When I woke this morning, no alarm went off. No cat put a paw on my lips. No aftershock shook me alert. Today, I woke to the sun coming through the window. 'Morning at Mom's' photo (c) 2006, Liz Lawley - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Normally, this is a lovely way to wake up, but today – after Hurricane Irene has passed over us with minimal wake – this felt like a miracle, a moment of grace handed to me in the first second I could notice it, as if God had been holding it until just that moment, waiting for me to accept it.

I’ve been learning to look for these moments this week. A few days ago (on Gray Hair and Acne, another blog I write with my friend Shelva Leep), I wrote about how I’m seeking to cultivate contentment. I’m trying to live in today and let myself find the joy that is there. One of the readers of that blog recommended a book – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and when I checked out Voskamp’s blog post about the book, I read this:

Writing, living, it is learning the art of waiting.
It’s all a gift and gifts can’t be rushed, only received.

I felt my breath catch, my eyes well. This is what I needed to hear.

In this week where we have had earthquakes and hurricanes, where I have found the beginning of my book, and where God wakes me with sunlight on my face, I am reminded “it’s all a gift.” So often I try to push ahead and carve my path, discontent with what I’m writing or how life is working out at this moment. I make myself miserable, and I don’t get much further down the road anyway. If I can just remember . . . it’s all a gift and gifts can’t be rushed, only received.

Today, may you see the gifts around you even in the midst of storms and rising waters, even as aftershocks of earth and relationship rattle you. May you feel the sun on your face and find peace as you wait for the gifts you are being handed.