Friday, February 25, 2011

What to do? What to do?

So I'm sitting here on yet another snow day for my kids wondering what to do. To be honest my first inclination is to lay in bed all day on this computer and watch tv. That would pass the time and require next to no energy. I am getting old, ya know? Wasting away with this time just sitting around.

How much fun is that? How productive is it? Why can't I get motivated to live?

The sun is shining so bright today, setting of sparks of color from every flake of snow. But I don't really know it, see it. The light is coming through drawn curtains. Why are the curtains drawn? It is a beautiful day and the light falls on surfaces whispering to me, "come alive."

The bedroom door is half open with the sound of the dishwasher and a movie flooding in. I hear my oldest talking on the phone. I wonder if I hollered "let's go outside" if they'd drop everything to get ready?

But do I really want to do that? I go downstairs to make my 2nd cup of coffee. I notice how dark the living room is so I go down and open the curtains. Awww, there. More light for today. As I come upstairs I notice I shut my bedroom door behind me, keeping out all the noise of the day. Before I sit I turn to open it back up.

I hear my youngest laughing with his brother as if to say, "it's time to play." My oldest is on youtube and the song she is playing...I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me and I start to think...

It's time to go meet God here. Right here in this place. He is all around. Everything is God beautiful. And it's time to play.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chapter 6: 1000 Gifts

Ann asks us in this chapter, "What do you want?" The answer is easy for me. It is the same as Ann and I think maybe that is why I enjoy her writing so much, why I got this book. I just knew. We want the same thing. What you want may be a different thing but just take time to figure it out.

So to sum it up I'll just put some things from the book that jumped out at me.

What do I want?

" Lord I want to see." (Luke 18:41) pg.108

And whether I am conscience of it or not, any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down. Do I have eyes to see it's Him and not the thing?" pg.112

That is what makes us persevere through a life: to see Him who is invisible! pg 115

I long to live all eye.  pg 115 ( This is my prayer, that I live all eye.)

Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing. pg.121

#34...warm wash clothes
#35...sleepy yawning eyes in the morning
#36...little voices singing

It's all God beautiful, really.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chapter 5: 1000 Gifts

So here's what I'm taking from this chapter...

Dark days are going to come your way. They have and they will. You want a right relationship with God when those days do come. Listing the ways he loves is a good way to start knowing God.

# 29...sound of wind chimes
#30...the pink in sunset across the sky
#31...smell of charcoal grill

Kyle said to me last night, after reading my list, "I don't get how some of this stuff you see as a gift from God. Like your first one, the sound of Kyle shoveling snow before the sun has risen. I don't see that as a gift. I have to work hard to do that. I hate shoveling snow."

Yes, but you are alive to be able to do it and I am grateful for that. And I don't have to be able to hear the wind chimes, see that pink hue in sunset, or smell that charcoal. At any moment I could go blind or deaf or whatever. Darkness could fall at any moment but for now I get to experience all these things. And I want to thank God for them because they are a gift. God's grace towards me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chapter 4: 1000 Gifts

"We are all merely shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing" (Psalm 39:6). pg.65

I actually feel that deep. I can't stand busyness. I don't want to sit around doing nothing but constant motion drives me mad. I love to be still.

Kyle used to come to me and say "on Monday we have these 3 things, on Tuesday we have this, Wed. and Thursday we have to go here and do this, oh and next Friday I'll be out of town for 3 days and you'll have to take care of everything then.

My man is just made that way. He loves to stay busy. It's who he is and I love him. Sometimes on the way to kid's sporting events we'll be in such a hurry even though we leave an extra 30 minutes early. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Fights start, moods change, and right before your eyes...the hurry has emptied our souls. pg.67

Haste makes waste. pg. 66

It makes you feel like there is never enough time. I don't like feeling that way.

I finally told Kyle one day, when he was running down his list of the weeks events, "Stop, I don't want to hear it. Tell me 2 days before you have to leave town. No sooner please and don't list off the events of the week anymore. It stresses me out. I feel the anxiety rise in my cheeks. I need to be all here, right now, not constantly thinking about all that has to be done and that there's not enough time for it all."

And I love this most. The way she writes this. It clicks in the brain. "Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. I'd never considered those to words, the bridge words there in the middle, the crossing over that took the not enough and made it enough.
 Gave thanks... Eucharisteo."

There wasn't enough bread but Jesus took it and gave thanks and by doing so it was made more than enough.

You see, it's happening. Finally, I'm getting it. I am a hunter of beauty and I want to move slow and keep the eyes wide. I hunger to taste life. pg.71

Take this moment. Notice this moment. Give thanks for it. In good times and in bad. And it will be enough.

In my head I know it. See it clear. Slow, taste, give thanks. This precedes the miracle ~ joy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What is love?

Love is...

#9...dangling red hearts

Love is~ roses to his love

Love is~ #11...valentine's from school

Love is~ masking tape roses made for his mama

Love is~ #13...reminders of what to do

Love is~ heart valentine's made at school displayed high above door frames

Love is~ #15...homemade valentine from his wife that sets on his bedside table

Love is~ #16...words that remind me to slow and see

Love is~ #17...roses from her daddy(the one who raised her)reminding her the true love of a father...a man

Not all love is red, I know.
It's right there already highlighted in my husband's Bible.

