Friday, November 30, 2012

Psalm 100 - Last Day

The first large piece of Scripture that I memorized as a child was Psalm 100. I was in Kindergarten and it was in the King James Version no less. I can see myself on the school bus, on the long way home, reciting it to myself, practicing, learning, encouraging.

While I have shifted a good deal of my thinking on how to raise children from a spiritual standpoint, I am forever grateful that this is etched onto my heart.

And so, this ends, my month of gratitude. I had hoped that I would write each and every day, but we had some crazy, unexpected and unplanned for life events get in the middle of all that.We are still praying through and thinking through it all, but I think, no, I know that this month of thanksgiving has set my heart in a better place to sort through this all. Thank you, Prudy, for the prompting and support!


******

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.



******

101 - "Getting my hairs did" - it's good for the soul!
102 - My friends who are giving us 20 hours.
103-  Dreaming of what could be, feeling like there are options.
104 - The hand of God keeping my Sophie safe.
105 - Waking up each morning, knowing there is so much to be thankful for.









Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Love, Actually

It has been quiet here. In part due to 5 full days with my husband actually home. That kind of time cannot be squandered. But it was also due to a heart that has been up and down. Filled with happiness and contentment one moment, and bits of sadness the next. Excitement and hope filling my thoughts until uncertainty comes in to replace it. I'm feeling a little bit scattered, and that's okay. Aren't we all just working it out?


Our Thanksgiving meal was small by our standards. For  dinner it was the five of us, our dear friend (she's also an amazing pastor), and two Chinese university students. We joke that it isn't a holiday in our home unless there is someone from a different country of origin in our home. 





(This is a picture of our lovely herb rubbed turkey. I had never made a whole turkey before - either we did a ham, a turkey breast, fried it, or someone else did the bird - so I was quite proud!)




By the end of the evening, two other friends had come over and my sister. It was a good day full of conversation and great food.



On Friday night, we somehow managed to get the kids to bed and were able to watch one of my favorite movies, Love Actually (am I the only one who desperately wants to place a comma between Love and Actually?). I feel very attached to this movie. It came out the month that we got married, and since we lived in London the first six months of our marriage, it feels like home. 

The opening monologue is one of my favorites. The music playing, the images of friends, family, and lovers reuniting....all of it is so familiar. I have walked through the arrivals gate at Heathrow over and over, and I have to admit I miss it. The expectation. The excitement. The joy. It's good stuff, folks.

So if you haven't heard these words before, read them with a British accent a la Hugh Grant:

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion...love actually is all around.

******


091 - An abundance of food
092 - An abundance of conversation
093 - An abundance of love
094 - An abundance of laughter
095 - An abundance of time

096 - An extremely long weekend with the whole family
097 - Daydreaming
098 - Staying up late watching movies and Sherlock
099 - Having a morning to myself to clean in peace
100 - Some quiet moments to catch up



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When 37 Isn't Too Late - Day 21, But Who's Counting?

It's an odd season, of recognizing so clearly all that I have to be grateful for, and feeling that deep in my bones, all while knowing things aren't as they should be. I've been hiding a bit from Twitter and from blog reading as it is whispering to me that I am less than. And I want to stay in a place of grateful contemplation.

But this morning I read "When It's Like Baptism" over at Addie's place, and oh my heart. In those few minutes, huddled over my laptop, drinking coffee while the girls are cuddled on the couch watching their morning cartoon, I was in church. I left the following comment on her piece:


My thoughts have been rattling around in my head for weeks now, and none of it makes sense, and Chicago feels like such a desert place. And I told a friend that I don't understand how not one little bit of it seems to have worked out the way it was supposed to and I don't know what to do with it.

And then I read, "Maybe it takes some time away. A few months or a few years. Maybe you can’t understand why you keep getting stuck when you want to move forward. But then, after long enough, you look back and you can actually see. You see that God was there all along, even when you thought he wasn't  You can see that this story is about so much more than you." And I think those are the best sentences I have read in years. And I'll write them down in my journal, and probably quote them in some unimportant to the world, but important to me, post. I'll shed some tears and manage a feeble prayer. And hopefully in the not too distant future I'll look back and feel the same way.

