Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The cure for what ails you...

Feeling down?  Give thanks.
Feeling prideful?  Give thanks.
Feeling jealous?  Give thanks.
Feeling lonely?  Give thanks.

Don't underestimate the power of thanksgiving!

Are you still counting?  I am up to 1,660.  These are a few of my recent blessings...

A free bunny rabbit
Singing praises with the residents at Madison House
Meeting a blind Nepali with a heart for God and for her people
Jacob getting a part in West Side Story
The whole family singing the Jet song while riding in the car
A good cry
Our annual game night with friends
Richard cleaning up after the game night before I came downstairs the next morning
Belly laughs
Candy bar cake
Free Starbucks
Audra wearing my mom's 60 year old dress
Legs to walk
Someone to walk with
Snuggling up with blankets and beanbags in front of the fire
Quiet mornings
Sunrises over snowfalls
A God who never sleeps, who watches over me while I do
Letters from a nine year old girl in Ecuador
Sending invitations
Two hour Moms in Prayer meetings
A sympathy card from the vet
Talking to Will about right and wrong; hearing that he has done the right thing
Standing on the porch in the rain drinking hot tea
Eating outside at Carytown Burgers in January
Second chances

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. John 1:16

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You can't always get what you want

Valentines Day is overrated.
For the last nine years, we have spent this day in the hospital or at home with a sick kid.  Whose idea was it to put a romantic holiday in the middle of cold and flu season?  Today no one was physically sick, just grumpy.  And grumpiness is contagious.  Tonight after a dismal attempt at a dinner date, I ended up leaving the restaurant in tears.  The pressure had been building all day, but the back breaking straw was Richard pointing out that he dreads gift giving holidays (which may explain why Thanksgiving and Easter are his favorites.)  Apparently I don't receive gifts well.  I always knew that my sister was more fun to give to because she always gets excited and cries at everything, but I didn't realize that I was impossible to buy for.  At Christmas, after giving me a personal pie maker and seeing my reaction (or lack thereof), my friend commented, "You are hard to impress."  Then tonight Richard tells me how he can never find a gift that "touches my heart."  We've had versions of this conversation before and I always promise myself to act more excited next time.
Try giving me something and watch my reaction.  You will get a forced half-smile and a "thanks so much," before I set it aside.  It's true.  I am no fun to buy for.
The night went downhill from there as we drove home and started talking about the video of our Valentines Day breakfast in 2005.  While filming the kids opening their gifts, you can hear me saying, "Anna is sleeping in because she doesn't feel good this morning.  We'll let her open her gifts later."  It was before we ever heard the word CANCER.  Blissfully ignorant.
As I thought about Anna, I burst out in tears again, "I wonder if I liked presents before she died?"
And then I got it.
That's why I am so "hard to impress."
That's why nothing I get ever "touches my heart."
That's why everything  I get feels like "stuff."
It's because I never get what I really want.
It's because I can't.
Not in this life.
Because what is seen is temporary and I long for the eternal.