While most are gearing up to celebrate our freedoms or perceived freedoms on the 241st birthday of the United States of America my mind drifts back to a morning 9 years ago.

My life had been turned upside down and my heart was wounded. I didn’t know how I would make it through this time in my life. I didn’t want to wake up. I dreaded mornings. On some level I knew we would make it through, but it felt like I was swimming through liquid lead. 

July 4, 2008 I walked out of my bedroom to find this on my dining room table. This gift of beauty, so thoughtful and much needed. It was like water to my parched soul. 

What do you do when you feel like you can't ever get out of bed again? Life has you beaten, or so you think.

I had kept my kids up really late the night before so they would sleep in. I was tired and wanted to sleep in and have peace in the morning. My friend, Sarah Nichols, had walked into my house that morning and left this gift on the table.

I had heard the door open, but thought that maybe it was Christopher letting the cat in or out. I didn’t think much of it at all. I didn’t know someone had walked into my house, only a few feet from my bedroom door and left a gift that changed my life.

I had previously told Sarah that I was having such a hard time getting out of bed. She wrote 30 or so reasons of why I should most definitely get out of bed. I remember calling all four kids into my room to hear these reasons. I wept as I read them:

  • Dusty
  • Sage
  • Ireland
  • Christopher
  • There’s something new to learn every day
  • His mercies are new every morning
  • “…for He Himself is the giver of life and breath and all else.” 
  • because if you do it today, you can do it tomorrow
  • You don’t want to miss out on life.
  • Sunrises!
  • All things work together for good to those who love God
  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made
  • Because fact is, Jesus loves Dar!
  • Music (esp. 80’s rock)
  • You’re beautiful
  • Because of His grace!
  • The love of Christ compels us
  • Because even dandelions and thistles are resplendent with God’s glory. 
  • Hot chocolate!
  • Facebook [it was fairly new back then]
  • Freshly picked blackberries

There are several more. 

You know what that did for me? It really did give me some reason to get out of bed even when it’s SO hard.

I am grateful for that gift. It stays in a drawer right next to my bed. I think of it when I am sad or feeling overwhelmed. That simple gift has catapulted me into the life I have now. 

Sarah has left this world to be with Jesus. Though she is so missed, it’s the perfect place for her. She has impacted hundreds of people by the way she walked in love.

I want to be like that, too.