to pass the joy on

we stand on wood boards connected long
down walkway into ocean,
eight of us feeling the cold whipping of the wind,
spray of ocean wetting our hands,
husband and sensitive artist child creep
down steps to peer at sea lions
resting on boards below,
while bookworm daughter freezes at the sight
of small crowd of strangers
standing between her and daddy

tears well,
threaten to overflow
at the thought of not going below,
not getting the up close look at
magnificent creatures of the deep
and internally she weighs her options,
missing out
or passing by the people
and i watch her,
gently urging her to step past,
it's okay,
but something in her makes her
she just won't move,
and when husband and artist child resurface
and beckon us to follow them back to car,
she finally snaps out of fear and
lets her tears pour forth

i hold her close,
whisper into her brown curls,
"it's okay.  let's go talk to daddy,
maybe he'll take you down again.
but baby,
you have to learn,
people are not scary."

when we reach husband,
he takes hold of her hand and
leads her back,
to the steps,
to the sea lions,
to relief in her young mind,
watching them go,
i sorrow for her fears,
desperate to show her that people are just
created in His image,
broken, imperfect people
just like us,
and nothing to fear,
but all i can do is love her,
guide her gently, and show her how to
love people,
knowing His grace is sufficient.

i show her my gratitude journal,
and give her a beautiful notebook with her favorite,
on the cover,
ask if she wants to count gifts from God too,
keep track of the countless ways He blesses us,
and she beams,
runs off,
and writes,
and i know when she begins to see gifts,
grace in all,
she will begin to see people as a gift too,
and her fears will subside...

230 long port san luis pier
231 amazing, immense sea lions
232 warm shawl made by mother-in-law
233 daughter's intensity in all things she does
234 giggles with kids
235 nancy
236 big, warm house
237 silly little girls making silly little jokes
238 enormous beautiful trees out front window
239 husband who works hard for us in the pouring rain
240 the hope of snow
241 wise words
242 candles flickering while the rain falls down
243 son practicing guitar
244 little guys many,many fat rolls
245 the way he pats his chubby tummy while he walks
246 orange-blue dancing flames of fire
247 ten seconds of a snow-like substance falling here on the coast of california
248 daughter beginning gratitude journal


  1. Oh that's beautiful.
    My two eldest daughters keep gratitude journals too.

  2. Bless your sweet girl. You're a good mom. <3

  3. Amy, the more I read you the more I heart your words.

    I’m here from Ann’s this morning.

    I had to read every. single. word. – and your sharing of your book – smiles !!!

    And so after reading them I chose this one for my favorite today: 248 daughter beginning gratitude journal (how could I not :)

    Thank you for these words.

    God bless and keep you and all of yours.

  4. i love that your daughter is starting her own! what a legacy to pass on!

  5. I, too just had to read every word here! Maybe it's because I so related to your daughter's fears, being so shy as a young girl and missing out on so much because of it. Your love and compassion is so beautiful, and to think she is starting her own list! I want to peek!!!!

  6. You sweet, sweet friend! And, oh, it makes me happy just thinking about what your daughter might write/draw in her journal. I hope she draws tremendously colorful pictures in big fat crayon!

    And sea lions, too! What great stuff here today!

  7. Thank you for this.

    What a gift to pass on...I am looking for a special journal for my girls to put their thanks.


  8. How beautiful! And what a wonderful idea to start your daughter on her own gratitude journey!!