I was feeling particularly discouraged, as if it had all passed me by, and I couldn't bring myself to write, so I did what any self-respecting procrastinator does, I went on Pinterest. But I think God laughed, for as I sat there, mindlessly looking over 127 ways to make a wreath, and 78 recipes for Turkey brine, I thought about how at 37 years old, there was no point. I wasted what might have once been a gift and now....

And then I saw it....

It’s never too late to go after your dreams.


Yup, I was right, that sound was God chuckling in the background.

So today, I will feed my babies, do some messy crafting, the kind with glue, and glitter and feathers and foam turkeys, prep some Thanksgiving dinner, and trust, even when I can't see, that the good days are ahead for all of us.

******

081 - Reading the right thing, at the right time
082 - Pinterest inspiration
083 - Remembering the world doesn't revolve around you
084 - Hearing your best friend's voice on the phone, all while knowing you've been a lousy friend, and she loves you anyway!
085 - New cookie sheets

086 - Little girl haircuts
087 - Days off of school
088 - Date nights with your husband
089 - Delicious cheese plates
090 - Chicken nuggets (cause sometimes, you just need them)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Selah

I sit at the keyboard, hands trembling. I am nothing but grateful for the practice of living out gratitude. Of writing out my blessings. Of calling out into the darkness words of light.  It's what's saving me right now. 

I sit surrounded by the lavish grace of God and His gifts, but I feel a heaviness pushing around me and I am trying so hard to hold it back, to not let it swallow up the goodness.

Here I sit, just days before Thanksgiving, and I am in awe of all that I hold.

But I am reminded in these past few days of the things that have been taken away.

And I walk this tightrope of emotion, and I feel my jaw clench from the stress of it all, and I hate this feeling of lack.

Lack of resources.
Lack of options.
Lack of time.
Lack of skill.
Lack of beauty.
Lack of recognition. (that one hurts to write)
Lack of Him.

And I go back between just wanting to hold my girls and cuddle and be filled with their infectious laughter and crying out to the heavens.

And I hear the whisper....

"For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority." 
(Col 2:9-10)

Selah


******

There is no way I can catch up in one day, so I'll just double up as I can....


071 - Brownies, warm in the pan
072 - Yankee Candles
073 - Trips to the Field Museum
074 - Phone calls that you have been waiting for
075 - Girls who make you beautiful necklaces



076 - The soundtrack to Polar Express
077 - Evenings with friends and coworkers
078 - Sam's Club
079 - Teaching your daughter in Sunday School
080 - A husband who does hard things



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Here I Raise My Ebenezer


I lay these things, stone by stone on this rocky mountain top. And I pile them together, brick by brick and I form my altar.


Each word.

Judgement.

Thought.


Supposition.


With each utterance, my heart has become like stone.

These burdens that I carry.

The weight bears down on me. And I crawl through this desert land on my hands and knees. Rocks cut my skin and my tongue is parched.


O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.


I have painstakingly built this altar. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. Each one picked out by my pride. And it towers over me and scrapes the clouds above me. But even with the clouds, the sun beats down on me and I cannot hide.  Bones ache.


My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.


I never meant to be the one who judged, but now each judgment reflects back at me and I am left without words.


The things I despised, I long for.

The things I ridiculed, I embrace.

The things I didn't understand I now seek as peace.



O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.


You have taken every situation and turned it around and I am left breathless.

I see two paths ahead of me and I am completely at a loss of which to venture down.

Would you speak to me, loudly and clearly? Would you take my hand, raise me from the dirt, and place my feet where you desire?



I have seen you in the sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!


Melt my hardened heart. Breathe life back into me. 

Take my glassy eyes and set them to You.


I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.


My blistered hands let go of all I hold dear. 

And so here, I raise my Ebeneezer. For You.

(my ode to Psalm 63)

Today I am linking up with the talented and giving Emily Wierenga for Imperfect Prose.





******

061 - A reason to get up every morning.
062 - Pumpkin spice cookies.
063 - A good report from yet another teacher.
064 - Discovering your middle LOVES yogurt covered pretzels.
065 -  An evening spent crafting with some wonderful women.

066 - Waking up to a clean house (because you had some wonderful women over the night before).
067 - An impromptu trip to the Farm Museum to cheer some weary preschool souls.
068 - Using gift certificates to order new flatware that you've been wanting since you got married.
069 - Realizing your baby is now 18 months and smart as a whip!
070 - Getting a post done, and finished, even if it was a painful one to write.



