1) The smell of a fresh rain–and the sound of it falling while snuggled in a sleeping bag in a tent with a good book. It has been a long time, but the memory is vivid.
2.) The smell of fresh brewed coffee, and that first cup of the morning. Yummmmm.
3.) Snuggling up with a quilt made from squares of my grandmother’s clothes after she went home to Jesus. Covering up with that quilt after a bad day or when I’m not feeling well is like being enveloped in a hug from my grandma, who was a second mother to me.
4.) Sitting around the bonfire after dark roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, listening to the crackling of the fire and watching the flames spark and the embers glow in hues of blue and orange, and watching the sparks of light from the fireflies off in the woods.
5.) Sitting on a dock by the lake watching the sun sparkle on the water’s surface looking like a million sparkling diamonds.
6.) The smell of Night Blooming Jasmine body lotion from Bath and Body Works.
7.) The feeling of accomplishment after an intense kickboxing session or a long run drinking in all of nature surrounding me.
8.) Beginning each day with prayer and ending each day in prayer and a gratitude list, naming and recognizing blessings given to me that day. That makes for a beautiful day and a restful night’s sleep.
9.) Long bike rides on the Platte Trail in Colorado or the Paul Bunyan Trail in Minnesota to connect with God and that encourage and open my mind to create ideas for writing.
10.) And the very best of all, all of my family members–including my dog, Roxie–under one roof at the same time, watching them interact, knowing they are all safe and happy. A mother’s greatest joy.
All is Grace.