I made a pot of Peet's coffee, "sweet and well-rounded" the package promises, and we moved out to the patio to sit around the fire-pit, talking of hopes and dreams and futures and stories from the past.
Then, while they were gone, I played guitar for Rebekah, we listened to our favorite holiday CDs and we sat by the Christmas tree, talking about the different ornaments, the memories, and their meaning to our celebration.
Later, after the young people had been out somewhere and then back again, we picked up the natural rhythm of community inside.
The evening was, to be honest, far beyond the scope of my dreams or even the reach of our prayers just a few years ago. Our daughter, snuggled up on the sofa with her mother, joy and contentment radiating, her husband and her future nestled in at the other end. I often realize how limiting my imagination is and how far-reaching and surprising the grace of healing can be.
This weekend my life emanates from a spirit of deep gratitude. It's going to affect the way that I write; it's going to work its way through my fingertips as I play guitar at church; it's going to infiltrate my Sunday-school class and my small group and my walking the dog and my cooking... and even my paying of bills and wrangling with the health insurance Monday morning...
This is what it means to inculcate the practice of faith into life; it's an aroma,
a seasoning, a posture, a realization. It is God.