Welcome to the very first Thankful Thursday posting ever!
This is a challenge to myself after reading One Thousand Gifts
by Ann Voskamp. If you have been on my site recently, you've probably noticed... the truth found in that book has changed my life! I can't help but continuously refer back to it. Do check it out! Or if you want to check into some of the truths found in the book right now, check out Ann Voskamp's blog
More than a list, more than a task to do, more than the next latest and greatest thing in the Christian world... this girl wants to live a full life. This girl wants to have Joy. This girl has found herself feeling exhausted, completely spent, grumpy, and yelling. I so don't want to be that sort of wife or mom. I know that supposedly Christ died so that I might "have life, and life abundantly." But I so am not feeling the abundance.
So, I am stopping throughout my days. Watching. Paying attention. Finding the gifts that God gives, the beauty I am surrounded with, the fleeting preciousness in my small ones. I have started an ongoing conversation with God that is full of gratitude and wonder in stead of "I want.. I need..."
It is changing my life. Slowing me down. When I feel stress build in me and I begin to yell over the dumbest of things, I stop and I look.
Where are you God in this moment?
And I always find Him too.
I caught the truth of this Great Gift Search one night while driving to my in-laws. I was running late. It had been a long day. Jed was especially fussy. Addy was especially obnoxious. I was stressed. And then I saw it. The faintest, tiniest hint of a rainbow just barely peeking it's head out from under the cover of the horizon. I decided to consciously thank God for it. I told Addy about it, but she couldn't see it. So I did something I never do, least of all when I have somewhere I have to be. I stopped. I got Addy out of the car. We looked at the rainbow on the side of that country road. She couldn't spot it, so I grabbed my phone to take a picture of it so I could point out the rainbow right there on the screen. We out loud thanked God for rainbows. I can't put it into words but something in me changed at that moment. Gratitude entered my stress-riden heart. It took worry, disbelief, selfishness, pride, anger off of the saddle and put God back over my heart. Peace and Joy--the beautiful fruit of a life lived trusting God. And Addy still talks about that tiny rainbow that never made it across the sky. Addy found God in that moment too.
It might sound strange, but I have found an overwhelming joy in grabbing my camera and trying to capture Beauty with it. I am not a great photographer. I know very little about what makes a good picture and even less about how to take one. I have a great family camera (Canon Power Shot SX120IS if you are curious), but it is by no means a "professional" camera. This blogging wordsmith could totally grab a pen and paper and write down her gratitude in a journal, but for whatever reason, attempting to angle a shot, pushing the zoom button, adjusting the ISO and shutter speed, is fun, soothing, and gives me Joy. It makes me step outside, step away from dishes, pull over the car, pause and worship with... a camera. Strange. No out-stretched arms or music involved.
But it is worship. And no, not of things, not of the created, but of the Creator. I see Him. I commune with Him. And He feels my tired mother-heart with strength.
I feel like Moses looking up and catching a glimpse of God's walking by. I am a poet-painter and as close as I can get to beholding God, grasping Him in a picture.
When I sit down to edit the pictures, Addy loves to crawl up in my lap and have me explain each picture. Even her 3-year-old heart is hungry for Beauty, hungry to know God. I have loved the chance to tell her about Him.
So, there you have it.
My chance to stop and frame a glorious God-given moment. (They may not always be pretty for I want to see God in the hard moments too.)
My challenge to allow God to change me. To live a full life.
Here and now.
The gift of a setting sun setting a rain-drenched pine on fire.
The gift raindrops on trees, crystal adornments, garlanding a tree in royal splendor.
The gift of a gnarled tree against a silhouetted Mt. Diablo.
The gift of the sound of a thousand honking geese flying home in the warming weather... and not feeling a drop of poo. (If you read this post
you would know why I am thankful for this, lol) (This is just one of at least 30 formations that flew overhead at one time... amazing!)
The gift of that handsome cowlick in the warm sunshine and enough hair to spike it up. (By the way, as a warning this cowlick could be a reoccurring theme. I don't know what it is about a cowlick on a little boy, but I just adore it. Ever time I notice it, I can't help but smother that face in mommy-kisses.)
The gift of already, all-boy mischief at almost 10 months. How quickly he was able to army crawl his way into the bathroom and begin throwing items into the toilet! I wish I could have captured the look on his face when I found him... mischievous, boyish grin. (By the way, just in choosing to see this moment as a gift, it melted the really-now-I-get-to-fish-stuff-out-of-the-toilet-on-top-of-everthing-else-I-have-done moment I could have had. It brought me Joy instead of stress... Peace rather than frustration... all because I was thankful for it.)
Thanks for stopping by Thankful Thursday. If you are doing something similar or want to do something similar (on a blog, putting pictures in a folder on facebook or just writing something down in a journal, do tell me about it in the comments or on my facebook timeline. I would love to be connected with some other people on this life-changing journey)