Do you see it right there in black and white? GOD IS LOVE. And I think it over, and yes, this love is red too. Blood red.

#18...this love hangs

#19...and His love is all around

So look and SEE and count the ways he loves...

(says Ann Voskamp)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chapter 3: One Thousand Gifts

"Just naming it...Just naming it. When you don't have the name for something, you're haunted by shadows. It ages you." (pg.52)

For almost a year here recently I lived that. The not knowing, the unnamed. Blood test after blood test. Bone density tests, holter monitor's and EKG's. Endocrinologists who say every thing's fine here. NO NAME. It ages me.

This is my baby we're talking about here. I wanted the mystery solved so I didn't have to live in the shadows anymore. Finally, a gastroenteroligist names it. Celiac Disease. An autoimmune disease that destroys the intestines if gluten (wheat, barley, or rye) is ingested.  We have a name, we research it, and we know what to do and we move on.

It aged me.

Here I am again not even a year later looking to solve another mystery. Needing another name for something else that has gone wrong with my girl. More needles and more tests. No name yet...(since I wrote this the Dr. called and she was dehydrated and low on potassium. That's why she collapsed at school) Praise the Lord for that. I thought she was going to be diabetic on top of the Celiac. God is good...all the time.

All of that just to say, "I totally get how giving a name to something allows you to see it for what it is."

And like you, I have been in plenty and I have been in want. If I am to be totally honest with you, right now I am in want. I am fully aware that I have not given thanks in ALL circumstances. But I believe it's time. I want to learn to live fully. I want to learn to be thankful whether empty or full, in plenty or in want. (pg 47)

Something on page 61 strikes me like a blow. "Life change comes when you receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change."

I don't think I've ever done that. I feel sorry for my girl and want things to change for her...I'm not gonna lie.

But, life change comes when you receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.

So, I have to start somewhere and maybe the not asking for things to change will come in time. On page 57 Ann says this,"There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up."

...and if I name them I will see them for what they are. A GIFT!

The beginning of my giving thanks in all things...

                                   My SEEd list: a hunt to see God's love for me

#1...the sound of Kyle shoveling snow before the sun has risen
#2...the street light illuminating the falling snow
#3...I get to do her laundry


Monday, February 7, 2011

Week Two: One Thousand Gifts

I'm sitting here reading the first part of this chapter, the part where she is having a nightmare about being diagnosed with cancer, and the way she describes it sends chills through. While she was birthing her 6, and cleaning floors, and kissing their daddy this cancer was taking over her body.

And it got me to thinking, what if? What if that's happening to me right now? I do a lot of griping in this life to not know how many days I have left. And no one knows how much longer you get to live. No one but God.

I live somewhere in between living fully alive and living in nothingness.


She's right. It's the in between that leaves me always wanting more.

BUT...I am learning that it's joy I want. And Joy comes from giving thanks(eucharisteo).

Grace-Thanksgiving-Joy.    Grace-Thanksgiving-Joy.    Grace-Thanksgiving-Joy.

 I keep thinking if I say it enough it might sink in. 

I am reminded of some things I wrote awhile back, here and here.

Seems God has been stirring my soul about this for some time now. And now this book. All the stars are aligning. I love it when he does that. Thank you God.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we all open our eyes to see all the gifts you have given us. May we give thanks for them all. And Lord bring joy to our hearts. We are sorry for the things we do wrong; the selfishness, the anger that rises, and the many more. Please forgive us and help us open our eyes wide to beauty. Thank you for all you have given. In Jesus' name and all according to your will, Amen.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Can't Breathe

This morning my oldest son decides he hates trying out these contacts. He wants his glasses and where are they? It's been three weeks and we haven't gotten them yet. There is no time. I feel like a bad mom.

My youngest son has some eye issue going on for two months now. It just won't clear up. He woke up this morning with the same red eye after I thought it was finally gone. I called the eye Dr. and he gives me new drops. This is the 4th one.

One phone call this afternoon. That's all it takes for the fear to rise. I'm in the middle of the grocery store and she tells me she's the nurse from the high school. Dallas has collapsed at school. She got dizzy and down she went. Had to have help to get to the nurse and she asks if she is hypoglycemic. I tell her no but that she has Celiac Disease and it can cause all sorts of problems. She asks if she can give Dallas ibuprofen for her headache as she hit her head on a chair and has two big bumps. I talk to Dallas and she says is fine now. Had I known all the story then I'd have picked her up from school and taken her to the Dr. immediately. More blood tests, more needles. She is prepared.

I'm taking the meat off of a chicken and give the wishbone to my 5 year old to do with his brother, he drops it on the floor and the dog gets it. I try but can't get it from the dog and he swallows it whole. I call the vet and he tells me what to do and what to watch for.

And I think again about Dallas. And it's this. All that I can think about. Fear grips me tight like a noose around my neck. I can't breathe. I go outside and I suck in the cold air deep. Breathe. I am not in control. I am not in control.

Then I hear the melody of a birds song. What used to be background noise is now music to my ears. And it reminds me...

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? - Matthew 6:26-27

God is in control. Easy to say. Sometimes so hard to believe.