5am came all too quickly and with it, the toddler calling out for mama, and the 3 week old crying out for milk shortly after. 3 weeks of 5am-starts-to-the-day for me. Sleep-deprived, post-partumly hormonal, and generally frustrated at the slow pace of adjustment in the season of transition, I was shut-down, hidden, rationing out what little portions of self I had left.

Husband had left for work, and I gathered up my reserves to fix a cup of decaf coffee and cereal for my breakfast while toddler pulled at my legs and heart-strings: “Mama, play with you,” she begged.

But we’d played all day together yesterday, and I was wiped. “After mama eats her breakfast.”

“Mama, play with you. ”

Breathe, and try to hold in my impatience with her repeated requests.

“What did mama say?”

Slightly saddened and silenced by my response, toddler wanders into the living room, leaving me to my grumpy self.

I decide to pull up the computer to start researching something, and she says, “let’s get some music.” Baby is fussing, trying to go to sleep in my sore arms.

And then, without warning, the dark sky outside opened up and the rain began to fall. The drought-thirsty land soaked it up and beckoned us to come join it in its celebration. Rain fell but few times a year in this country, and when it fell, it brought us all out of our houses. Screen doors open, and bath-robed neighbors wave hi from their door ways. A couple children come streaming out with their rain boots and umbrellas, and I say to my toddler, “Come on! Let’s go watch the rain!”

She’s cautious at first, not sure about getting her feet wet. Then she watches with fascination as the rain drops bounce off the cement sidewalk and create large puddles of cool water that beckon her little toes to explore. One foot in, and then another, and soon, she’s following the big kids around, and they share their umbrellas and puddles together.

I stand by the door and watch, coffee and baby in hand, and my heart begins to lift like the sprinkles of the rain drops as they bounce off the ground. The rain is beginning to wash away my grief, one little drop at a time, and I realize: the blessings are all the richer and fuller when in the context of difficulty. Or put another way, the pain of life amplifies the great grace and goodness of God. And I savor the moments, letting it soak into my drought-thirsty soul.