DecaGratitude

There are days when I just need a minute to breathe. These are usually the days when a list of thanks is in order. Emotional fatigue is a sure sign of discontentment. It is too much for one girl to desire what the world says she should have AND the Lord’s will for her days. I am that girl and I cannot do it. I either have to stop and re calibrate, or I will wander exhausted for weeks, months, years.

My history instructor firmly declared last January that human beings are good at 2 things: complaining, and reproducing. Now I can’t say much about the latter, but as for the former, I am human through and through. This is me offering an Ann-Voskamp answer to my own trouble.

1) Nutella covered fingers, dancing to worship music alone in my room with You.

2) Legs that kick strong through water, bubbles that come up from my nose.

3) Hair that does somersaults on blustery days.

4) Neon Steeple Radio (Spotify), words that remind me of the only One who is promised to be present at my dying breath.

5) Scripture: I am hungry, thirsty, deranged in pursuit of Truth. I want to gobble it, consuming even the long organized lists of Leviticus and Numbers. Thank you Jesus for this flawless piece of yourself.

6) Laughs shared with co-workers, hymns to sing when medicine will not let me rest.

7) White tangerine flesh cracking as I bite from pit.

8) Parents bent over to create fronds like shields, halting fiery darts hurled my way.

9) Tears locked behind my eyes, denying death her bounty.

10) Friends who text to tell me I am loved, turning grief tears into sunshine drops.

My Jesus has won.(( Shout it! ))The battle against my other list (the one not worth sharing: it contains the things I cannot do, the gifts I do not have) is already finished. Why should I carry the burdens of warfare already fought for me?

Rejoice; He came back alive!

I am terrified to receive the blessings my God has for me. After the manner of a solemn Muslim addressing Allah, I pray eyes wide, palms open. I flutter like a dry fall leaf.

When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.~Psalm 138:3

I go to soak in His Word for though I cannot always see His footprints or hear His voice,

I will always remain in His love.

Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.~Psalm 77:19

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The Peace

Peter & Jenny Boling, vocational God-followers.

Peter & Jenny Boling, vocational God-followers.

What was the best part of your trip to Mexico? They say.
Oh, dear, I say.

Was it the all-night New Years Eve fiesta with confetti and balloons and dancing?
Was it standing on a dirt roof looking out over Cabo San Lucas as fireworks went off to illuminate a new year?
Perhaps it was napping lightly in the bright yellow sun on New Years Day.
There was also whale watching from the beach of the Pacific, sprawled on a blanket, the aftertaste of sweet white wine on my tongue. A new friend welcomed me by caressing my face and declaring severe jealousy for my eye color and skin tone.
Flying through the air and splashing hard into blue, chilly water, watching the fish flee: that may have been it.
There is, however, no blessing as real as sitting quietly before the Lord, praying, reading, and listening without the interruption of responsibilities.
The greatest blessing of the trip, truly, was being with people who are on the same road as I, only 30 years farther down it. Hanging our legs off the back of a truck, parked to overlook the city of La Paz (The Peace), they prayed and I received gifts beyond value. I was warmed by prayers for my renewal, my growth, and my future relationships. People who care on a deep level, for the yearnings and groanings of my spirit, are people whose feet I love to sit at and learn.

Coming home
With a banished ego, (oh that it were deflated for good!)
With a greater love for my city,
With a corrected understanding of God’s grace,
With a deeper desire to know, rely on, and follow God,
Was the biggest blessing.
God uproots my heart time and again, for the sake of replanting it more deeply in Him.

For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.~Micah 4:5