I’m reading a book by Ann Voskamp entitled, “One Thousand Gifts”. I love how she writes…it’s very poetic. I read her story and how she is challenged to find something to be grateful for each day…no matter what is going on…whether she is washing dishes, playing the role of referee to her children as they argue back and forth, preparing for a child’s funeral, rushing her son to the ER in hopes that his severed finger can be saved…whatever the case may be.
My spirit is awakened to something that’s not really new but feels new. I guess it’s where I am in my walk with God. He’s so patient with me…waiting…waiting…waiting. Waiting for me to “get it” as I struggle to see clearly through the fog of circumstance…searching for TRUTH.
I am becoming aware. Aware of this present moment. Practicing to be “all in” as I dig for the treasure that hides away within the heat of an argument, or the pain of loss, or the fear of the unknown, or the frustration of being so out of control. I have to dig deep, deep, deep. My instinct is to run. That would be the easy thing to do…run! Run as fast as I can and get far far away!! But I want to practice this “new” idea. Practice. Practice. “Practice makes perfect,” resonates from the folds of my memory and I smile because I remember how I practiced the clarinet and I was good…I wasn’t perfect but I was good BECAUSE I practiced. Too bad practicing the hunt for treasure in the midst of being pressed in from all sides isn’t as simple as practicing the finger placement on an instrument (and that’s not all to learning an instrument).
I say “practice” because to hunt for the treasure of being grateful, especially when it’s not so obvious, is not a natural thing for me to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the feelings of loss, anger, betrayal, confusion, frustration…and my vision becomes distorted. I see my child through eyes of frustration instead of acceptance and love. I see my husband through eyes of anger instead of eyes of forgiveness. I see my future with eyes of fear instead of eyes of faith.
But I don’t like this place and so I cry out to the ONLY ONE who knows me inside and out, Jesus Christ. He was there when I was conceived in my mother’s womb. He was there knitting every detail of my little body together, forming me, shaping me, breathing life into me…awakening my soul, spirit, mind, body. Sealing me with His kiss of approval. I can trust Him because He knows me. And I pour out the deep well of my heart to Him and He doesn’t flinch. He is not surprised by the dregs of my soul…my tears of sorrow. And my dear Heavenly Father sings over me and washes my eyes to see clearly again and pours into me His love, His peace, His grace…
I want to be “all in” the present moment of my life whether the circumstances are pleasant…or not so much. Digging for the treasures of a quiet moment that settles an anxious heart, the strokes of fiery pink sitting on the evening horizon, a perfect round moon piercing the black of the night, the scent of evergreen swirling around in the cool of a morning walk, the rainbow of colors displayed as the sun shines through prisms hanging in the window….
I don’t want the day, the moment, my life to pass by and I’ve totally missed the jewels that God has placed along the way…so I have tried to become more aware of what is going on in the present. I fail miserably at times and forget to be intentional about practicing “being all in” and looking for the treasure hidden in that place and time. But God is good, and He knows me, and He walks with me, and gently reminds me to “stop and smell the roses.” He wants me to see the bouquet of jewels that He has offered me. He delights in my gathering them and drinking them in to be near Him and Him near me. It’s His way of saying, “Look daughter, look at this gift I have for you. I love you and I want you to know that I am here…always here.” And when I know, that I know, that He is always near me…then my vision seems to be a little clearer and my senses a little sharper to the hunt for the treasure.