Jarritos and Hermitage.

Last week there was an empty Jarritos bottle in the cupholder of my minivan that made me smile every time I saw it.

When I saw that bottle, I remembered my son hopping out of the car, guzzling the last inch of fruit punch Jarritos, and saying, “Thanks Mom. Love you,” before dashing back inside to sixth grade social studies. He had a midday doctors appointment over the lunch hour, so we had to grab lunch afterwards. Social Studies didn’t start till 12:40, so there was time to cross the street to Tacos Don Beto’s and eat together. QUALITY TIME.

We sat on the same side of the little blue table as we ate our tacos so he could see election results on my phone. We laughed about how his friends at school are so over the top with the election – watching the results on their iPads during class, cheering or booing as each state is called. He tried to recite how many electoral votes each candidate had and needed. We chatted about what he thought about the candidates, and what elections mean in the grand scheme of things. I savored his quizzical looks with one eyebrow raised, the sound of his laugh, the quiet as he considered what to say before he said it. I love that kid. I’m with him every day, but rarely alone with his undivided attention. That little table at Don Beto’s was a much-needed moment to enjoy him.

Yesterday morning, I tossed the Jarritos bottle into the recycling bin to make room for my coffee cup and water bottle as I drove down to Three Rivers, Michigan. There is a place called The Hermitage where I go for a day of silent retreat a few times a year. This is like a day at the spa for an introvert – an entire day of silence to walk around the beautiful property, pray and listen.

Early in the day, as I walked and prayed and listened, I heard something like this in my soul:

“Remember the Jarritos bottle that reminded you of quality time with the kid you love? That’s how excited I am to spend today with you.”

A tangible moment of God’s delight in me. I needed it. I came away from the day with renewed joy, despite this difficult year.

Do you feel God’s delight in you? I didn’t expect to feel him enjoying my company, but it renewed my spirit.

“God loves us not because we are lovable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but He delights to give.”

Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

“More is gained in one hour of God’s good things than in a whole lifetime from your own.”

St. John of the Cross

“You are the God who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

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