The Collective Sigh Of Nature

Ruska

No sunlight pouring through the windows this morning. Gray clouds, looking like rain.

I turned a lamp on in the living room, and its light puddles on the table. I like lamps. They make me feel warm and cozy.

I have my cinnamon and spice candle burning this morning. Smells good. Warm. Like Fall.

I’m seeing more trees releasing their green for shades of yellow and orange.

It’s amazing how calm I feel at this time of the year.Peaceful.

Most days  of life are full throttle into hectic. Time pressure. To do lists.

In Autumn I feel the collective sigh of nature. Finishing up the heat of the summer, relaxing before the bitter of winter.

All of nature vibrantly cries out to the Creator…as the days lead up to Thanksgiving.

So very thankful for this time of year.

“Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary… pure and holy…tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living…sanctuary, for You.”

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Today I am thankful for:

*cloudy days

*lamplight

*spice smells

*petting the dog

*children who are working quietly on their school work

*good morning kiss with husband

*all my heavy duty cleaning done last week

*a more relaxing day

*hammock on the deck

*new, fuzzy slippers

*lanterns

*Fall colors out my front window

*farmers harvesting corn

*the sound of tractors

*the beauty of God’s creation

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Not Waiting For Sunday…

Tim Hortons in Ottawa, ON, Canada

Image via Wikipedia

Always comparing.

Searching for the more, but wanting contentment.

Se-sawing between holding back and living the “yes”.

The ongoing tug-0-war between my will and His perfect one.

I am weary.

I inhale deeply.

My inner voice is irritated. It scratches into my thoughts.

It scans over all that is, acutely aware of all that is not.

Discontent.

The enemy of eucharisteo.

Showing gratitude

changes attitude.

I continue to seek the words of thanksgiving,

knowing that there is joy in eucharisteo.

Joy that comes from worshiping God in the moment.

Praising Him in the here and now.

Not waiting for Sunday, but allowing the Holy into each day.

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*a date with my husband

*ice mocha capps from Tim Hortons

*laughing out loud

*stepping out of my comfort zone

*long back rub from my daughter

*morning hugs

*son talking about his journey

*coffee cake

*foggy sunshine

*sudden summer storms

*beautiful decoration

*brilliant yellow bird at the bird feeder

*realizing so much has changed for the better

*opening the gift of a new day

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Thanking the One who gives all good things…

Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath…

Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in ...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s Monday and I already know it will be a very busy Monday. I have much to accomplish today, lots to check off my mental to do list. I can already feel my body tensing, and my mind racing at top speed. How can I be most efficient with my time? How will I get everything completed?

Not enough time! Not enough time!

Slow down. Take a breath.

Say thank you.

Breathe in the joy of the everyday.

Exhale… thanks.

A gift. I need to slow myself…and appreciate, be in awe of the fleeting moments.

I have a sign hanging in my kitchen, a sign my oldest son gave me as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. I keep the sign up year round.

It’s a Wonderful Life” , beautifully matted and framed.

Yes, it is the title of a favorite holiday movie…..but, it could… and should be my motto.

Because thankfulness does bring joy–  And joy makes for a wonderful life.

A daily reminder.

* Emerald green, springtime grass

* Wet smell after the rain

* Eggs and toast for breakfast

* Long hugs from my child

* My husband laughing

* A good nights sleep

* Opportunity

* Friendship

* A floor that needs swept

* A bathroom that needs cleaned

* Errands to run

* Candles in the windows

* A full eucharisteo board

* Bare feet on concrete

* The smell of coffee

* Hands and fingers that type without pain

* A smile
I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.  Psalm 69:30 

Won’t you take a moment and drop by? Visit with others who are sharing Multitudes On Mondays?


Hard Thanks…

~Did She Cry ~

Image by ViaMoi via Flickr

All the reasons to be thankful….Click on the Multitudes On Mondays graphic on my right sidebar to read more.

Dear Reader,

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not feeling very thankful today.

Mondays are never my best day of the week, and today seems especially “not very thankful”. I feel guilty. I struggle.

