That's what Ann always says.
I don't know about you but sometimes I have questions—all kinds. I don't necessarily pray about them, I just wonder. I've always been that way: someone who sits back and "wonders why?" Most of the things I've never shared. That's why it was kind of eerie when I started reading Ann's book. She addresses so many of my "unspoken" wonders—they seem to be hers and probably even some are yours. She's bold in her writing and gets bare.
Today is Monday, which means I am participating in the Gratitude Community started by said author pictured above. My gratitude list consists of things that I find through the day and list in my journal...things that I'm thankful for. Are you going to participate? Have you gotten your journal and started penning your gratitude, your gifts with us? You should. It is transforming. Grace awakening.
Have you ever thought about: "All is grace?" I had not. I realized that God is gracious, merciful, kind, and loving, but I never sat down, until this evening, and pondered on "All is grace." Ann signs her name like that sometimes. Upon seeing that for the first couple of times I would think, "What is that about?" Silently wondering "Ok. Is that really necessary?" Or wondering if she was trying to be some sort of spiritual giant ?" I didn't really feel the latter being true about her, so I just accepted that as "her way."
But I think I got it now! Slow me. Just me sitting here typing on my computer...attempting to write is in fact: Grace. Why? Well, I think it is because, "All is grace." Hm, isn't that something! Just got it!
I remember my daughter lamenting over the lost of her big room days after the fire. I'm now missing our pool, my office, my privacy. But at the time when my daughter began her complaint I was just so thankful to have another home to go into. God really looked out for us. We had been paying electricity here for over a year so when the fire fighters told us our home wasn't livable and the electricity would have to be cut off. We simply drove 20 min. to this house and turned the heat on. It was snowing here during that time. Anyway, I remember telling my daughter that I understood her feelings and that they were perfectly legitimate, but we had to accept whatever plan God had for us, and that more than anything we had to always remember that He loves us—regardless of what our situation "looked" like. God loves us—period, and it was He who ultimately knew what is best for all of us. That was then.
Close to a year later, nothing much has seem to change and I was beginning to murmur in my heart—until I remembered "All is grace." Instantly I saw my life, again, through "new" lenses and my perspective began to change and think about grace and gratitude. I'm quickly reminded that this house is our "ram in the bush" no doubt. But it is small. Yet, it is where He has placed us. Placed us here to call this home.
Do we need to spread out. Yes! Clutter abounds over here. Books, books and books.
I remember her words, seems as if she was talking directly to me: "Suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart. ..."
"What, in the world, is grace?" The author asks. She goes on to say, "God is always good and I am always loved. Everything is eucharisteo" Is that the grace? I ask. I answer, too, yes it is. Grace a benevolence. Favor. God's gift of good things.
The reading of her words causes my heart to repent, "Dear Lord forgive me once again for complaining. I thank you for our covering. The roof over our heads—this small house, your benevolence. Your favor. Your gifts to us. Thank you."
I shall go on, in this house until God says otherwise. Giving Him thanks: eucharist. You see I know He loves me—us regardless of what my circumstances may look like. He is working it all out, "laboring to birth my grief into greater grace."
Words to ponder on—live by, from author Ann Voskamp,
"Everything is eucharisteo. Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things—take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness....
This is the hard Eucharist. The hard discipline, to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty."
These words. Her words. His words. Soothes my soul this morning. These words, this book...this blog...her blog...participating in community...grace given to me to teach me about gratitude: the giving of thanks. Eucharist.
The Gratitude List #'s 75-85
~ hurting husband making dinner for his hungry and tired wife.
~ this small house
~ my life as it is now ... what I am learning about life. The woman I'm still becoming.
~seeing daughter play outside doing flips & handstands. Such a Walton's moment!
~ The Walton's back on T.V!!!!! Love them!
~ blogging about people I admire, important causes and stories I believe in. ~ my voice
~ children's love for church
~ gathering the children for story time.
~ birds eating at the feeder
~ eight year old son, my baby boy, making himself and mom a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and him saying to me—as he brings the sandwich, "Oops, I'm sorry. I forgot to wash my hands." This is the same son I just watched for 10 min. digging in the dirt. All is grace, right? I thanked him and God and we ate smiling & eating our sandwiches. Priceless.
Yes, friend, it is all grace. Every moment. Every breath is nothing but His amazing grace.
Items in picture:
Gratitude Journal- a place to record the counting of His gifts.
One thousand gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are.
Join the book club and listen to Ann talk about the chapters.