In my home lives a collection of Willow Tree figurines. While there is no detail on their faces, they are beautifully expressive. Before getting married my small collection consisted of “The Dancer” because I used to dance ballet, and “The Love of Learning” because I was a classroom teacher. And now, every year around Christmas my husband’s parents give the family angel figurines, often Willow Tree Angels. Our collection grows and I treasure each one.
“The Angel of Miracles” is one of my favorites.
I gaze at it often and peace fills my soul as I reflect on the miracles that have touched my life. It also reminds me to hold onto hope as I wait on the Lord, remembering that He is able to do infinitely more than I might ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). And while I wait, I don’t want to miss the everyday miracles – the little miracles that aren’t so little after all.
I’m learning to give thanks through sunshine and raindrops, and the extraordinary and mundane. It’s slowly chiseling away the rough spots covering my heart, awakening me to the wonder of the gifts that fill each day.
The Good News has everything to do with the wonder that He gave the greatest sacrifice so that we can receive the gift of life. No matter the season there is always something to be grateful for.
Sometimes giving thanks is choosing to still believe that He is in control even when circumstances are confusing. Sometimes giving thanks is being grateful for basic things like food, clothing, a bed to rest on — things we often take for granted and across the world others don’t. Sometimes giving thanks is giving back when our souls feels downcast, because there’s something healing about taking the focus off our problems and reaching out to help someone else. Sometimes giving thanks is pausing to notice a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Sometimes giving thanks is cherishing moments with loved ones. Sometimes giving thanks is letting go of agendas and welcoming interruptions.
Gratitude has a way of refocusing perspective.
Age doesn’t have steal our wonder. Trials don’t have to our dull belief in a God who can do the impossible. He can weave every strand of our lives together for good, and the way we don’t miss out on the good He wants to give is to become receivers of His gifts — His grace.
It’s waking up to white flakes in the morning and beauty painted everywhere. It’s a child’s eyes gleaming with joy — a miracle child who is a daily reminder that God creates beauty from ashes and extends grace upon grace. And the miracle unfolds as I look closer and gaze at the gifts within the miracle —
That I get to stay home and collect memories with my son, that God is faithful to provide, and that motherhood gave my writer’s heart space to breathe and this blog may have never existed if I hadn’t become a mom.
Deep longings live in my heart which are yet to be fulfilled, but I can live content because He’s weaving every strand together for good and this very moment has purpose. This very moment is a gift and there are everyday miracles that aren’t so little after all because they are a part of His greater story — and we get to be a part of it because of pure grace.
So I grab my camera, capture the moments, and remember that His gifts are everywhere waiting to be received.
The sun rises because He says so, the snow blankets the earth because it’s His forecast, the clouds reach across the sky because He is the Great Artist, the leaves change color and cascade to the ground because He doesn’t overlook a detail.
Little feet stomp through white fluff, grins smile big, giggles echo through crisp autumn air — and I remember these are the everyday miracles that aren’t so little after all. My heart whispers thanks to the Good Father who gives in a posture of love because He is crazy in love with His children. He owes us nothing, we deserve none of this, but He is the most gracious Gift Giver of all.
I snap pictures with wet boots planted in snow and realize I’m starting to get it —
To receive His gifts, is to sing praise back to Him.