giving thanks even when it’s not there

Today is one of those days where I don’t want to write anything in this space. My morning started much earlier today and was filled up even before I got started. Kids up and ready for school, lunches to be made, the discovery of a mass of bugs in the kitchen and yet I still had to keep going. Coffee with a friend, dentist and doctor and shopping to do. New contacts and blurred and tired eyes. So much running and no time to really stop.

So in that moment when I realize that this post isn’t going to be “perfect” (as if any of them are) I thought I would just neglect it. I can give thanks next Monday, I thought. But it’s days like these that I need to force myself to stop and refocus. To take my heart and change it from grumbling about the pressure I feel under and think of all the things that are good right now. For there is much, so much in my life that is good.

And for His goodness I give praise…

184. coffee with a new friend
185. thirty minutes at home to have a quiet lunch before the afternoon rush starts up
186. a husband who takes the time to help clean up in the early morning hours
187. for rebates that come at perfect times
188. the opportunity to run to all these appointments in the morning and know that my children were taken care of and safe
189. for the week ahead…that even in the midst of all the business, we have much to celebrate
190. for a friend to banter with
191. that although I have lousy vision that is getting worse, I can see
192. for a home to come home too..bugs and all 🙂
193. for the Spirit that is in my heart and causes me to focus on Him and give thanks even when I don’t want to

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when a quick morning runs slow

What do you do when everything falls apart and you have to leave? You have somewhere to go.

The routine is busted and tears are shed; harsh words are spoken.

Do I want to be remembered as the mom that pushed everyone out the door because “we have to go!!” or
the mom that scooped them up and loved them even at the risk of not being on time?

I am cultivating a heart that is at rest. At rest, even when everything around me is falling apart. At rest, even when my agenda is blown to pieces. At rest, so that I can bring that rest and peace to my home.

Yes, we do have places to go. We do have agendas to keep. But the state of my heart and the heart’s of my children are so much more important than where we are going.

It is number three on this list that hangs in my kitchen…”there are no emergencies. Only amateurs hurry”. Which leads to number seven…that for as often as this child drives me crazy, I will love her and draw close to her.

It is what brings me to my knees when not thirty minutes after I read this my morning falls to pieces:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

~ Psalm 37:7

Praise be to the Lord who rescues and uplifts my soul.

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loving others

A few weeks ago I found myself sitting in a doctor’s waiting room waiting for a friend who was having a procedure done. Days leading up to this, I had been hit over and again with the idea of friendships and how to love others well. That day, I sat there thinking what a privilege it was to be a part of her life – for her vulnerability in letting me take care of her.

I thought of how my perception of friendship has changed over the course of my life – as I have aged and grown as a believer. The theme of most of my friendships has often been that of Sarai and Hagar; me trying to make it work my way. But that has only led to hurt, frustration and many, many bad choices.

I’ve been frustrated by others lack of pursuit of me or their response to my often careless pursuit of them. But what I’m learning about God’s pursuit of me is that it’s not about me.

I am not going to make good choices. I am not going to love well. I am not going to pursue well; when all I think about is me. When my focus is on protection. When my eyes are on the winds blowing around me. When I am using my opinions to set boundaries.

Freedom is when I make it all about Him. When I focus on Him and not the waves or the wind. When I fill my heart and mind with His word I can pursue people despite their response – pursuing them merely because the Lord has placed them in my path. I can love them. I can pick them up, walk beside and attend to them despite my desire to sometimes nudge them out of my way, like a pebble on my path.

Like my friend welcoming me into her vulnerability – I need to do the same.

 

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