By Ann Woelfel
The Christmas season was upon us, hurried weeks of hopeful anticipation leading to the birth of Jesus. The event that is most demonstrative of God’s love for mankind in all of history. I was certain that a big idea for this blog would come to me, one that people could relate to. I watched and waited. I sought scripture verses by memory and with the help of Google. I prayed.
But as I was observing my surroundings, intent on getting a great sound bite, I began to let go of the outcome and find joy in choosing to stop and be present with the people and circumstances around me. God's love is all over the place, in the details of my life. The feel of warm sunshine hitting my face on a cold winter day. A quiet moment in a Bible study book, with lots of office supplies at hand – including Post-It notes, my personal favorites! The smell of onions, carrots, celery, and garlic simmering in olive oil on the stove. The sound of my one year old saying her newest word. A cup of coffee, while it’s still hot. The smile from a stranger who’s grateful I’ve held the door open for her as she carries her groceries. Snuggling with my daughter while we read a book. A word of humor or encouragement at just the right moment. My husband and son unexpectedly bringing me breakfast in bed. The message I didn’t know I needed on Sunday morning. Hearing from an old friend. God’s love is all over the place in the small things.
Initially my desires to perform well and receive praise for my writing motivated me to search for the perfect words. But as I invited God into the process, He revealed himself in the simplest ways. And if He didn’t need fanfare to reveal His presence and love to me, I certainly don’t need fanfare to share it with you. As I allow myself to see His presence in all things, especially the small things, it continues to make a BIG impact on my heart. And I’m grateful.
Psalm 23 reverberates in my mind when my posture is focused on gratitude. The psalm, written from the perspective of a shepherd about The Shepherd, who declares that the God who created and loves us will provide for all of our needs, even in the darkest valley.“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”