Last week I planned to drive into the city with my husband to spend a day with my daughter. Even though it's only a little more than an hours drive from home, between her schedule and mine we don't often get an entire day together. I knew the day was a gift, but as I walked out my front door I was keenly aware of stresses and worries of the day. It seemed they would be making the trip with me.
After a stop for coffee and Pop Tarts (my guilty pleasure--brown sugar cinnamon-no sprinkles), we headed east into the city. At 7:15 a.m., the sun was directly in our eyes. As Todd and I talked, I found myself slightly annoyed at having to constantly adjust my sun visor, as the curving hill country highway played a game of cat and mouse with the sun. At some point, Todd received a business call. When I was left alone with my thoughts, I became acutely aware of how wonderful the warmth felt on my skin. Previous days of dismal weather had apparently taken an unrealized toll on me. So, instead of hiding from it, I put away the sun visor and welcomed the rays. I closed my eyes and soaked it in for the remainder of the ride. I really had no other thoughts at all other than how silly it was that I was ridiculously giddy from the sun! "I am" He said softly.
By the time I reached my daughter's apartment, the tag-a-longs (worry and stress) were behaving themselves. In fact, they were so quiet I almost didn't know they were there. Lainey and I talked and laughed over coffee. The cool morning was promising to turn into a warm afternoon and we enjoyed the breeze through an open window. We propped ourselves up with pillows on her bed and listened to music we both liked. I told her she really must take down her little Christmas tree...after all it was the end of January! She showed me something she was crocheting and I told her how her dad and I had dragged a concrete bench that used to sit under a tree into the house to use as a coffee table! She pulled out her guitar and sang me a new song. I was overwhelmed by the lovliness of a simple, ordinary morning. Again, I heard "I am".
In Texas, one never knows about the weather. Because it is so unpredictable, it can bring great pleasure! And this particular day in Austin did not disappoint. The skies were the most beautiful blue and January temperatures climbed to 85 degrees. Lainey and I enjoyed our lunch on an outdoor patio where droves of people had come with the same idea. We talked about the delicious Thai dressing on my salad and the wonderful pesto on her sandwich. Then we people-watched. We observed a new father with his tiny newborn and commented on how he was hardly touching his meal, instead preferring to ooh and ahh over his sweet baby. We laughed at seeing a grandfather place a crayon in each of his ears in a public place...all for the utter amusement of his grandson! We soaked in more sun and each other's company. Above the noisy lunchtime chatter I heard a resounding "I am".
The day turned into late afternoon. I kissed Lainey goodbye and Todd and I left the city behind to listen to the music of good friends at a cozy, small-town cafe. We enjoyed the company of an old friend and made the acquaintance of a new friend. We shared pictures from our phones. We applauded our friends whose passion and music filled the room. The night ended with hugs and laughter and promises made to get together soon. Then, the man that I've loved since I was a girl took my hand and we walked to the car to head home.
It was a quiet ride, with Todd and me each reflecting on our day. Lightening lit the sky in the distance. When we arrived home, I stepped out of the car and into the night air. I breathed deeply, and it felt good. It felt cleansing. My eyes took in a sky full of stars and my ears were delighted with the sounds of the river rushing just below. It had been a day of clarity. A day that only the Father could have orchestrated. A day where overwhelming worries had been overshadowed by the sheer beauty of ordinary moments and the blessings to be found there. God said "I am". That was, and is, the greatest truth. And it is more than enough.