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Time to Play Catch Up

I had purposed in my heart to blog each day of November, but clearly, that hasn't happened.

Last week Adam was out of town for business and I was alone with the three girls.....and sickness.....I think we did pretty well, all things considered.


(She doesn't look TOO miserable, does she?!)

Sunday I meant to blog in the morning after church, but I couldn't corral all the girls and then by the time we got our last "Welcome Home, Daddy" sign made, it was time to have him walk in the door. And after that many days without my best friend, I wasn't about to spend time away from him!!



And yesterday? Yesterday I felt so sick, I still do. I think it's my body's way of reminding me that I work best in a team.

******

So here are some things that I have been thankful for....

051 - Knowing that my honey is almost home.
052 - Peace in our home, even when the littles are starting to get stir crazy.
053- Quiet evening with Legos and cuddles.
054 - Watching a movie with a glass of wine while the girls sleep.
055 - Texting your best friend and knowing that he is still in love with you.

056 - Knowing that the world carries on, even if you aren't there.
057 - Wonderful people who help remind you of #056.
058 - Little girls who work hard to welcome their Daddy back.
059 - That moment he walks through the door.
060 - Being back together.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

May His Name Be Ever Blessed - Day 10

My Sophie is three years old. Three is a hard age....at least so far in my experience. Two was fine, but three.....three is a whole new level. That mix of skill and independence coupled with physical and verbal limitations leads to chaos some days. 



A couple mornings ago we were curled up watching PBS and they explained that a pig has the intelligence of a three year old child. Pig = three year old. This explained so much. I have honestly been carrying on with much more grace as I think, "Is this the behavior of a baby pig? Yes? Then it's okay. We'll grow out of it." I know it seems odd, but it was truly an exhale moment for me. Thank you PBS for bringing me such perspective!

Last night I watched my three year old sleep. And love and appreciation washed over me. I thought about the tweet I saw last night - a three year old found not breathing - and when I saw that,my momma heart started breaking in a thousand pieces and my hands began to shake and my tongue began to tremble with prayers. 

It could be my girl, her girl, their girl. And I think about Kingdom living and the now and the not yet and how I always get tripped up when babies hang in that tender balance. And I don't seem as worried about adults, but shouldn't He keep His babies from harm?

The news comes that she passed away. And in the moment I am equal parts overflowing with gratitude for my three girls and frustration that prayers went unanswered. I just. can't. imagine.

I close my eyes at night hoping to reconcile it all, and I whisper prayers to the heavens.

So today I hold my girls a little tighter, laugh with them a little more, pray for them a more fervently, and try to remember each beautiful moment. 

"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed."
Job 1:21b

******
046 - A supportive, hard working husband who loves me.
047 - Saturday morning Veggie Tales in the big bed
048 - Potty Training success!!! (or at least INCREASED success)
049 - Friends who share some Thai food and a glass of wine, telling stories and laughing, helping me bathe the kids
050 - Knowing that all my three girls woke up healthy and happy and with me.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Learning to Dwell - Day 9


The room is quiet, as quiet as it can be in my world. For I still hear the city streets below, and the hum of the laptop, the grinding of the coffee maker, and the chatter of little girls. I steal these minutes and use them for myself. It feels selfish and decadent, but the three ones with the blonde curls and the blue eyes and all the dimples don’t seem to mind as they laugh and play and watch their morning cartoon on my bed. And so I type on, my coffee at my side and my phone nearby as I wait to hear from him.



These gray days have left me with more questions than answers and some days I am not sure what I should be doing. I know there is change coming. My bones ache as they try to grow just a little bigger to hold the goodness that is around the corner. But I don’t know what that change looks like and in this in-between, I don’t know how to carry myself.

I feel manic as one day I rush to accomplish, to prepare for what I don’t know. The next day I feel compelled to keep that chair with the worn, brown leather warm with a book and a cup of sweet coffee.

I want to embrace these quiet moments, but the to do list is ever growing and I have to force myself to do the day's tasks. It's a Momma's job, a job I love and am grateful for.

