The January Joy Dare for today called for observation of gifts before 9 am, noon, and after dark. I’ve always enjoyed activities that call for a remembrance on the hour, whether praying a short prayer every sixty minutes to the opening the small gifts of cheering up from my sister to books that give inspirations to read.
The gifts were not at all what I expected. I don’t know what I expected the gifts to be, but these wouldn’t have been on my list in any event.
Before 9 am – I got such a good night sleep last night! I felt so good this morning – awake, alert, enthusiastic. I wasn’t achy or congested. I remember when my daughter was a baby and I’d get a rare night of six or eight hours straight of sleep. That felt so good! That’s how I felt this morning.
As I drove in, the sun rose high enough over the horizon to be seen. It was wrapped in a gauze of silvery clouds and shone with a bright yellow that caused the sky to light in delicate shades of yellow and orange. I couldn’t get a picture of it, but I enjoyed it for the several minutes that it lasted.
Before noon – I ran into a former co-worker in the bathroom. She’s young, my daughter’s age. When I started working with her four years ago, she was madly in love with her husband and had a cute little house out in the country. She loved her life. A few months later, her husband announced that he was moving in with his girlfriend and didn’t want her anymore. She wasn’t making a lot of money, being new in her career, but he wanted alimony too. And the cute little house? He dumped it on her to sell and cover the losses from it.
She was devastated. He did everything he could to ruin her, not being content to just break up their marriage. It was hard to watch what she went through and how she struggled to not cave in to his endless demands. The days were long and hard.
She moved on to another job in the company. One day last year, she came in with an engagement ring and a big smile. She married soon after to a guy who loves her as she is.
I chatted with her for a few minutes today when she told me her big news – she’s pregnant! I said – you never thought you could be happy again. No, she replied, everyone kept telling me it wouldn’t always be like that. But I didn’t think it would ever get better. Are you happy, I asked? Yes, very much so. Then she smiled and went back to her desk.
It was a gift to see her content and happy.
After dark – my last gift today came right as dusk turned to black. The garage doors at work roll down at 6 pm as an added security measure. They only take a few minutes to roll up and I use that time to dial my Mom so I can chat with her for a few minute as I drive home from work (using a handfree headset). I left work early enough tonight that the doors were still up! And yes, it made me very happy.
Were the gifts big? Probably not to some. But for me, I enjoyed them very much. They made me smile as I thanked God for them.
I don’t think these are the only gifts from today. As I considered whether to write tonight or skip it, I felt strongly that for someone out there, they need to see this. I don’t know why. I don’t know what’s in here that will be important, but for someone, these stories needed to be told tonight. And that is my last gift from tonight.