The last two weeks have held sweet moments of offered love, from the blessings of sunshine and moonlight after weeks of dreary weather to the kindness of friends and family. Phoebe's brilliant white glow has reminded me of beauty again and, a friendly muse this week, even seems to have wakened the ability to put a few words on paper.
Former students have sent notes of thanks and encouragement -- these make it possible to keep going when weariness threatens to overwhelm one's sense of duty. It is always such a delight to hear their stories and know that, however little real influence one might have had, there has been the privilege to watch them grow in their love for the Lord and their pursuit of Him in their journey.
A trip to Knoxville cemented an already lovely friendship as Marcy and I shared our love for books and for family and for the God who has made that friendship strong and true.
My birthday was during fall break, and my sweet husband took me to Chattanooga for lunch at Red Lobster and some window shopping at the mall. We looked at diamond pendants and Vera Bradley totes and came home empty-handed -- we needed to process the diamond information and the bag I wanted was too expensive.
This past week dear Monika came to see me, a box in hand, saying that when she saw the object it contained she knew it was for me. And I lifted out a ceramic unicorn, which she had painted herself in rainbow colors that will lighten my spirit each time I look up to see him.
And a birthday check came from my mother, so we went back to Chattanooga today. I found the tote I wanted, and we found the best deal of any we'd seen the week before for a sparkling diamond pendant (my birthday present for the rest of my life, I'm assured -- and that's fine with me!) which complements my earrings, an anniversary gift several years ago.
Gems of joy, reminders that love and beauty and kindness are all around me even in the midst of the brokenness of this world we've tried so hard to destroy. There is still "freshness deep down" and God keeps bringing it to the surface to delight our hearts, if we will be still long enough to see.