I dug my fingers deep in the cool, damp dirt and took a deep breathe of fresh air.
In between the daffodils and crocuses in the front yard I planted two tulip plants from small pots, that have recently been given to me as gifts. I am hoping that in the natural habitat of our front yard they will be revived and give me the gift of beautiful tulips over and over again.
As I took my small shovel and reached to place it on the shelf in our backyard...there she was. A mama dove sitting on her precious young. Nurturing them to life, protecting them beneath her soft, warm wing. She wasn't more than 2 feet from my face. Her small black eyes looked at me very directly. She did not seem afraid, nor startled, just ready to protect her youngins if any harm were to come their way. I gently backed away and then came back and carefully took this photo, not wanting to disturb her.
Sitting on the front porch, with coconut ice cream in hand, I added these things to my list.
Daffodils and crocuses popping out of the ground
Coconut ice cream-a treat for a girl with many food intolerances
A nest with a mama dove and her babies in MY backyard
This is the beginning of a list of God's gifts to me. His love come down in many small packages for me to unwrap and enjoy. I've been inspired (as I know many others have) by Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. Seeking to cast aside the sin of ingratitude and to cling to God and his goodness, I open my eyes to the many gifts God has given me. Like Paul, I desire to be content in any and every circumstance. I thank Him. I cultivate an attitude of gratefulness.
Spring is full of many beautiful gifts...and the reminder of new life. A land that has been cold and dreary for so long comes back to life with brilliant colors, delicious smells, and sunshine that warms me to the core.
When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace
and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places
let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices
-Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts)