of all-encompassing gratitude that saturates every corner of my daily existence. In opening up to wonder all around me, my instinctive response has been an outpouring of thanks to my Creator for the enormous and tiny miracles that encircle me. Even in its brokenness, all of Creation and all of God’s created beings give testimony to His goodness and beauty. The seemingly inconsequential moments with my children are just a sampling of the blessings that overwhelm, bending my heart towards gratitude.
Celebrating gratitude during the month of November is about as clichéd as it gets, but gratitude is a posturing that is always in style—even in times of the year when it may seem “over done.” Scripture is laced with verses about thankfulness and gratitude, and the passage I’ve chosen to meditate on this Thanksgiving season comes from the book of Colossians. Here, the apostle Paul is reminding the church of Colossae that as God’s holy and dearly loved people, they are continually being renewed into the likeness of their Creator. In stepping into this holiness their hearts are to be guided by peace and gratitude, in all things.
When gratitude reigns over our behavior, it sets the stage for Christ’s message to dwell within us. Our hearts are flooded with wisdom and we are equipped to teach, serve, and worship—all from a place of gratitude. As we give thanks in every act, our hearts are tuned to the goodness of God that permeates all things. All of our activities and words become “drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One” (The Passion Translation).
In a world that preaches entitlement and greed, I want a heart that is aware of all I have been given and that rests in the goodness of God’s provision. In the name of Jesus Christ my Savior, I proclaim the Lord’s generosity with gratitude in my heart.