Lately, it just seems like very nice things have been happening for me. One day I went out to get the mail, and there waiting for me was a package from WhiteStone, a book that was perfect for the time that I find myself in. It was short, focused, profound. It helped. In that same mail delivery was an encouraging word from one of my role models at church. She is quiet, but I have watched her as she deals with the death of her husband after a long and happy marriage. I think that it is a remarkable testimony to your faith when you can take a deep breath, dry your eyes, and continue to do God's work. There was not one hint of bitterness to her. Anyways, she'd noticed that I was quieter than usual at church one Sunday, and sent me an encouraging note. I was encouraged. We received an invitation to the first birthday party for one of the newest members of our family. That was nice too, being a part of things. Later on that same week, we were invited to another party. I was invited to attend a seminar for writers. It is remarkable to me that someone considers me a writer, even still. Someone gave Tim a book for me. It was a book to encourage writers. My editor e-mailed me to say that my recent column made him cry. (Behold the power of words.) Someone worked behind the scenes to help me negotiate the unfamiliar financial aid stuff. People have e-mailed with scholarship opportunities. A chance meeting with an old acquaintance at the store gave a new perspective on an old problem. We were given tickets for a night out and had a good time with good friends. I've been quietly envying Mr. M's white violets...and then find a mess of them growing in the back yard of one of the rentals. What a thrill that was! They were not there last year, of that I am certain. I hauled a lot of brick from that yard, and I would have noticed them. The list goes on and on. It just seems like the positive affirmations are coming from all directions. I am not looking for them, I am not seeking them out, but it just seems as if I am being strengthened and encouraged at every turn. This is a hard time for us, but we are not overwhelmed. It's a pretty amazing time.
I've been thinking a lot about the fact that when it is all said and done, it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference in a life. White violets. Good friends. An encouraging word. An invitation to celebrate. The stuff of life.