Thursday, August 30, 2012

Today I am Thankful For . . .

My Mom Friends -- I didn't have any close girlfriends growing up, and only a few in college.  Many of my friends in college were guys, a relationship that naturally changes a lot when you get married.  So I didn't have much experience of close female friendship until I met my mommy friends.  For me, motherhood has created a bond with other women that I never thought I would experience.  How would I have gotten through the past six years without them?  And I feel like that connection will always be there to those friends from my earliest mommy days, even through geographical moves and life changes.

A Good Novel to Read -- I often watch a little TV on Netflix at night, but in reality it's both more satisfying and more relaxing to get lost in an absorbing book instead.  Currently I'm about 2/3 through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I highly recommend it!

A Great Deal -- This may seem weird or silly to some people, but I feel like God often blesses me through great deals.  Yesterday, a lady from a local classifieds group sold me some new-in-package birthday presents for my son for much less than she could have asked for them.  I feel so blessed by her lack of greed and am so excited to be able to get these items for my baby.  I can't wait to see his face when he opens them!

Thank You.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Suffering and Endurance

My family has been going through some trials lately, specifically financial ones.

It has been a time of hardship and stress, but also a time of some broadening and growth spiritually and in relationships.  Specifically, I have been greatly inspired by Ann Voskamp's beautiful book One Thousand Gifts - a book that is primarily about thanksgiving.  As someone who loves to plan, organize, and be in control, I have been slowly learning to truly live in and for the moment and to give thanks for the moment.

Something I picked up from the book was really a huge revelation to me.  I always tended to think of God's will as kind of a future thing, something you search out and achieve.  I would think that trials happen for a reason, but some future reason, to accomplish God's future will.  Instead, I have come to see that perhaps God's will is now, this moment -- that the trials we are going through are what God's will is for us right now, no matter what the future is.  That small insight has brought me great peace and it is what has gotten me through the days and days of not knowing what the future holds.

I would love to say that I am continuing to grow spiritually.  I would also love to say that our trials are indeed  leading up to a happy end.  Unfortunately, right now I am not sure that I can say either.

That's just the thing.  For many days I have been repeating to myself, "Eucharisteo (thanksgiving) precedes the miracle," a quotation from the book.  It is an observation that before he performed miracles Jesus always gave thanks.  I have been trying to give thanks in it all, but now I find myself ready for the miracle!

And what if the miracle doesn't come when I want it?  I am finding that it some ways it is easy to be faithful in the early stages of a crisis,when the adrenaline kicks in and you spring into action.  I'm always good if I have a plan.  But continuing on and on with the thanksgiving, when the hardships don't abate and your life is not looking the way you want it to look.  That must be the true sanctity.

I'm not there yet.