So I try to find the quiet in me. If I wait for quiet in my surroundings it will never come, of that I'm sure. So as I am walking up the four flights of stairs with piles of laundry, or mopping the kitchen floor, or wiping down the bathroom, or cuddling on the couch watching Tinkerbell, I listen. My often pitiful attempts to listen to what the Creator of all is telling me. I try to find my quiet so I can hear His words.

I hear Him whisper...

DWELL. Dwell in the place you are - the home, the city, the circumstance, the family, this time of life. Learn to DWELL in it all. I might change the circumstances, I might change the surroundings, but I will not change. Learn to DWELL in Me.

And I am so grateful for the quiet.

******

041 - Candlelite and their quick delivery service
042 - Sisters who come by to share some time and wrangle them all to bed
043 - Babes who fall asleep quickly and sleep through the night
044 - Netflix to keep little ones busy while typing
045 - The building confidence that perhaps, after all, all things really will work for good....







Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8 - Parceling Out My Minutes

I have been learning to listen. To stop in the business of mothering and writing and wait for a hush to fall. And in that silence, to hear.

That scratchy persistent throat of mine was too hoarse to speak the words that needed to be said. It wasn't until I laid my head on my pillow last night, after a dose of Sudafed and several cups of tea, that I heard.....let's have a home day.

Kathryn is in preschool five days a week as she prepares for Kindergarten, but every so often all of our weary bones and souls cry out for a home day. We cancel everything and vow to stay in our pjs. The candle burns warm all day and lunch and dinner are meals that are cooked slow. We watch all the fairy movies we could want and snacks are all courtesy of Pirate's Booty. 

Today we are wearing fleece, wrapped in blankets and are taking time to breathe. 

In my old life, the one before kids, I was go, go, go. I had at least one job and as a result became adept at managing my most precious commodity - time. And yet, these days of mothering and loving my husband and writing and making a home and churching have left me feeling bone dry.

It wasn't until Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy spelled it out that I realized that I needed to be in the business of energy management  not time management.

I'm weak not from too many minutes, but from too little energy.

And so I am measuring out my time, oh so carefully, minutes at a time, keeping a close eye on the scale so it doesn't all go awry. These minutes represent more than just my time - its how much energy I have for the things I love. I don't just watch the clock. I listen to my heartbeat.




But today, today's minutes will be parceled out freely to anyone willing to stay under the soft warmth of our pile of blankets.


******

036 - Soft, cozy blankets (If I have already used this one, apologies, but I am so grateful for them that I must say it over and over.
037 - Text messages at just the right time that make me feel loved.
038 - The sound of Lucy saying "tickle, tickle, tickle" as she tries to make her big sisters laugh.
039 - 2 cases of Coke Zero
040 - Listening to still, small voices that offer rest




A Day Late, But Full of Blessings

I didn't get this posted yesterday as I was feeling under the weather. Yesterday's post, listed today, is brought to you from the good folks at Sudafed, Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea, and a good night's sleep 


Wednesdays can be a long day for us, but Wednesday also holds some wonderful blessings....

031- A Chicago parks program that is affordable and lets my girls explore the world of gymnastics
032- Seeing my friend each week as our girls tumble and run together
033- Unexpected surprises. Sometimes you have a deer run right in front of you, even in the city!


034- Groceries delivered to my door - glory and Hallelujah!
035- Good reports from preschool teachers

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gray November Days - Day 6


I love November. The drop in temperature and the days leading up to Thanksgiving are my advent to Advent. Rain falls more freely and with each new drop holds the possibility of snow. It’s 30 days of gratitude. But November also signals gray skies and darkened evenings. And each day I drive down a dusky, wet street in Chicago I am whisked back to different times and places. And it all feels so real. So present, and if I let myself, I will feel things now from a different time.

I remember the cold evenings after school my sophomore year in high school. How dark it was on the bus ride home. How quiet and lonely our little townhouse felt. I remember seeing our next door neighbor going in and out of his house to the cars that drove by, pulled in front, and idled as he ran out and would hang into their passenger window. I remember hearing his mother yelling through the thin walls that she didn't want him dealing from the house. And I remember being scared until that day I was being hassled on the school bus and he told them to leave me alone or else. I never knew his name.

I remember the drive my junior year in the college shuttle from campus to that office building where the counselor was. And I remember being handed a paper for a prescription. It was the heaviest paper I had ever held as I wrestled with relief and sadness. And on the drive home, in the dark, I rested my head against the window and thought of my three jobs, my classes, my placements and I knew something had to give. And I dreaded making that phone call to tell my dad I needed to come home.

