The white icing is sliding a little bit on the chocolate covered strawberries I'd dipped earlier. I'm painting stitching on them with icing to make the strawberries look like little footballs - you know, that cute idea that's floated around Pinterest since Pinterest began.
"Did you hear that one, Lindsay?" David calls from the living room.
I lift my head and call back, "Yes, I did hear that one." It had been faint, but I had heard the rumble of thunder outside.
I had missed a big one earlier, and I think it worried David a little that I hadn't heard the thunder clap so near to our house.
An hour earlier, we had quickly made our way through Kroger (with all of the other SuperBowl, winter weather advisory, and like us, typical Sunday afternoon shoppers). I couldn't hear David right next to me as we moved through the store. I was so relieved when we finally got back to the car where it was quiet, and I could hear his voice clearly again.
One of the strawberry's stitching was sliding way too much - it didn't look like a football anymore. I took a knife and cut the top off. Mmmmm... The icing was decadent, even though it had come out of a tube.
Faintly, I hear Sperry's dog tags jingle from the living room. They sound like music.
I thought back on the last month. So many ups and downs... The last 5 days being the most intense.
The ear pain, still recovering from the flu, the antibiotic reactions, the unexpected expenses, the terrible bedside manner of health care professionals, the uncertainty...
But the gifts, so many gifts... The exceedingly abundant amount of gifts that poured out on us not only this month but in the last five days...
I remember the list I'd started almost a year ago... The list of God-gifts inspired by Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts". I made my way back to our bedroom and pulled out my blue notebook. I grabbed a pen and jotted down a few more...
401. Being able to hear David's voice
402. Modern medicine
403. Being able to see the rain (even though I can't hear the thunder)
404. Faintly hearing the rain hit the metal on our roof
405. Watching David have fun organize his new car
406. Approved financing for the new car that was well within our budget
407. The smell of chocolate
408. Football strawberries with funny looking stitching
409. Temperature still above 32 degrees
410. Hearing the jingle of Sperry's dog tags
411. Beautiful flowers from my parents in the living room
412. Everyone who offered to help us this week
413. A phone call every day from my Grandpa Wayne
414. Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Jason's Deli, Progresso Canned Soup, Lemon Cakes, Pei Wei ... All the people who prepared food for us when we just didn't have the time or energy
415. Central heating
416. Amazing neighbors
417. Being able to cancel my flight to D.C. and keep the fare value
418. Special quiet visits/phone calls with sweet friends/family
419. Having Aunt Karla at my ENT appointment
420. Prayers lifted up by so many for healing
To some people, some of these things might not seem like they're a big deal. But recognizing the gifts, even the small ones, help us realize that January, with all of it's upheaval, uncertainty, unmet goals, disappointment, and suffering was a richly blessed month.