Saturday, March 8, 2014

living expectantly and thankfully ~ eucharisteo

 I'm going on 60.
I've seen loved ones age and die and don't think for a minute
that mortality isn't on my radar. 
Losing your parents will do that and it shakes you. 
I decided this is the year I need to get serious,
to ask God to pierce my heart for what He is calling me to do, to be, to write.
I want to live expectantly for God.
And thank Him ... in the waiting, the not knowing, and yes,
even the deaths of loved ones.
So I pray. I contemplate.
I've found it can be easy to feel a bit "washed up" when children do
what we raise them to do: take care of themselves.
I fully expect God isn't going to shelve me and the gifts He gave me.
He will come through and speak joy and challenge and direction. 
But then, being God, He will speak whatever He decides. And I will listen.
Right now I'm reading two books at once. (Something I never do.) 
Each has 11 chapters, so it works.
One is a second read, Writers in the Spirit by Carol Rottman.
I won this little treasure in a writing contest judged by Carol.
It's part devotional and part practical advice for aspiring Christian writers.
 I "get" so much of what Carol writes.

The other is New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
It is deep, metaphorical. In fact, I started it a month ago but had to start over. 
But wow it's shaking me up. Ann's writing style is poetic and she challenges me with transformative messages.
Eucharisteo - thankfulness.
 I am beginning my own one thousand gifts journal 
and I'm certain it will change my life.
Check out Ann's blog ... the music alone has me transfixed every time.
I want to share a quote or two from One Thousand Gifts but as I skim the
pencil-marked pages, it's proving impossible.
Ann's message is simple yet complex to fully grasp:
thanking God for everything, in everything.
She quotes Saint John of Avila at the start of chapter 5 ...
One act of thanksgiving, when things go wrong with us,
is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations.
This is the heart of who God is
and "makes meaning of everything," according to Ann.
Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.
~ Ann Voskamp


The Hallers said...

Many are blessed by your love, Barb. You challenge me and encourage me in my walk with The Lord all at the same time. One thing you're especially good at giving is time. With four kids grown, you can and do give others your time. He has a big plan for this chapter in your life, trust Him. Also, I might need to borrow One Thousand Gifts, next. What's new?!

Barb said...

Thank you, Jill. Just make your list ... I'll put it on the pile for our next trip! Love you.