Once a year, we get together in the middle of the woods with all our kids for a special week-end of just hanging out together, drinking of sweet fellowship and acceptance. I make my kids’ favorite dessert from when they were growing up, and we don’t count calories and don’t welcome televisions nor alarm clocks off: it’s as special an occasion as they come, and we all set our everyday lives on hold for it. We truly raise to the occasion. It’s worth all the planning, money, time and whatever else is involved.

And when it’s Christmas or Easter or time to get together with precious friends we rarely see, I pull out all the fancy plates and glasses, napkins and favorite recipes, because it’s a special occasion. Out of the ordinary. To be handled with a bit of extravagance. Or a lot. Mainly a lot.

Because they are really special, these special occasions. And we love them.

We wait for them, shop for them, dress for them, cook for them, plan for them, dream about them, celebrate them. They are a very big deal.

Today, as I drove home from running my errands, I stopped at a red light and looked around me while waiting for the traffic to move again. I mindlessly watched a lady leaving her house, carrying a huge gift bag in her left hand. Was she going to a birthday party? Or a wedding? The bag was purple with white lettering, and I tried to make out the words on the front. When I made them out, my heart skipped a beat right there in the middle of the intersection:

I tried to catch the lady’s eye, but she was looking the other way, and traffic started to move again. But my heart, it remained wrapped around the bag, eating it up in my mind like it was the best cheesecake on earth. And each bite made me happier. Lighter. More thrilled on the inside. Wanting to get out of my car and do a little dance.


Oh my goodness, yes it is.

And the saying on the bag, it probably is just a slogan from a greeting card company, but it did its magic in me right there. And the magic continues. The skip in my heart turned into a somersault or three. It turned me around. Refocused me. Energized me.


Because even though I know down to my toes that special occasions aren’t limited to week-ends away and company coming and yearly holidays, I still act like they are, saving my favorite candles for them, and the delicacies, and the setting aside of quality time, and the permission to just revel in the moment.

But what if it’s really true? What if life itself was THE special occasion? Then today would be a special occasion too, right? And come to think of it, today will never give itself to me again. it is a gift from its Creator, fleeting and  precious.

But until this morning at the intersection with the lady and the bag, I treated it as plain, ordinary, unimportant–a simple stepping stone for the special occasions coming up.

I went home, put my groceries away, pulled my favorite mug out, and made a very good cup of expensive coffee. After all, this is not a dress rehearsal.  nd then, I went into the bathroom and looked at the lady in the mirror, and I spoke to her. And I told her the truth about today. And she smiled. She got it too. So we did a little dance together, her and I.

And then, I went and enjoyed my expensive cup of coffee in my really, really special mug.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann:

one-thousand7783 A great evening of wine pairing with good friends

784 Great news about our grand baby

785 Seeing the work of God in a friend

786 Hearing His voice

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,