"Hm. Why do you think that is?" I watch her scoop peanut butter with an apple slice. Eli walks in, glances around the room and resigns himself to a breakfast of banana. The coffee maker gurgles, sighs a poof of steam signaling the coffee's ready.
"I don't know." She picks up another apple slice. "It seems like we should be MORE loving to our own family... and we should be loving to our friends, too."
I'm tired and not quite awake. And I've been praying, praying, praying. That we will be a tender-hearted family. That we'll not take one another for granted. That we'll cultivate a deep appreciation -- a genuine enjoyment -- for one another, idiosyncrasies and all. And I let out my own sigh, signaling relief in small breakthroughs.
Jerry Sittser writes in his book A Grace Disguised,
"This [sacredness] of the present makes us aware of the wonder of life itself, gives us a keen awareness of the world around us, and deepens our appreciation for each moment as it comes to us. Even in loss and grief, we can choose to embrace the miracle of each moment and receive the gifts of grace that come to us all the time."
I hug my oldest and youngest, walk them out to the porch, stand there in the misty morning waving to them and exhorting, "Remember who you are. Have a great day. I love you!"
They wave back, "I know. We will. Love you, too!"
I turn to go back inside, to embrace the miracle of each moment... my husband sitting at the kitchen table ready to enjoy a cup of coffee with me before he heads out for another day of slaying dragons; my middle-school age boys with their sleepy thud-thud as they plod down the stairs. I catch them on the way into the kitchen, offer a hug, and a slightly-more-alert-than-a-few-minutes-ago Good Morning!
The moments ebb then flow headlong into the day and I pray, "Lord, please help me be FAT* today... I want to embrace the moments that teach me to be Faithful, Available, Teachable."
Photo: an ancient wall on the path leading up to the castle in Heidelberg, Germany.
*From Dr. Howard Hendricks in Teaching to Change Lives.