Sometimes we just need to change our point of view. I have been thinking about change. I have been wondering who I will be now.
I have noticed that my life has been somewhat redundant. After all how many photos of loaves of bread can you post? How many pictures of the same yard, year after year?
But isn't it the wonder of each one, the subtle differences that happen and are never repeated? Every spring the flowers delight me. They have changed under the dark earth. Some have multiplied. There are always new surprises brought by birds and wind. Nature takes her hand and applies her paintbrush to my work. I enjoy surprises. For a long time now I use seeds because I like to be surprised by the randomness of what sprouts. If they come up too close I take my trowel and rearrange a bit but the seeds have an effect that planting 6 packs never achieve.
I posted my wish list. My girlfriend said I was acting like a beggar. Do you think so? I was thinking that if I published my wish list then if someone wanted to do something to help me they could. I don't want to charge things and books are not needs they are wants. Most books are not part of a strict budget, but they are soul food.
I am not trying to capitalize on my situation that would be gross. I have in the past encouraged my patients to make lists of what they need or want so that when people offered to help, they could give them something real to do. Nothing can help me more than changing my attitude. Books, music and things to do, help that. There are other things to. (I found a home ultra sound machine yesterday. I am not however putting a hundred dollar item on my list). Maybe you have a copy on hand of something I want to read and send yours. Or you find it at a thrift store. There are a lot of things that could help me. I could post, come over and weed or help me bake but your to far away. I will take it down if it is offensive. I don't want to offend ever. Tell me what you think about that please.
Someone did send a surprise. It was such a treat! Someone sent "One Thousand Gifts," by Ann Voskamp. It turns out she is well known www.onethousandgifts.com. I had never heard of her. I saw the book cover on another blog and browsed the pages on Amazon. It seemed like the perfect message for me and it is. The book is a dare. Did you ever do that as child? Accept a dare? This dare is "to live fully right where you are". Really? In present pain? I have been trying to figure out how to just survive. Living fully had not even crossed my mind. Not until I read it.
Have you ever read a book that you can't imagine how to do a synopsis? It feels almost sacrilegious to try and share such a work of beauty, poetry, and the real harsh issues of life. She is no pollyanna but her way of speaking is so lyrical and whimsical almost musical; and she carries me away. Her message takes me back to what I know about my God, the simplicity of faith. That simple reliance of trusting. When we drive over a bridge of troubled water we trust the planks to hold us. Often we never even think about the structure of bridges or roads, we just drive over them without thought. But driving over a bridge is an ACT of faith. Ann's gift is to stop and notice the bridge. To stop and notice shiny soap bubbles in the sink, the things we photograph, beautiful moments. Those things that make us remember who God is and thank Him.
The thanks. Belief is a verb.
I have been challenged to give thanks for these changes in my life. It has already softened my heart and with the softening comes room for filling; room for hope. Hope comes when we trust that the arms that have brought us this far will not fail us. My circumstances have not changed. My pain is still there. RSD still has it's grip on my extremities, but it has lost the grip of fear it had on my heart. My heart has been set free. That is what Jesus said he would do for me. He made 7 I AM statements and one of them is, "I am the way the truth and the life," to set us free. Truth delivers us. Giving thanks is active faith. What is it if I say one thing and live my life like one has no faith? In a sense I have been looking at this bridge with the raging waters dark and terrifying and my response has been; NO! I cannot cross it. The storm is too much I will perish---fear and unbelief.
My mind has changed. I now see the vision differently. My Jesus carried His crossbeam to give me everything I need to face each trial. No one ever promised that we would have no trouble. My heart cries out in remembrance of those suffering far worse than I. When World Vision sends me a request for money to buy coats for freezing children I can never say no. Why? Because I was locked out in the cold in December 2009 for 5 hours and nearly froze to death. I felt the pain of freezing. Mine had an end and these poor people do not have relief, not unless we share. http://donate.worldvision.org My pain taught me a lesson I cannot forget.
This new trial has some purpose that I will see when I look at it again from behind. It will change me. It will make me better, if I chose to let it. I am able now to thank God. Thank Him for whatever lessons I will learn. Thank Him for providing hope, for expanding my vision, for showing me again that His arm is not too short to save. I can cross this bridge one step at a time. I will notice each thing I am able to do, able to see, and give thanks for it. Each time I fall asleep and am refreshed, I will give thanks for it. Each flower, each weed, each time I can wash a dish or type on these keys; I will notice and give thanks for it. My new garden will be of the heart; cultivating gratitude.
Yesterday I watched my husbands hands. I just looked at them. Twenty three years those hands have blessed me. His hands that work. His hands that build beautiful things of wood. The hands that hold me and soothe away frets and fears. The hands whose touch I know with eyes closed, the familiarity and intimacy that comes with knowing and being known. Those hands I love, knarled, spotted with aging and arthritis, and still manly, still beautiful in my sight. My heart swelled full to overflow with the joy of being in that moment. I gave thanks right then for his hands.
Do you feel it? The inspiration that was given? What a blessing! This little gift is a life changing book, a treasure. I am so BLESSED.