The weather has been so beautiful that I’ve been taking every opportunity to eat dinner at the little table on our front porch. This past Sunday night we at grilled hamburgers outside. I had made them specifically for my daughter who has given up meat for Lent. Since Sundays are feast days and one can partake in what they have given up on these days, she has enjoyed chowing down on some good red meat on Sundays during Lent.
While we sat outside eating, I expressed my appreciation for the blessings in our life. I looked around at the beauty around us as I took in the view of the hills across from us and the city vista off in the distance. My daughter said, ‘Mom, if I had a nickel for every time you pointed out our blessings, I’d have more than the people who won the big lottery on Friday night!’
I stopped and thought about it for a minute and realized the importance of her statement. While she’s morphing into a slightly cynical tween, she’s still hearing what I’m saying. At her age with few responsibilities and even fewer troubles in her life, she hasn’t yet crossed over the threshold into a world of significant challenges and the instability and uncertainty they can bring. She has been fortunate enough to have a yummy and healthy home cooked meal on the table virtually every night. She has a warm and comfy bedroom in which she can retreat into the privacy of listening to music and reading, or emailing her friends. For her, life is pretty good.
Its very possible, though, that it won’t always be that way. There will be times when she will worry about finances, or live in a student apartment that isn’t as nice, clean or comfortable as the home in which she was raised. There may be times in her life when she is working a low-paying job or may even be out of work.
There will be times in her life when she will experience disappointment with her friends and those whom she loves. There will also be times when she will experience the disappointment of not being accepted into a program to which she applied, or not winning a writing or drawing competition. These are all very real parts of life.
When I think about these things – all of which I’ve experienced in the course of my life, I think about that moment on our front porch and how important it is to stop and savor the moments of blessing in our life whatever they may be. During this Holy Week, I’ve seen and been sent several messages on ‘being still’. I’ve struggled with how to fit ‘stillness’ into my somewhat ‘full’ week of day to day living, but I realized that the moment on the porch with my children and being thankful for that blessing was an opportunity from God to be still.
While my daughter may not yet appreciate the importance of ‘blessings’ as gifts as well as our need to recognize and thank God for them, she does hear me (albeit, through her own filters). Hopefully – when she is grown and has a family of her own – she will think back to our dinner and understand what it was I meant. If I am ever so fortunate to hear her make her own statement about being blessed, I will know that I have won the jackpot.