Right now I’m seeing all “the holes” in the canvas of my life.  When concentrating on the holes, the rips, the tears… I find it difficult to see the beauty. I know that is a poor attitude, you don’t have to remind me. Believe me, I know.

All the things I wish were….and aren’t.

All the things I want…and can’t.

All the trying to measure up….and falling short.

All the dreams…dashed.

All the little things….that become BIG things.

All the words thought….but never said.

All the wishing….not coming true.

All the obstacles….not overcome.

All the life beautiful…is really broken.

We live in an imperfect world.

 

Life IS broken. Isn’t that true for us all?

Aren’t there days when we each wonder, the why?

When our vision is full of gray, and the colors seem dulled?

When we want so much more, but get so much less?

 

God knew we’d have days like this. Hard days. Painful days. Days of longing for something else. Something that is seemingly just out of reach. The frustration. The grieving. The seemingly unfairness of it all. He knew. He always knew.

Giving thanks through the difficult times. The broken times.  Ann Voskamp calls it the “hard eucharisteo”. The giving of thanks when we are searching through the darkness. The saying “yes” to God, when we don’t understand. The trusting that this hard place we are in, is not the final destination.

Ann goes on to say, “Grace + Thanks = Joy”.  She’s right, you know

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything. Not about life plans. Not the wondering. Not the worrying. But in everything That is a big, all encompassing word. By prayer and petition God hears us!  With thanksgiving Always thanksgiving…even when it is the hard eucharisteo. present your requests to God. He wants us to talk with Him. In the good times and the not so good times. He is there.

And on a day when it seems dark, not just because of the storm clouds, I can say thank you. I can give the thanksgiving to the One who hears me even when the words aren’t spoken aloud. I am thankful.

 

Joy In The Everyday

Open Hand

Image by AmyZZZ1 via Flickr

***Join us over at Faith Barista Jam. We’re discussing joy, today. Click on the graphic on my right side bar to read what others are writing about joy.***

Joy (noun)  a source or cause of delight—

It’s interesting that Bonnie, at Faith Barista, would choose the topic of joy, for this month. I’ve been thinking about joy a lot lately. I’ve been on a “joy journey” of sorts. About two and half months ago I heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She talks about joy in her book. Joy… in a way that I hadn’t thought of it before. She talked about joy in a way that would change me. Forever. For me, changing my perspective, really is changing my life.

I, like many people, tended to blend joy and happiness together. They are really not the same thing. I’m also figuring out that I can have joy–if I choose too. It really is a choice. It’s not always something that “just happens” to a person. People, in general,  are not “just lucky” in the joy department. Joy can be intentional.

What I am learning about joy is a challenge. Sounds contradictory to the definition, doesn’t it? On pages 32-33 of her book, Ann hits me squarely between the eyes. Right where I am at. Her words sting me.

“That has always been the goal of the fullest life—-joy. And my life knew exactly how elusive that slippery three-letter word, joy, can be….   Is the height of my joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks? (to God)….As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible…..joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! (in the here and now of daily life).

Grace….Thanksgiving…..JOY.”

Joy in the everyday. Joy in the here and now. Joy in my messy kitchen. Joy in the van driving kids. Joy in snuggling into bed at night. Joy in laundry. Joy in the sunsets. Joy in pet fur all over the floor for me to clean. Joy in reading. Joy in preparing dinner. Sounds crazy, right? But, if I can have thanksgiving in the daily things….in ALL things….then there will be joy. Joy will no longer be some elusive or esoteric feeling that I am constantly searching for. It can be real. Real to me in the daily grind.

And isn’t joy what we all long for?

So, for me, I am working on joy in my every day by giving thanks (eucharisteo) to God. Always thanks. Thanks for each moment that He has allowed me to experience.

It’s all by His grace. Every. Single. Moment.  I am thankful….and I experience JOY.

Saturday Morning In My Kitchen

Candles and warm light in my favorite nook.

Hmmm…What to fix? The possibilities…

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Writing down daily thanksgiving on the family Eucharisteo board.

It’s all grace. Every bit of it.

Even this…

This is one of the first things I see….Lonnie refused to eat his nutritional bits.AGAIN.