<grimaces> It is almost with ….. hesitation ….. that I type out this post.
Have you ever had a really odd feeling in your gut?
You know … that visceral feeling deep in your being
that you just thought something was going to happen,
but you didn’t know what … or when?
Long before I began blogging, I noticed that the many of the blogs that I followed had something BIG in their lives to write about. By “big,” I mean they had been diagnosed with cancer, had a child with a severe disability or had gone through several miscarriages.
I also noticed that several of them DIDN’T have anything BIG to write about when they first began blogging.
In other words, they started a blog and then *BAM,* something happened that gave them something to write about that they didn’t have when they began.
So, when I started to blog, I pondered,
“Lord? Isn’t simply writing about life and pointing people to you
and sharing your physical world/spiritual world parallels enough? …. please???
Isn’t it enough to try to encourage people?
Please let it just be a blessing to take photos and share them. … please.
Lord, I really don’t want anything “NEW” to write about.”
Do you hear me? In other words,
“Lord, please don’t let things get messy and hard.
Keep my life easy, breezy, lemon-squeezy.”
But then … none of us would think or pray
“Lord, please make my life incredibly difficult and messy and sticky
so I can be given a reason to cling to You and search for You
because I’m too lazy to do it without good reason.” Right?
Now, I’m a homeschool Mom and wife of 25 years, penning a blog, having had the rug pulled out from under me. I will soon be a single mom parenting alone. I didn’t expect to be a full-time student so that I could support myself. I didn’t want my ten year old to be a part of the public school system. I never expected to watch my eighteen and twenty year olds walk through more bitterness and anger than they have ever experienced. *BAM* There’s something new to write about.
That having been said, I am a temporally and eternally grateful soul.
I am thankful for all of the things of this world that God has given me.
I am thankful for the eternal blessings that God has bestowed upon me.
I am simply thankful – for the good, the bad and the ugly.
Because I know that everything works together in my life to glorify God
and bring me closer to Him. In current terminology: It’s all good.
I live this out in my life, I write it on my blog (through Makes Me Happy Mondays) and I speak it in with my lips, but I have felt God’s prompting to take my thankfulness one step further.
I’ve decided to join Ann at A Holy Experience.
I am beginning a One Thousand Gifts gratitude list.
You can read more about it here on Ann’s site
where she also has links posted of other blogger’s lists.
So, why do I tremble as I share this with you? Well, let’s just say that I don’t want anything else to write about.
I’m sure that you get that.
A chain of events that all happened yesterday, on my forty-sixth birthday, set this decision into motion. Or should I say, it confirmed what I already felt was a direction God was leading me.
I began my day with tears. I hadn’t been out of bed long when my Glory brought me a surprise that was left on our doorstep. It was a huge, festive balloon attached to a gift bag of treats. I was so moved to tears because, the sweet friend that gifted me with this had a birthday last week … and I forgot it. Not just any birthday, but her 40th birthday!! It slipped me by. Amidst finals and daily chaos, I missed it … completely. She is one of my dearest friends, one of my favorite people
… and I forgot her.
As I unwrapped her gift, all I could think about was how I had failed her, but she loved me anyway. I know her well enough to know that she may have been sad that I forgot her day, but it didn’t influence her at all as she prepared to bless me. She loved me and blessed me without hesitation or ill motivation. She didn’t hold a grudge. I stood forgiven and poured upon with blessing.
And I wept. I thought of this as the same picture as my God. I forget Him. I ignore Him. I turn away at times … but He is always there, with outstretched arms and a forgiving embrace. He loves me no matter what.
I posted my morning blog here, sharing photos from the day before of the beauty of the season: mushrooms. I think they’re beautiful and I am thankful for them and considered it a gift to find so many to joyfully photograph.
I decided it was time to begin my list of One Thousand. I went to Ann’s page, which is here. Her writing was also about the season and featured beautiful mushrooms that she had photographed on a recent afternoon walk. As I opened the page, I gasped and my eyes became moist. She writes of moss, missing summer and she asks of the Lord, “Cause me to celebrate your perfect timing.” Her post … her September 22nd writing was a personal birthday gift to me from my Heavenly Father who knows me so well that He sent me a gift of beautiful images and nostalgic writing…. Ann a stranger in another country – but a kindred heart.
Just a bit later, a friend posted on my FB wall a birthday wish and the verse Psalm 63:3.
The verse says, “Because Your loving kindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.” See that?
I am being reminded to be thankful and praise Him.
Not so many hours later, a friend brought by a gift.
Yes! One more reminder: Karen, Praise Him. Give Him thanks.
See the right hand page? Centered on that page are the words:
“Having a grateful heart is a choice we make.”
God is worthy to be praised. He is my peace and comfort. In Him I hang all hope. He knows my future. His plans are for me to prosper. He will not allow me to be harmed.
And so, I begin my One Thousand Gifts list.
For I am grateful.
And I will praise Him.
1) unmerited, unearned, undeserved love …
freely, graciously, gloriously given
2) confirmation from Him that I truly should begin my 1,000 Gifts list
3) mushrooms – scattered, textured, earthy, supple, dappled, moist and lovely