Thumbing through a high school journal, I can easily see how this road I stand on is far different from the one I dreamed into existence before my heart met reality. I could easily list about a hundred... well never-mind about that. Truth is, I'm sure there are very few of us, if any, who find things have gone just as we imagined for our lives.
Truth: I have somewhat come to accept the unexpected, admit that my plans probably wouldn't have been best, and trust that my God will redeem every hard chapter He has called me to walk.
Uglier Truth: I still find myself sad and grumbling when I don't like the battles that have been chosen for me.
Sooo... my heart has been wrestling, and by that I mean screaming, pleading, searching, digging, longing for a passion to call out the things in my life that are in fact incredible gifts that I overlook in my discontent. Ordinary Amazing Graces.
While this flame has long flickered inside me, through my Blessings journal, the daily texts of thankfuls between my sweet sister and I, and the preaching to my small fries about all the gifts they have in this life, my greatest challenge to gratefulness has been found in my friendship with Kara Tippetts. From watching this young beauty face her first diagnosis with gusto and determination, to the celebration when it was done, to the staggering beat of more cancer, more cancer, terminal, she has CHOSEN to meet each of her numbered days with thankfulness for even the simplest of gifts. In head throbbing, gut-wrenching weakness and pain, she has lifted her eyes to meet the grace which she finds all around her. She doesn't harbor a spirit of complaining, but looks beyond the tumors and the limits and the sickness and calls out the beauty of relationships, of food, of quiet, of snuggles, and of fresh air.
I don't know about you, but that jabs me right in the bulls eye of my restlessness. Never will it make the deep, disappointing hurt of sickness and death and failure and pain disappear, but if our souls are meant to give thanks, this has to be the answer to looking beyond ourselves and our grievings, and having a reason to find joy.
Oh. DUH. Perhaps JOY has to be chosen, just like HOPE. Oh my helpless soul!
Here is where I need, want your help. I need reminding in the darkest of days to look for the gifts. My sadness becomes sticky and selfish and doesn't let me look around. How about a place where we can all learn to look for the blessings around us? The daily graces.
I created a page on Facebook called "Daily Graces." Please join me there to flood the screen with the moments, big and small around us that we often overlook. Hook up your Instagram, hashtag it #dailygraces, upload your photos, or share a story of what you found in your daily going that reminded you that you are loved. Lets help remind each other of how many things permeate our hard, and have the potential to infect our attitudes with joy and thankfulness.
"Like" the page and then let your grateful gusto explode! Annnnnd GO!
-------->>>>>>>>>> Click here for Daily Graces
Please leave me a comment, it lets me know you're listening!
Oh! And if you want to laugh and cry and smile and frown and be challenged and encouraged through everything hard, follow Kara's blog here: Mundane Faithfulness
And then buy her book here: The Hardest Peace, you won't be sorry you read it!