The summer of 2023 will always be fondly remembered as the summer that God winked at me.
This summer was the first summer since becoming a mother that I would not be able to take some kind of little vacation with both of my daughters in tow. Our travels in past few years have truly become the biggest adventures that we have ever encountered. Whether it was a long road trip that took days just to reach our destination, a long lazy weekend at the beach, or a quick two day jaunt to a neighboring state, they were all epic. The trips were loaded with all the elements that one would expect from a car full of ladies.
Fighting over who’s turn it was for a playlist. Too many bathroom breaks. No true agenda or deadlines. Road snacks. Lots of road snacks. Getting lost because we put our trust in Google Maps and not paying attention to our surroundings. A few fights and occasional hurt feelings. Daughters ganging up on mom and making fun of her clothes. Overpacked suitcases. Photo ops. Exploring new restaurants found on Yelp or Instagram. Hunting for historical markers. Critter counting.
Critter counting was an entertaining distraction that we started on our first trip through Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming. It was a simple game. I drove while they counted and announced all of the critters that we were passing by. It also kept my youngest daughter occupied instead of asking how many more miles we had ahead of us. The long trip accounted for many moose, deer, pronghorns, marmots, bears and birds.
So many miles and so many beautiful memories.
I knew with my oldest daughter’s work commitments and my youngest daughter taking her first mission trip, spending time with her dad as well as working at a summer camp, it would be impossible for the three of us to gather. I made peace with the fact that I would spend most of the summer alone, dipping my toes into the waters of an empty nest. I sure was going miss critter counting with my girls.
One Sunday morning while I was taking the beautiful drive to Goldonna to attend church with my dad, I told the Lord that I was sad there would be no critters to count this summer. It truly deflated my spirit. I left my worries with him as I entered church to thank him for my many blessings that he has given me even though I am undeserving.
Like always, I was feeling so refreshed and renewed after church, it made the ride home much easier. I was listening to praise music while I was enjoying the many hills and curves that Louisiana Highway 156 has to offer, when all of the sudden the most beautiful deer bounced out of the woods and leapt across the road. It was so magnificent and such a sight to behold. The Lord and I had a good chuckle. One critter counted.
A few miles up the road a reddish brown fuzzy-tailed fox darted in front of me. I was so amused and delighted. Two critters counted.
Just as I was approaching the sharp curve before Creston, I noticed something large in the road. As I approached it I could tell that it was a wild turkey. Through the many years I have been driving to Goldonna, my peepers have never seen a turkey. I told the Lord, “You are just showing off now.”
Three critters counted. My heart was so full and my smile so large, Texas could not house it.
In my humble opinion, a God wink is simply something sent from above with impeccable timing that is tailored just for us, and it would only make us smile. No one but you would be amused by it. Almost like an inside joke with the man upstairs. God winks at us when we least expect it and need it the most. Sometimes it takes a few moments, even longer, to realize he has in fact winked at us.
I pray your world slows down just a little, so you can quieten the inner critic that whispers ‘you could never be content with what you have’. When you set your gaze on him, he opens your eyes to see his glory everywhere.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you; and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”