I remember my wedding that Saturday in November and how it was the one November day where the sun actually shined. We wed on a Saturday and flew to London that Monday. Our first home together and each night had dinner on the table, a glass of wine, and lit candles. It was a six month honeymoon. I miss those cold and damp London streets; they still feel like home.

I remember the last election, standing in line, Kathryn in stroller, my belly pregnant, and weight of the world on my shoulders. The Big Hurt coming to a head. Waves of sadness or hope could wash over me at any given moment. I had no idea how bad things were going to get. I had no idea how good things eventually would be. But that sadness sticks to me and I fight daily to peel it off and leave it at the Cross.

Today I will remember little Lucy, almost 18 months, learning to talk. Kathryn, hands raised in the back of the van, singing “Glory” at the top of her lungs so Jesus will hear her. Sophie, wearing her footie pajamas, cuddling with me, giving me kisses.



What will they remember? I don’t know. Maybe they’ll remember how the candle was always burning when we were home, or how morning smells like coffee. The way the flour and cocoa powder come together and become shiny in the bowl while making brownies. The pile of (sometimes) folded blankets at the end of the couch that we wrap ourselves in when watching movies. Looking out the bedroom window to see “the tallest building in America.” Meatballs simmering in a crockpot. Stacks of books and boxes of crayons.


******

026 - Being able to vote
027 - Ordering groceries online
028 - Singing with my girls on the drive home 
029 - Pigtails, braids, and barrettes
030 - The hope that things will keep getting better


Monday, November 5, 2012

Shout Joy! (Coffee with Madeleine) - Day 5

One morning I had a cup of coffee with Grace. And I have to tell you, she visits me quite regularly now. And the more time I spend with her, the more clearly I see her. And yes, I think my Grace is actually Madeleine. She has become my imaginary mentor. I talk to her about raising kids in the city, living a life of love and grace, the need to get out to the country, and finding time to write.

So today, I will let my friend share a thankful moment.....

SHOUT JOY!

O sing unto God
and sing praises unto his Name
magnify him that rideth upon the heavens
praise him in his Name
Jah!
shout it
cry it aloud upon the wind
take the tail of his steed
and fling across the sky
in his wild wake
Jah!
he cannot be caught
he cannot be fled
he cannot be know
nor his knowledge escaped
the light of his Name
blinds the brilliance of stars
Jah!
catch the falling dragon
ride between his flailing wings
leap between the jaws of the lion
grasp the horn of the unicorn
calling with mighty voice
Jah!
caught in star flame
whipped by comet lash
rejoice before him
cry above the voices of the cherubim
shout alongside the seraphim
Jah!
bellow joy behind kings
scattered by the quaking of his hills
fleeing before his fire
rush like snow through his thunderous flame
crying with gladness
adoration of his Name
God is Lord
Jah!
(The Ordering of Love, the New & Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle)


******

021 - Homemade Beef and Broccoli for dinner
022 - Finding a kid cart at Trader Joe's to make the shopping that much easier
023 - Warm blankets and lots of cuddles


024 - Fun finds that make me super excited for Christmas cookies (It's a major award, you know.....)


025 - A chocolate cupcake paired with a glass of white wine






Sunday, November 4, 2012

10,000 Reasons - Day 4

I woke up this morning with a song in my heart and it felt so good and so familiar to start the day with joy and even with the crazy week that is coming I can't stop smiling. 

And on the way home from my Sam's Club date with my daughter we sang it over and over together and it felt good and right. She told me she loved me "to 100" and then I told her that the song means that we can love Jesus to 10,000 and she thought that was good since she loves Him so much.

So I sit at my computer to write my five things for the day and there are so many more than five. And that makes the rest of the week more than okay.

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes



******

016 - A date with my 5 year old


017 - A room full of SEVENTEEN 3 year old's eager to learn about Jesus


018 - Amazing teachers who pull together 
019 - An extra hour of sleep in the morning
020 - The only three kids on the planet who slept in with their parents!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Doorposts, Facials, and Genetics - Day 3




Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!
Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside of your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from time time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9, The Message

Last night my husband sent me for a facial. I am completely aware that just the fact that I was given an hour long facial on a Friday night after he had been up since 4:45 and the kids were hopped up on sugar is enough to bear an entire day's worth of gratitude. He's a good man. Let this be considered my praising him at the city gates.

