Dishes in my sink, laundry practically everywhere, a trail of train tracks, dinosaurs, and wood blocks all through the house, and here I sit. Not even sure why, really… Sometimes I have words already in my mind waiting to get out, but not tonight. The quote keeps coming to mind today, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.” (Tammy Wynette, I believe?) And it almost rings true, except for the “sometimes” part! May be a truer thing to say that every once in a while you have a day that doesn’t require the impossible, a day that doesn’t drain you dry of all beauty and grace, a day when you go to bed feeling that you accomplished something of lasting value… But in my experience as a mom and a wife, those days are precious and few. Mostly we just get up with the sun and sometimes we stomp through the day with determination, sometimes we drag our feet in reluctant surrender. But always, always the exhaustion at the end.
A depressing way to begin a post, I know! This is just me, trying to climb out of the pit tonight. Felt this way yesterday too, and pulled out my journal and pen, re-read some of Ann Voskamp’s “1000 Gifts”, because I knew at the root of the hopelessness was a lack of gratitude…. Truly it was worse than that, it was ingratitude, plain and simple. A refusal to reflect on His gifts, His grace, His provision for the day, ALL this goodness. What do we do when we are so soul-tired that we become blind to it?
I grew up in church, I know the “rules”, the “answers”, the check-marks for a life of faith. Pray more, pray better, memorize more, read more, give more… Always more. When we are weary and worn, “more” seems more like “too much”, doesn’t it? I am in the process of UN-learning all those “rules” and “answers”… But I need something to replace them with. Something that doesn’t depend on my own ability, spirituality, intellect or insight. Something so simple it almost seems ridiculous. Get ready to be blown away, here… One Thing. I can name one thing that I am thankful for. Some days, like today, I have to really think because my mind is spiraling down, and that is not really conducive to feeling thanks, BUT the hunt for that one thing is the very thing that stops the downward spiral and turns me around, and the one thing leads to remembering the many things, and up, up, up I go. Genius, right? Well, it isn’t exactly a new idea…
Remember the old hymn that we sang (nearly every Sunday of my young life it seems), “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings see what God has done”? I think I have missed the true meaning of those lyrics my whole life. Hearing in them just another “rule” to follow instead of the simple truth they tell…. “Name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!” Yes. It will surprise you. When you name the one thing, you start to remember the many things. And you are surprised. Surprised that you didn’t see it before, surprised that even when you weren’t aware God was still pouring blessing into your life, and maybe a little ashamed that you didn’t take time to notice right away. But always this, with surprise comes JOY. I needed a little joy tonight, how about you?
Some links to places I go for encouragement everyday: