The battle of seeing and walking and living and be-ing and resting and knowing and hearing HIM is found in the journeying...and sometimes in the sludging through...of the mundane and/or crazy and/or sometimes painful day to days of normal life.

This one thing I am learning.

Sadly, "real life" doesn't happen in a vaccum.
Or on a deserted island where nobody knows you.

Deep, abiding, walking with Jesus has to happen in all of the messyness of life and in all of the cooking and cleaning and in-betweening, as well.

It has to happen in the midst.
And this, I am not doing so hot of a job at, as of late.

It's harder for me when ~
:: brothers tease and fight,
:: and when supper meals are hated,
:: and when days are just "survived" rather than really lived,
:: and when money is tight,
:: and when the house is a mess,
:: and when I'm dealing with poison ivy episode #36 of the season,

: and when breakfast spills,

This one was ALL me.  Ransom just offered to help.
:: and when we have an obvious mouse problem in our house,

:: and when my chickens get taken out by a fox,

:: and when we all cry because Smudge is gone,

He's been missing for a week.  We're pretty sure a fox got him, too.
:: and why the heck can't we manage to keep a pet alive for more than a year?

When days gets muddied and messy...
And when words smear and cut deep...
And when life doesn't make sense...
And when people misunderstand...
And when friends walk away...
And when the future seems uncertain...
And when you feel a little aimless...

Well, Jesus is there in those moments, too.
And His grace is sufficient.
And His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

And maybe those are the days where we have to look a little harder...
And count a little longer...
And practice the naming of the gifts a little bit more.

I love what Ann Voskamp writes, because I believe it in my soul ~ "We only deepen the wound of the world when we neglect to give thanks.  The brave who focus on ALL things good and ALL things beautiful and ALL things true, even in the small - who give thanks for it and discover joy - even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to the world." ~ One Thousand Gifts.

So, maybe if I practice well during the times of smaller, more juvenile hurts and frustrations, inconveniences, and misunderstandings...maybe I will be able to give the harder thanks when the deeply painful arrives, as well.  Maybe I will still be able to see like some of the parent's of murdered children from movie theatre shootings, and the Mamas who leave the hospitals empty handed,  the widows who sleep alone in their beds at night, and the deeply hurt and wounded whose hearts bleed raw from life.

Maybe if my thanks can be genuine in all things that "normal life" throws - I can be raw and real - and still give thanks - when life really hurts.

Because "one act of thanksgiving when things go wrong with us is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations." ~ St. John of Avila

And so we carry on....
#4039.  Quiet days at home.
  4040.  Deep fellowship, raw and real.
  4041.  Honesty and acceptance.
  4042.  Sweet Smudge.  God's gift for a year.
  4043.  New fish to ease some hurt.
  4044.  Date nights at home - just him and me.
  4045.  Little conversations - honest and trusting.
  4046.  Sweet child-like faith and acceptance.
  4047.  Relationships.  Always relationships.
  4048.  Gracious boys when Mama's in a funk.
  4049.  Gracious Father when we stumble and trip.
  4050.  Him alone.  Always sufficient. 

"Something always comes to fill the empty places.  And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me." ~ Ann Voskamp


Angelica said...

girl~i just love you soo much~ and am soo grateful, eternally grateful, for your raw heart...

Chantelle said...

oh i'm so sorry about Smudge ((((((hug)))))

Kara said...

I don't share my heart often so it's weird to see it written out by somebody else. Last few months have been a lot of "small stuff," not huge in the big picture but difficult in the "here and now." God's been reminding me of the same things, that's he's here through it all, inconveniences and trials small and large, and I'm trying to remember that as well. Bet you didn't know you'd be speaking for someone else as well, did you? :) Sooo sorry about Smudge :(

Anonymous said...

Amy, I confess that I envy your ability to say in words what is so often in my heart too. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable! Your thoughts would make a great devotional book. I pray that one day I will be able to purchase one.
:) --Brenda M.

Anonymous said...

Amy, you could not know how much I needed this today. Coming home from a week in the hospital...a week away from my two other loves was, yes, wonderful...but not all rainbows and butterflies. It is proving to be a messy and emotional transition and I needed these words today!

Kristi said...

love your heart, dear friend. you write so beautifully and share your heart with such vulnerability. so sorry about Smudge. and the poison ivy. you dear girl.