When I was a student, I had to memorize things for exams.
These days, I try to memorize how to say the Lebanese names of the new couple at church.
We work with our little 4-yr old builder, helping him lay aside Lincoln Logs and Legos to pray and memorize a psalm.
All these things can be memorized by repeating, but for me, my most difficult memory work must be done on those moments that only manifest themselves once before passing into history.
So last Sunday, during the sermon, I confess that I was partly listening to the lesson about how we aren't all monks like St. John of the Ladder, but we can all make choices to help or hinder us on a path to God.
I was also busy memorizing the moment. Our Little Builder was in my arms. Oh, I wanted to be able to etch into my mind the feeling of those knees grounded on my lap, torso pressing against my chest, arms resting around my shoulders and neck, head leaning next to mine. I sat there intentionally going over each detail of his body in mine, knowing he's almost too big to fit in my lap anymore. I gaze at the Theotokos with the baby Jesus in her arms and ask her to pray for me, that I may be a good mother to this boy in my lap.
These moments, as I am reminded from Anne at Holy Experience, are gifts from God to be thankful for. In the sermon, Father mentioned many forks in our road of life, with one way taking us toward God and one away. When I seek to see God in daily blessings and be thankful for those moments, I choose a path that leads down a road of joy in God's goodness.
So I'm going to join in recording the One Thousand Gifts List.
1. That warm moment in church with my boy in my arms.
2. Baby arms flapping and toothless smile sending me greetings as I get home in the afternoon from school.
3. Reassuring rise and fall of little back, when I touch it in the crib in the middle of the night, seeking signs of breath.