Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Today's blog marks a sacred moment as the whole idea of counting, based upon Ann Voskamp's challenge in her bestseller, One Thousand Gifts, was to reach 1000. As you will see, I made my goal. It was a solemn juncture on December 15, 2013 as I carefully wrote "1000" in my journal. I waited to pen anything on the line because I wanted what came next to sum it all up. It had to be special. It had to capture my life. .... And, what I thought would be the most difficult journal entry to date, was actually the easiest thing I have ever written.
#981 favorite books and getting to read them over and over and over again
#982 a daughter-in-love's offer to help get a Christmas tree
#983 a first duet with my grandson
#984 the beginning of Advent -- and the anticipation that precedes it
#985 a grandmother's first drawing by her first grandchild
#986 Advent prayer
#987 for my comfy recliner that has become a sanctuary (post surgery)
#988 a daughter-in-love who gives up a Saturday to help me decorate for Christmas
#989 White Santa Christmas ice cream
#990 a huddle of praying "Tigers"
#991 running into my dearest friend Vicki at Barnes and Noble on a Sunday afternoon ... such "a happy place" for us both
#992 Christmas candles that speak of the Light of the World
#993 staying in my pajamas until noon ... and not feeling guilty about it
#994 a UPS order waiting for me at the door first thing -- and the books within
#995 a cat crouched in wait
#996 bare trees and exposed nests
#997 fruit from Mrs. Ann ... Mrs. Ann Smith was the pianist at the Presbyterian Church for decades. Now blind, she sits on the 5th row and blesses this pianist with her encouragement in the form of fresh oranges and grapefruits
#998 a Chick-fil-a peppermint chocolate-chip milkshake and my husband who made it happen
#999 the peace and presence of Christ on this 3rd Sunday in Advent
#1000 GOD'S GRACE ... Yes, I swim in it
Thursday, October 9, 2014
I'm still counting. In fact, my gratitude journal says "1366." But as I look over the following list, I realize that I'm almost a year behind in blogging them. However, as I approach that year mark, I'm reminded once again of God's faithfulness and presence during those days of surgery, recuperation, and wholeness. I remain so thankful for ...
#961 peace that passes understanding
#962 my daddy's gift of presence ... yes, in the day's following my surgery, I would awake to find my daddy just sitting in the chair in my bedroom
#963 a husband committed to the "for better or worse" ... and I do mean worse
#964 a strong leg to hang on to
#965 a mother's touch
#966 meals unending and friends and family who don't let us go hungry
#967 God's presence in the hard places
#968 His manifold grace
#969 the first walk outside -- all the way to the privet and back
#970 the chimes that have played music and the feeling that I'm being sung over
#971 plumbing that works
#973 my mom's whole wheat biscuits -- buttered and toasted for breakfast
#974 two weeks post surgery and a good post-op visit complete with color
#975 a daddy's phone call
#976 Gabe's gift of presence ... he found his place right next to my bed and held vigilance
#977 a cold November morning and the ability -- luxury -- to stay inside and go slow
#978 simplistic beauty -- wheat in an earthen vessel
#979 Cathy and Dick's visit
#980 having all my children home at one time and the 22 feet under the Thanksgiving table
I count it all joy ...
All children know how to do it: extend bedtime.
"Can I have a drink of water?"
"I didn't kiss daddy goodnight."
"I have to go potty."
And so when my grandson was with me a few weeks ago, his method of "extension" didn't take this grandmother by surprise.
"G-Nan, will you rock me?"
Our bedtime ritual is quite a lengthy one. First there's the bath (complete with bubbles and monster trucks), followed by a naked run to the den to see his Geezer before the Batman pajamas are donned. After which, he climbs up into the lap of his granddaddy where they share some chips and dip. From there, it's back to the bathroom to brush the teeth with the Spiderman toothbrush before heading to the bedroom for bedtime stories and prayers. I allow 4 books of choice before the lights go out. Lately it has been The Little Red Caboose, Casey the Cowboy, a selected story from his Bible, and always ending with Night Night Blessings. Then the little fellow is tucked into his junior bed (that his great-grandfather made), the night light turtle is turned on transforming the ceiling into a night sky, prayers are said, and I stand to leave the room ... when I hear, "G-Nan, will you rock me?"
Ah, it may be a ploy to stay up later, but what grandmother in her rightful mind could turn down such a request? Rock her baby one more time? Especially one that is growing up right before her eyes? And so, off come the covers, out of the bed and into my lap he climbs with ALL of his "lovies." And then in that starlit ceiling darkness, he looks up at me with those big brown eyes and says, "G-Nan, sing me your song."
And so I begin, "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so."
"No, no," he says, as he sits up straight and looks at me. "That's my song. Sing me your song." And then he nestles back into my lap holding tightly to his lovies waiting for me to begin anew.
I have to admit, it takes me a little by surprise. I have never given much thought to what my song might be. And so I begin singing what I consider a favorite of mine.
My Jesus I love Thee; I know Thou art mine.
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign...
My gracious Redeemer, My Savior art Thou,
If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, 'tis now.
He seems content with that. And then asks for another.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thou compassions they fail not;
As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.
And as long as he is willing to rock and listen, I am willing to rock and sing.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...
O Lord, My God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made...
I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses...
Holy Spirit, living breath of God, breathe new life into this willing soul...
Every now and again, I try to throw in Jesus Loves Me or Jesus Loves the Little Children, but it is always the same thing, "No, no. That's MY song. Sing YOUR song."
Here's the truth in my grandson's request: our lives sing. Whether we are participating in a church choir, feeding the poor, sitting in front of a computer screen, washing dishes or rocking a grand baby, our lives sing something that is unique and individual to each of us. The question is, what kind of song is it? Do our lives sing songs of joy or sorrow? Of faith or fear? Of praise or complaint? Of life or lament?
One thing I noticed while rocking and singing to my grandson was that he was humming while I softly sang. My song was pouring over into him and he, too, was singing. He took up my song.
Yes, every life has a song. Every life sings. And regardless of what it is, it's a catchy tune. The question is, what is YOUR life singing? What is MY life singing? And is it worth another's humming it?
"G-Nan, sing me your song." Oh, yes, my little boy. Indeed I will.
Just an ordinary moment...