Making time to separate from my daily routine is the crushed red pepper in the plate of my life. For me, crushed red pepper makes almost anything edible better and more enjoyable.
On Sunday we spent the afternoon being totally lazy at the beach. There is no better time to go than a mild early autumn day. We ran on the shore, Jabez and Eric jumped from giant rock to giant rock, and we searched for beautiful shells/stones.
While searching, time seemed suspended. We were laying in a belt of these pebbles, shells, and stones-which were smoothed and softened by the water. Everlyse was completely consumed by this-she came to me to drop different treasures she had found into my palm with utter pride and excitement. Jay proved himself to have an unfailing ability to locate the most exquisite finds with his budding artist's eye, as well. Eric and I just absorbed it, enjoyed it, and were fed spiritually by it. From time to time Everlyse would pop her face right in front of mine, say something I would have given my left eye to understand in her sing-song voice filled with happiness, and get back to work. It was like taking a deep breath of life giving oxygen that went right to my soul.
Today, we hit the playground, Everlyse and I. She practiced all of her newfound skills and had a great time. Before heading home, I scooped her up onto my lap and got on the swings with her. I made up a song about us sitting on the swing and she just melted into me. The warm autumn air picked up her random curls and her sweet baby smell filled me up. I cried right there, so happy to have stopped just long enough to receive this gift.
I often feel that I don't spend enough time in prayer...but it is at times like this that I understand my very life is a prayer. Being still and opening my hand in quiet expectation guarantees that God will fill it with a miracle.