Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life", Ann Voskamp

Because I read slow, I have to go over chapters I have read before so I can really remember what I have read. There is a book, One Thousand Gifts, I have been reading since Easter that I want to use to make a change in my view -- in my language. Changes in the way you view life and then translate that into words is very difficult. The subject of the book is giving thanks. Eucharisteo. I had to Google it to get more information and understanding.

Events can happen so fast that my giving thanks goes out the window. I am challenged by the idea to give thanks in all things. There is a new song out that mentions maybe the hard times are how God is making a way for me to grow. So especially in the harder times I need to give thanks. I want to live with my hands open and receive whatever God gives -- and give thanks.

  • that my morning of play with Corban is over skype
  • that we have been given a time of caregiving to Daniel's parents
  • that my body is trying to get me to eat different
  • that friendships come slow in a new town
  • that i watch as friends struggle
  • that i struggle

    As Ann Voskamp ends a chapter she says, "our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. To see through to God." He wants the glory in all of our life. She ask questions like "how do I live ready? How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?" Her answer, "Without this Jesus, no, no one can be ready."

    Today, I want to tell others about Him. I want to put myself with the ones who need a word from the Lord. I must get out there, put myself in places for God to use me. This author is also asking me in my giving thanks for everything to pay attention to what I do have. She mentions she is a farmer's wife, a mother of six, she realizes she has the stars that rise each night in her sky, she will embrace her children who the Lord has created, she knows that there is One who created the snow that she sees out her window. Living fully is fully taking in all that you have. We look past so many gifts of the day. Another one of her quotes is, "as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible."

    How many people do you know that are looking for JOY?? Are you?? Euchariteo is the answer, giving thanks. This weekend we were at a wedding and the preacher told the couple (and all of us) it is hard to be critical when you are appreciative. Giving thanks can turn our lives around!! I had never really thought about the first sin being ingratitude. Adam and Eve being discontent with what God had given. Am I living this today? Has it crept in slowly?

    Voskamp brings up the question from Jesus -- "Where are the other nine?" Do you remember the story? Luke 17:17-19. "Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" "Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to His grace."

    Starting out may be hard because we have never tried to give thanks for all things. Voskamp suggest writing them down, putting a name to each blessing, as Adam names each animal in the beginning. She starts out... (1) morning shadows across the old floors; (2) jam piled high on the toast; (3) cry of bluejay from high in the spruce; (16) leafy life scent of the florist shop; (17) the creak of her old knees; (18) wind flying cold wild in hair. Do you get the idea? It is a complete change in your thoughts unless you are naturally a thankful person and have recognized these blessing in your life all along.

    There is so much for me to learn on this subject. I could think of it all day long. The author challenges me, "if living eucharisteo is the key to unlocking the mystery of life, this I want. To learn how to be grateful and happy, whether hands full or hands empty. That is a secret worth spending a life on learning."
  • Monday, July 4, 2011

    No Pictures!!

    Blogging brings JOY but I have had trouble with my cursor freezing up when I try to download new pictures. Do I really need pictures to describe all of the thoughts that whirl around in my head? Too many to write, but I will go a few directions.

    My walking/running. I started back today and I always enjoy it! It is when I'm sitting in my house with so many other things beckoning me that I decide to put it off. But this morning, I decided to listen to the Beatles as I started out. All of the songs were about love and so my mind went to marriage. From this end, it is wonderful, but I know there were and really still are some tough places. I am so grateful that God has taught us as His people to push on, to forgive, to give grace, to not feel I need to have the last word, to know that He will be glorified through our marriages as He heals us from our selfishness. Praise Be to God!!

    My reading. I have too many books going on at one time, but I love to have new ideas and to ponder what others think. I do not think of myself as creative, but as I put new thoughts into my mind, God takes me where He wants me to go. I sit and try to be silent. The idea of desire and pursuing have caught my attention in the last two days. Even when I went to bed last night, I chose a devotional on the names of God to read. Not knowing where it would take me, the subject of praising God for how long He has pursued me came up. I love that picture. Know today, you have been pursued since before you were born. You are worthy of love and your identity is completely wrapped up in Christ.

    My eating. I'm not sure I really have found out what is at the crux of the feelings I have in my stomach, but I am feeling better. I'm learning how to make my own hummus, enjoying spinach as always, making lots of smoothies, finding new treasures in the grocery store. I go soon to visit with a nutritionist. Drawing in new information will be fun and will take me to a new place.

    My love for DAniEl. 2011 has brought lots of new feelings as we have dealt with so many health issues. We had never in our 31 years of marriage dealt with surgery in either of our lives. God gives us seasons to bring us to new places. I welcome this even though it is hard. I have enjoyed LOTS of years of plenty with Daniel and his protection and gentleness with me. It is now a time that I get to serve Daniel in this time of healing. Love grows with new experiences, if we let it. God is love and we are being called daily to become more in the image of our Father.