Monday, August 13, 2012

Gratitude and Grief

Some friends of mine were over for tea just a few days ago.  We laughed about the way a first time mother might think she can predict her baby's whole life, as she just KNOWS she can tell what his personality MUST be, by the timing and force of his kicks within her.

I remember the assumptions I made about my first babies' futures, because of the way they either slept through the night early, or screamed more loudly than any other baby in the hospital nursery.  I am so very guilty...

The longer I'm a mom, or just a human being, for that matter, the more I know how much of my future is not predictable or controllable. So, when others are busy making New Year's resolutions, or deciding the year ahead will be the "year of love", or "year of God's peace", 

I just wonder... 

what does God have in store for me this year?  

I always know I will not be the same person at the end of the year, that I was at the beginning of it.  The birth of the year will come.  Life will happen.  I will try to keep control, while most of the time realizing, it's no use.  Lessons will be learned daily, 

and I wonder all the time... 

what is God working in me?  What kind of thing is growing in this year?  What is this year's name?  What is it's personality?  What kind of future is in store?  

It's usually about this time of year that I realize.  

I see it, all of a sudden- my year's name.  

Without any warning, I shift from trying to learn the small daily lessons, 

and wondering...

to seeing.  

THIS has been my year's journey!  It's not over yet, but the clarity that God allows in this revelation is energizing.  How many soft heart whispers have I heard?  How many conversations with dear friends?  How much emotion I have felt!  And then it all starts to come together.  Not the theme of a life, or an entire epic story, but this small puzzle piece of one year's time.

Today my year has a name.  It has unfolded little by little, until I now see it so clearly.  A year of learning gratitude, yes!  That doesn't mean it's been all butterflies and roses, and I just can't help but feel gratitude.  It's been a year of life- like always... 

miracles and messes all mixed together.  

And in the midst of it all, I am learning what the word gratitude really means, and how a grateful heart really feels, and what being thankful in everything looks like in a real life.  And for some providential reason, gratitude's companion for my year is grief.  A few years ago I grieved over losing an important part of life as I knew it.  But this is not that.  And I do not mourn over any immediate relatives... thank the Lord!  

I grieve over especially precious people whose losses have left huge holes to so many.  And I try the impossible carrying of others' grief... to lessen their burden.  I try, but it can't be done.  I cannot love and empathize their own grief away.  I watch grief.... and feel it.

I feel an empathetic grief that does no one any good.  

And so, I keep my eyes open, looking around me for the evidence of the engulfing grace of God... it is everywhere.  Even in the grief of so many.  I become especially grateful, because I know how much harder it is for some others at this moment, than myself, to be overflowing with gratitude.

I grieve alongside, and am grateful for emotion, for compassion, for family and friends, for love, for lives lived well...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Baby's 3rd Birthday

Janie Kate turned three!!!  

(Sorry about the pic quality, but the camera died, so the ipad is filling in for now.)

Precious Janie Kate

Great Grandma Lois!  Love her so much!

Mr. Joe is so good to the girls!

What can I say?  The girlie loves piggies!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...