Lying on a table with warmed blankets and soft music playing, I was relaxed, enjoying this bit of pampering. I could hear the esthetician talking to me about my skin....."exfoliation"...."oxygenation"..."young looking"...."no wrinkles".....and then I was jarred back to reality. "It must be genetic. I bet your mother has amazing skin."

She does. She has youthful skin and I am so glad that when my family line carries a host of other genetic nightmares, this is what I have been given.

But I think there is a piece of me, and I am sure I am not alone, that still bucks when compared to my parents. I have been blessed with parents that truly love me. But despite similarities, there are differences. And often I am quicker to point the areas of divergence before the areas of resemblance  I guess there is a part of me that is still a 16 year old teenager.

But beyond feeling grateful for a connection to my mom that is good and positive, it sparked in me thoughts of how I relate to my precious five year old. 



I get that girl. I sometimes know what she is going to do or say before she does or says it. And when to the world she looks irrational, I can figure out her train of thought and I know it makes sense. 

But.

I don't want her to grow up thinking she is just an extension of me. I don't want her to think that she has to think like me or respond like me. I want her to have the freedom to be her own person without feeling pressure to be a certain way. I want her to grow up knowing in a real way the love of her Heavenly Father.

I am so grateful for the three gifts God has given me, packaged in blonde curls, blue eyes, and dimpled cheeks. And I pray I don't mess them up.

And so, today, I am full of thanks. Thanks for.....

011 - An hour long facial that is good for the skin and for the soul
012 - Good genetics and a mother who loves me
013 - A family to share meals with
014 - Giggles from a Sophie that make me smile, even if she's being a stinker
015 - My five year old who thinks the Trinity is just like the Wonder Pets (3 people using teamwork)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2 of Getting my Eucharisteo On

Last night I did something that I never do. I stayed up to get some writing done. And I sat at my dining room table, full of crayons, markers, papers, stickers, and empty Diet Coke cans. And I looked out my windows and saw the floral shop across the street and the storefront church and the little Greek restaurant. I watched the street light turn from green to yellow to red and back to green again. And I remembered how much I love my home, and how much I love my city.

And this morning I woke up and was able to see that same night sky, but the sun began to break through, a crack through the darkness. And a gentle reminder for my weary soul. For the weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

006 - A sister who will drive out of her way after working a 12 hour shift to bring you a gallon of milk and a 20 oz bottle of Coke Zero so you can finish your work and your husband who has to get up at 4:45 in the morning doesn't have to stop on his way home from class at 10 pm (phew!)

007 - A morning at a friend's house feeling heard and being seen.

008 - Impromptu living room picnics with $1.99 Happy Meals and yet another showing of the Secret of the Wings (will I be writing about this movie every day in November?)

009 - Breaks in the day for getting caught up on what needs to be done

010 - An evening alone at the gym


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting My Eucharisteo On


I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. That’s not my heart at all. I am blessed with more than I could ever have imagined. But when your husband says you’re starting to sound “angsty,” it’s time to take a breather.

During the month of November, I post a status each morning on Facebook listing a few things I am thankful for. I’m so glad that this time is upon us, as I could sure use a refocus. It’s time to open up my Ann Voskamp and get my eucharisto on. So when I saw that PrudyChick was doing daily postings on her blog about what she was thankful for, it all seemed to come together.  I know I couldn't blog everyday during the month of October, but what if I just simply list each day what I am grateful for? Surely I can do that.

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I bled out yesterday. I let myself go to that place where plans changed and dreams seemed to die. And when I think about that time and the way that I see its effects each day, my heart aches. But I know my story doesn't end with the end of one chapter. And I listen to Paul’s words:

I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
Philippians 4:11-12

So today, I am grateful for:



001 Being able to drive my kids to preschool each day
002 Mornings spent window shopping at Barnes and Noble with Lucy, looking for books by people we know
003 Christmas music
004  A few minutes of quiet so I can type out my thoughts
005 A warm, soft couch big enough to let us all snuggle and watch Tinkerbell’s Secret of the Wings. Again.