Friday, March 18, 2011

friday morning thoughts…

This morning I’m outside on my deck, cup of coffee in hand…enjoying the warm sunshine and birds chirping and blue skies. It’s the first morning of the new year that I am able to spend outside without freezing. Its beautiful. I’m more aware this morning. I can feel the air in my lungs, I can feel the sun on my face, and I can see all that is beautiful around me. I’ve just started Ann Voskamp’s book A Thousand Gifts…I sit down, and turn to chapter two where I left off, and am not fully prepared for the magnitude. Its funny, because as I read her words I can hear my heart, and mind nodding and saying “YES, this is the battle I’ve been having internally, these are the thoughts I’ve been hearing in my head.”

Its no secret that I care for a dying population as a career. I spend my time at the hospital taking care of all ages of people, who have been given that news, that they have this nasty, ugly disease inside their body that they are not in control of. Their sufferings and trials have been the root of more thoughts and questions in my heart than I can think of. I’ve tried countless times to put myself in their position- insert myself into their story that has led them to this hospital bed where they now lay. I hear the news of the doctors, I see the shock and fear in their eyes and hear it in their voices- the whirlwind. The IV’s, the blood, the chemo, the nausea, the infection, the fevers, the tests, and more tests….the prognosis.

How would I handle being told that I have this disease for which there is no cure. (I hear the irony as I type those words…because I do have a disease for which there is no cure, Sin…ingratitude, doubt- so I am not entirely different). Most of the time these thoughts create a fear and urgency in me. I have to get going, I have to live, I have to see, I have to experience all this world has to offer…right this very second. So that if the day comes that I’m confined to a hospital bed, or my home or whatever it may be that confines me- I can say “that’s okay, I’ve crossed everything off my bucket list, I can go." How silly that sounds as I put it in writing.

I would hope that when the day comes I will smile and give thanks- just as Christ did in his last moments. Thank the Lord for the mornings I’ve experienced, the beauty I’ve seen, the love I’ve given and the love I’ve received. I would hope that I could say, I may never get to Africa- but I’ve see the face of God in North Carolina. I may never see another part of this world He’s created, but I’ve felt the sand between my toes here. I’ve felt the same sun on my face and I’ve see that same beautiful sky that those on the other side of the world see. I would give thanks.

We only enter into a full life if our faith gives thanks. -Ann Voskamp

If you haven’t read the book “Lover of My Soul” by Alan Wright- I encourage you to, it changed me. And one of the biggest things I remember is him saying that it is important to revisit the places you’ve seen and experienced Christ in your life, the same way you would take a trip down memory lane with your husband, to fall in love all over again. Its important to be thankful for all He has given and brought you through to fully appreciate and be grateful for where you are now. And its true. I sit here this morning and remember all that He has already given me, and I am so grateful- it is so much more than I could have imagined.

I see the reflection of my 24 year old hands in the computer screen as I sit here and I can see them when they are old, worn, wrinkled. And I picture hands that have lived, and praised the Lord for all that He so faithfully gives. For this air He so faithfully fills my lungs with each day, and for rich blood pumping through my body, and for this heart he created in me. For all that has already happened and for all that has yet to come in this life…I am so full.

I love than Ann points out that giving thanks preceded huge moments and miracles in the life of Christ. Thanksgiving fed the thousands with bread and fish, and thanksgiving raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus gave thanks, and miracles happened, even the night before he was crucified. He gave thanks, and I was saved.

"Our very saving is associated with our gratitude" -Ann Voskamp

Give thanks go the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever. Psalm 118: 1

I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done Psalm 118: 17

I will give thanks , for you answered me; you have become my salvation. Psalm 118: 21

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