I asked Him at the end of a long day, a long week, a long stretch of heaviness.

Are You really carrying me?

I'd heard it in poems and songs.  Even in His own promises.  I'd felt it first hand, too, in all the dark days, months, years of a life.

But on this day, I didn't feel it.  Hadn't felt it for weeks, maybe longer.  Only the heaviness of being weak and small.  Only the fear that I'd fallen and wouldn't be able to stand again.

And I asked Him.  Because I needed to know.

Are You really carrying me?  Because it doesn't feel like it right now.  It feels like I'm just lying here on the floor.  And I want to believe, but is it true?  Are You really carrying me?

There weren't any answers that night.  Only silence.  And fear.  And exhaustion.

And I wondered if it would always be like this.  If I'd be able to believe in His arms beneath me even when I didn't feel them.  If I'd be able to trust in the moving forward even when it felt like standing still.

But I didn't have to wonder long.

A new day dawned and I picked up the gratitude journal.  The same one that had lain shut for 7 full days because I couldn't see the gifts, couldn't even find the strength to look for them.  And on this new day I didn't just find the strength to count the graces--I also found the joy.

And as I recorded blessings, beauty, God in all the moments, I heard Him answer the question my weary soul still asked.

This is Me carrying you.

In this year I've named Faith, I've learned one more thing I didn't expect.  The one thousand gifts, the endless stream of His goodness--these are the Arms that hold me always.  And this counting of His Grace, this chronicling of His Glory--this is me being carried.

869.  Sun high in the sky, blankets of beauty spread out on the deck

870.  Leaning over the ladder top to capture art on camera

871.  Blood-red coleus leaves, beauty at the grocery store entrance

872.  My own personal baking and dancing party in the kitchen

873.  Feeling better after all the dancing

874.  Strawberry-almond cheesecake bars baking in the oven

875.  Chai tea tasting with Dad

876.  Wrapping up gifts made with love

877.  Movie night with a cup of chai and a piece of cheesecake

878.  Smell of rain-soaked sidewalk warmed by afternoon sun

879.  Daily trek down the walkway in slippers to peek at the peony buds

880.  Sun after rain--always this!

881.  Dad who takes my car to the shop, spends his day waiting

882.  Birds squabbling on the neighbor's roof

883.  Lasagna in a skillet

884.  Dinner too good not to write about

885.  Money in the bank to pay for car repairs

886.  Car fixed, ready to take me where I need to go

887.  Plans made for tea with a friend

888.  Test results finally, finally, finally returning

889.  Blue sky after days of rain

890.  Planning birthday surprises

891.  Hard things making a little sense, anxiety abating

892.  Wandering through plants at the store, searching for the perfect gift

893.  Stopping to smell the roses...and the honeysuckle...and the lilac!

894.  Finding a daylily still holding secrets

895.  Driving around a friend's neighborhood ridiculously lost--and still laughing

896.  Welcome hugs and laughter when I find my way

897.  Needing to borrow a shirt because there's too much sun for a sweater

898.  Tea party for two

899.  Purple socks with crazily-colored cats--from Boston!

900.  Sharing a bit of life after too many weeks apart

901.  Sitting out in the sun with wedding albums spread out on my lap

902.  Wandering the yard in search of the perfect spot for the daylily

903.  Hands in the dirt, new plant in its new home

904.  Goodbye hugs, lots and lots of them

905.  Making plans to share life again soon

906.  Driving home with the windows down and the sunroof open

907.  Last cheesecake bar to end the day

908.  Cats playing with bottle caps, cord ties, anything else that isn't a toy

909.  Mountain in full view at 6 am

910.  Pale blue irises with yellow spots of happiness

911.  Sky without clouds

912.  Digging out summer clothes from the bottom of the drawer

913.  Mountain filling the rear-view mirror...

914.  ...and then turning the corner to find a western horizon of snow-capped mountains

915.  Holding a new baby in my arms for the first time

916.  Not being able to stop smiling as I gaze at his sweet, sleepy face

917.  Sharing the couch and a bowl of popcorn with an almost-four-year-old godson

918.  Pizza and root beer to end a perfect summer day

919.  Riding in a convertible beneath another cloudless sky

920.  Closing my eyes against the sun and wishing every day could be this beautiful

921.  Lunch with Mom at a sunny courtyard table

922.  Chai frappuccino to celebrate the heat

923.  Afternoon nap with Buddy Cat curled up against me

924.  Heat remaining long after the sun hides in the clouds

925.  Sun reappearing at evening's end

926.  God Who answers hard questions

927.  God Who carries me always