Today was a day of encouragement.  Some of it I gave, and some of it I received.  The events were nothing spectacular, but it is typically the small things that can have the most impact. This morning, I went to the grocery store, and by the time I came out, my car was in the shade.  It was a simple thing, but in the heat of the Central Valley, it provided welcome relief even from this morning’s heat.

When I came home, I had to hurry and get cleaned up, as I had a massage appointment to get to.  It was only twenty minutes, but after the stress that I put myself through this week, it was like a little slice of heaven.  This week my regular therapist was back from a maternity sabbatical, and I was happy to see her.  After my massage, we sat and talked for a few minutes.  First she gave me the update about the new baby and the challenges of being a new mom.  I told her some of my experiences with the boys, and encouraged her to use her own good sense to make decisions.  I advised her to not worry about what other people say she should do, but to take the advice and use her best judgement.  I then told her that I had quit my job, and that I was working at blogging and trying to “reinvent” myself.  It was then that she was able to give some encouraging words to me.  It was a great conversation, and I left feeling better in both body and spirit.

When I got back home, I sat down with my hubby and hashed out some things that we had both been thinking about.  Me about my writing and him about his photography.    We both were calm, honest about what we were feeling and listened to each other.  We talked about our frustrations and bounced ideas off each other.  What could have been a stressful conversation, turned out to be one of the best we have ever had.  Later in the day we sat together not speaking.  There is a book that he has, and he was watching a video by the photographer who wrote it.  I had made coffee cake, and it was time to sit and enjoy it.  So there we were, having cake and coffee, listening to the video.  He was watching, but I was just listening, while I was eating cake and reading the book.  When I was done, I gave him a kiss, brought our plates to the sink and came back to my table to write.  It was a simple pleasure, sharing space as we snacked.  It did not just happen.  The easy camaraderie, was the result of our conversation from earlier in the day.

It was then I remembered the shade at the store, and that brought my mind to Jonah. Toward the end of his story, he sits down to wait and watch Nineveh’s fate.  As he sits there, he is shaded by a leafy plant.  In its shade he finds comfort, that is until it is eaten by a worm and the plant dies.  It was something God used to teach Jonah a lesson, but it also made me think of how God brings what we need at just the right time.  Whether it is comfort, a lesson or the ability to encourage others. Today, I think I needed and received all three.