Evelynn and I went for a walk at sunset last night. It’s been such a wet, cold, grey winter – okay, a typical winter – and the sun was shining so after supper, when everyone else went to the local hockey game, I galloped her into her hand-me-down quilted coat and headed for the outdoors at a dead run. I like to think I’m not that affected by the weather, surely I’m too mature for that business, but sure enough, the sun comes out and I’m all SUNSHINE! CUPCAKES! UNICORNS! RAINBOWS! HAPPINESS! I LOVE THE WORLD!

We walked up the hill and the mountains to the north were mist-shrouded, ghostly in the distance with winter snow still clinging to the pine trees. The sun was shining on the patchwork of damp, soggy fields below the ridge, and I wore my sunglasses, they were at the very bottom of my gigantic diaper bag and I had to scrounge through squished cereal bars and dried out wipies for them. There was the snap of temperamental spring in the air, a bit cold, a bit warm, a sweater sufficient in the daytime but by night, parkas are back on. As the sun set, we could see our breath in the dim. A misty cool blue sky ringed by growing navy blue and how did I miss the purple of sunset here in the north.

We went to the market at the top of hill and I bought the Oprah Magazine as a treat, it’s my one weakness. Then we walked down the Discovery Trail that goes through all of the neighbourhoods of the city and I stood there, at the ridge, breathing deep of the truth that I am really, truly happy, full of joy even, still. It’s more than the fact that Brian is done with school and home with us again, more than circumstances aligned, more than footie jammies and Golden Books.

It’s been a few years now, and you all know it’s been intentional, a battle sometimes, all on purpose. It’s been a journey to learn to see God in the moments, to know bone-deep that He is enough, and I am enough, and all of this life and living is so much more than enough. It’s made me fearless, bold, secure in His love, it’s made me joyful, it’s made me want to weep with gratitude when I walk the four blocks up our neighbourhood hill because, God, the world is just so beautiful and I can hardly breathe for the wonder.

Do you see that thin man up there, his khaki pants baggy on his legs, he’s walking and reading a book at the same time. Evelynn’s little hands are holding onto the tray of her stroller and I could drop to my knees in thankfulness for dimples at the base of fingers, for buds on the trees, for the coming of spring, for the first crocus of the season, for friends that live just down that street there, for pine trees and rough hewn fence lines.

Sometimes it’s the way that the light falls across the fields, no cathedral has moved me like this northern night in early spring. I’m in my temple, I know, and every thought, every bit of this noticing, this discipline of being here, right now, living my life while it’s happening, feels like the most pure-hearted prayer I’ve ever spoken out loud.

Other times it’s just Evelynn’s blue eyes, full of untaught wisdom, gazing steadily at me, unafraid, a life that exists because of love and I simply believe in God, in Love, all over again.

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In which I have an Evangelical Hero Complex
In which God has restored church to me
thank you for sharing...
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  • Oh how lovely! And this picture of Evelyn? Gah!!!! So enchanting! Sounds like a beautiful experience. Thank you for this.

  • Marybeth Thielke

    Love. Simply, Love.

  • So profound….I see and feel God in so many different ways and places now too. I love your last line.

  • pastordt

    I love days like that, seasons like that. When your entire body becomes one big ‘thank you,’ and God is near and love is real and life is just plain gorgeous. Enjoy it – double dip in it, relish your life. If gratitude and praise become our primary modus operandi, all of life is just plain better, richer and filled with joy. These rich experiences help form a foundational place to which we can return again and again, even when things get dicey and difficult. Thanks for writing about it so beautifully.

  • It really is the breathless moments, isn’t it?

  • Brooke Oliver

    I think it takes a lot of courage to bear your soul on the internet as you do, Sarah.  My good friend Abby pointed me to your blog and I am so glad she did.  Your words are so full of grace.  Thanks for being so brave.  

  • This is exactly perfect for my heart today.  It’s where I am trying to go, I don’t know if it will come with age or with mothering experience or (most likely) with a tenacious commitment for gratitude and choices. I spent last night reflecting and writing on the need to chose joy and gratitude and here you are, a bit farther along the path, hands full of encouragement.

  • Chrissy

    So beautiful Sarah<3

  • What a picture of Evelyn! I hope our kid has at least half of her cuteness! 

    Thanks for this exercise in learning to see the blessings and splendor of God all around us.

  • I love this. Thank you.

  • fiona lynne

    So beautiful. This feels like my journey too, only I’m a few steps behind you. But I’m learning more and more what that “enough” looks like, and my place in this world feels more and more like holy ground…

  • Charla

    i’m a new follower and my word, this is fantastic.  i’m already hooked.

  • Stephanie

    How could anyone NOT believe in God when they look into Evelyn’s sweet face? Babies have a way of reminding us of the essential truths of life.

    Also, I agree that nature is healing and redemptive somehow. Same with sunshine. Being outdoors is like a prayer in and of itself.