2013-things-of-thanks | Week 39

Today with Kenya and the world’s hearts burning I want to quote Ann Voskamp like I did when I started this challenge:

‘I think how God-glory in [everyday things] might seem trifling. Even offensive, to focus the lens of a heart on the minute, in a world mangled and maimed and desperately empty.

I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I’ve seen the hungry and the guns go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives. Why would the world need more anger, more outrage? How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is the joy that saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn’t rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks.’ (page 58, One Thousand Gifts, 2012)

 

1487 Mark and Heather engaged!

1488 Walking through Moreleta Kloof with Coral and the kids –

1489 Cam tripping and falling five minutes in and making it through an hour long walk with bleeding knees and grazed elbow (albeit with much whining and many tears…)

1490 New novel to read from my mom-in-law

1491 Chance to share about this thankfulness journey with the Grade 6s of St Paulus –

1492 And the gift they gave me

1493 Finishing a big editing job

1494 Scott’s nightly question when I snuggle with him: ‘You have cockroaches in your heart?’ (It’s our way of helping them to clean out their hearts at the end of every day – cockroaches or marshmallows? – from the adventures of Toby)

1495 Our Scott – three years old

1496 Opening presents on the bed and Scott wishing us all happy birthday and handing out his presents for us to open

1497 Murray taking the day off for Scott’s birthday –

1498 And taking us for breakfast –

1499 And the free (disturbingly turquoise) ice-cream they brought for Scott when they heard it was his birthday

1500 Bargaining for big soft slabs of muddy grass on the side of the road – love Africa

1501 A friend in my kitchen while I baked too many cupcakes

1502 Muddy floors from happy holiday play dates all week

1503 Moments when we realise that while parenting is three times harder than we ever thought it would be, it’s ten times cooler

1504 Kid swaps with Coral so we can each get some work done

1505 Finding last minute rocket at my green grocer

1506 Eberleins for supper – cooking together and catching up – most wonderful evening

1507 Teenage ministry meeting – people passionate about a generation

1508 Miserable weather for Scott’s party and nothing going quite as perfectly as I’d pictured it all in my head – reminding me to submit and surrender

1509 Scott cried again when everyone sang ‘Happy birthday’ but at least this year he didn’t tell anyone to go home or hide in his room halfway through the party. Progress. I guess.

1510 Learning to accept the rhythms and foibles of my boys

1511 Marc making it to the party

1512 Birth of baby Jacob to the lovely Kim

1513 Scott saying, ‘I want to go home. I want to go back to that smaller house.’ And then asking me to pray for him.

1514 Coach Bradley’s patience with the boys when it’s not a good swimming day

1515 Overhearing the boys’ unprompted kindness and sharing

1516 Buying the boys a whole summer wardrobe at PEP for next to nothing

1517 New work table for the study in the making

1518 Boys blowing bubbles in the garden with Dad

1519 A doorbell

1520 Meagan and the boys rescuing bees from the pool

1521 Meagan and the boys making a moth bed with too many tissues and flowers

1522 Setting the (dead) moth free in the morning

1523 Empty spaces in my diary

1524 Another writing job for the week

1525 Jesus showing me some blind spots

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