"When I write about what I believe and how I should live, it sounds neat and orderly. When I try to live it out, all hell breaks loose."
I came across this quote by one of my favorite authors, Philip Yancey, last night. It expresses so well how I feel about writing and speaking. It's easy, even fun, to package life in hindsight into neat lessons, shiny truths, funny or dramatic stories.
The hard part is living forward.
While hell hasn't broken loose yet, I am on the uphill part of this thirty day challenge. My emotions are balking. Not accustomed to being denied their daily ration of complaining, they're putting up a fight that makes a toddler's tantrum look tame.
This morning I woke to a barrage of negative thoughts before I could even wipe away the night's blur. Laying there wishing for the sweet escape of sleep, I pleaded with God to help me out. And He did.
With a hug. Two.
First, an electronic one.
An email from an old friend who lives in China now. Susan saw my Facebook post inviting friends to join me in "Thirty Days of Thanks." She shared it with her daughter Rachel, who decided to take up the challenge.
As I read Rachel's beautiful blog, "Watercolor World," I was blessed to tears to see her thanks-givings. This one especially resonated:
"Today is one of those days when I’m feeling drudgery instead of thanks. Nothing specifically “bad” happened, I just don’t “feel” inspired to work with diligence and joy. And this attitude is wrong. In Ecclesiastes 7:14 it says, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.” If this is true then I know that today has a purpose, it should not be wasted on self pity and a bad attitude. So right now, at 6:20 pm, I am going to make a conscious decision to trust God with the rest of this day. Not to pre-judge my evening but instead to give thanks for it. So this brings me to my 6 thanksgivings for today . . "
Please visit Rachel's blog. In addition to her thanks, she posts beautiful photos, and yummy recipes. I think you'll really enjoy it!
And the second hug was a song: Dirty Dishes, by Scotty McCreery (I voted for him on American Idol. The only vote I've ever voted. He won . . just sayin')
Get your tissues and watch it here.
God really is the perfect father. He knows best how to deal with toddlers. And tantrums. His hugs calmed me down. Helped me take a deep breath. And see how giving thanks doesn't need my emotions.
If I can give thanks "when I'm feeling drudgery" and for "Dirty Dishes," thirty days might not be long enough for all I have to say thank you for.
92. surprised by love
93. Sam's first bball practice
94. his enthusiasm (that in my opinion makes up for all he lacks in skill ;)
95. Joe's first bball practice
96. a coach who drafted his team by looking for good attitudes
97. opportunity for Em to record her music
98. killing time at a bookstore with Joe
99. breakfast at Cracker Barrel . . can anyone say "Sunrise Sampler!!!!"
100. taking turns telling Emy all we love about her
101. plowing thru my "to do" list
102. dirty laundry
103. our washing machine
104. coffee shop time waiting for Ben (who is also playing bball)
105. meeting this guy there
Since I posted so late yesterday, I've decided to keep the book giveaway open for this post as well. If you'd like a chance to win Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, please leave a comment below sharing some of your thanks-givings. I will close the giveaway when I post tomorrow (which could be any time of day), and randomly select the winner. Thanks for sharing!
Labels: 1000 gifts, family, Thirty Days, thoughts on cracked pots