As the summer began, my girls and I visited my sister and her new baby. Cooking dinner is one of the standard gifts for new moms, so the girls and I prepared grilled chicken, boiled new potatoes, and fresh cantaloupe. I had promised myself I would keep the menu simple so I could optimize my time holding the baby. Cousins, grandparents, and the new parents gathered around the table and the time was so engaging. We shared stories, laughed, and passed around the baby. It was a very simple meal, but the company was so good.

I shared this story with my spiritual director, and she encouraged me to spend my summer looking for the simple, good moments. Now that school is back in session and the first signs of fall are appearing, I am savoring the simple, good moments of summer. These three moments are my favorites.

A Card in the Mail. As all parents know, having the kids home for the summer changes all the routines. Change of schedules is not a bad thing. It is just a major revamping of how things get done, when they get done, and how long it takes all of you to sick of each other. Not long into the summer, I was ready to declare defeat and let anarchy reign. In the mailbox I found a card from my friend. On the cover was a child screaming, “Mom!” and inside were encouraging words for me. Through her words my friend conveyed, “I know you. I care about you. We are in this together.” My friend has the gift of sending just the right card at just the right time. Her caring is simply refreshing to my soul.

Swimming and Talking. I co-teach first and second graders in Sunday school. Between us, my co-teacher and I have six kids under the age of sixteen, so planning Sunday school during the summer months was a challenge until she invited me to bring the girls over to swim with her kids while we planned. Sitting on her back porch with the ceiling fan stirring the air and sipping glasses of iced tea were blissful moments for me. My girls wore themselves out playing with her kids, and I came home having shared my stories as well as planned several lessons for our class. I am grateful for my friend’s hospitality. Sitting with her is simply good.

Baked Spaghetti on Wheels. To conclude my summer adventures, I had sinus surgery. It was timely and greatly needed but slowed me down considerably. When I told my friend about the upcoming surgery she asked, “What night can I bring dinner for your family?” Later that week she arrived with comforting food and kind words. She noted that the cake recipe was simple. I know it was not simple for her to shop for food, prepare it and deliver to my house while managing her two children. However the result was so good. I am thankful for her gracious gift of comfort.

This summer I learned there are simple and good moments throughout my day, and I appreciate the encouragement of my spiritual director to be thankful for those moments. As I head into fall, I will continue to expect God’s grace in my life.

Tammy Abee Blom is an ordained Baptist minister, regular contributor to BWIM’s blog, mother of two amazing daughters, teacher for children’s Sunday School, and lives in Columbia, South Carolina.