This post has been writing itself in my head for the last 24 hours or so, including all through the night! It’s been awhile since I posted, September- the last 3 months have been tough. Katie hasn’t transitioned to high school well, I got a really fun but time-intensive job doing costuming for a production of the Nutcracker, and of course, it was the holiday season. I just keep on going, but at the same time I wonder about quality of life. I wonder if I’m really connected to my soul. I do what I have to, and my brain just tags foggily along.
This is distressing to me, to feel like I’m not really emotionally connected to my life, but I think it’s a protective thing. I might cry, endlessly, if I were to allow myself to feel. I might die of embarrassment at my child’s mortifying behavior in school. I would beat myself up for failing at life. And sometimes I’m on the brink, but for God.
Somewhere in the depths of my being I know that God, and God alone, is holding me up. I know that there is nothing that crosses my path that He hasn’t allowed, that He isn’t overseeing right at this moment and every moment, and that He won’t use for my ultimate good. The problem is, I’m not satisfied simply with that knowledge. I want to feel it, to know it on an intimate level, so that God supersedes all the distressing feelings and I can go straight to peace-
Enter One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp. And her blog, aholyexperience.com. Ann sought answers in the midst of pain and disconnectedness, and God showed her how to find joy in giving thanks. She began to keep a list of gifts that she is thankful for, and out of that came the book. Slowly, I have begun to think in thanksgiving.
Yesterday morning I went out to clear the snow from my car. I decided to clear Sophie’s as well. Now I have to admit that over the years Bob and I have done the majority of the snow removal work, including the kid’s cars. I have a tendency to feel like they ought to be doing their own, especially since we receive no gratitude from them. But yesterday I decided to clear her car as a gift, as an act of service, with no disgruntled attitude. And as I began to brush the snow, I heard a phoebe call! I didn’t know that they stuck around for winter. If you’ve never heard a phoebe, it has a distinctive up/down whistle sound, which I can imitate. They will call back, and I’ve spent many wonderful moments calling to phoebes and delighting as they answered. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Anyway- never in winter. So I cleared her car, while cheerfully whistling with the phoebe!
So I made a mental note of the gift of the phoebe, since I haven’t actually started a list. And a thought of a few more, which I can’t recall (mental lists don’t really work for me….) And this post started wending its way through my head whenever I wasn’t occupied with whatever I had to do at any given moment.
So the journey continues: taking what I know to be true about God, and combining that with the habit of giving thanks in all circumstances. I have said that I am thankful, and prayed many times, thanks to God for Kate and her life, and I mean it because I know it’s the right thing to do. But I want to feel it, to experience it as Truth, as peace, and as joy.
But on days when I am facing an unknown future, the uncertainty is unsettling. Kate’s future is in the hands of the Superintendant. Her behavior has earned her 10 days of out of school suspension. She can’t stay at Gilford under these circumstances. I can’t control what happens next. In my flesh the fear is searing, unbearable, and I bury it deep under the facade of the knowledge of God’s care for her. But it isn’t enough to simply know that the Word promises me this. I need to know it in peace, to be comforted to the core with the knowledge, rather than pushing down the niggling fear that threatens to overcome me. So I shall begin a list…