Tears brim as the clock ticks. The chaos beckons and I sigh wearily.
In this moment...I'm not thankful for anything.
Truth be told, I want it all to go away. To dissipate into the air I breathe and leave nothing but peace and contentment in its place.
Unfortunately, that's not how it's designed.
I close my eyes and remember. Remember the truth Ann discovered and shared with the world. I scratched it into my journal and breathed deep of its truth and yet I still forget. Forget the wonder of the power of a simple word, spoken in the depths of my soul, that brings healing to all moments.
I grit my teeth. Hard. My insides scream and I yearn to do anything but give thanks. My insides all twisted with the heat of frustration, I steady myself.
Then I begin.
As I walk about and put the home back in order...I start naming. One by one the tormenters of my soul become nourishment by the method of naming.
46. Toys to clean up
My heart clenches tight and I almost quit. I almost quit the thanks for the sake of total abandonment.
Grace washes over me and I begin again.
47. Laundry to wash
48. Persistent three-year-old
My breath starts to ease and I feel the beat of my heart slow. Just a little. Just enough that I hear it. The beauty that always cleanses...that of the outside world. I listen...and a faint smile touches my lips. I give it a name.
49. Wind rattling the windows
I walk upstairs and am confronted with more to count. More mess. More frustration. I breathe deep and begin again.
50. Rooms littered with clothes...dolls...stuff...creative play
The floodgates open, they gush forth. This naming...this opening of the eyes of the soul to that which the Savior puts in our path...the embracing of the ugly as beautiful...the turning of every moment into a reason for praise...it always leads us straight the cross.
51. Opportunities to serve
52. Hearts to teach
53. Souls to nourish
54. Moments of despair and frustration
55. The cross
57. An empty tomb
58. Lessons on patience
I whisper thanks and drop an anchor into time and feel it all slow. The ticking clock...the heart beating fierce...the elevating lamentation...the quickening falters and I breathe easy. I am anchored here, to this moment...and the miracle of it all leaves me breathless.
Thanks always precedes the miracle.
I run to my journal of thanks, children and chores pulling me in every direction.
I put the pen to paper and breathe life into my thanksgiving. Words spoken in our minds are fleeting and, no matter how profound, remain elusive. When we take the time to etch them onto paper, they are forever etched onto our souls.
The truth is harsh, but real. It is not difficult to give thanks for the obviously beautiful that stares us full in the face. The leaf wafting into a ravine as I bike a trail with my family...the crunch of leaves as my children romp in the autumn wind...the tinkling laughter of a small child.
It's this. This mess that beckons us to joylessness...the trials that either bring us to our knees or bring us to our knees. The weariness that invades our life and begs acknowledgement. The pain...the mess...we will take notice of its infiltration. Will we choose lamentation and complaint...or will we embrace the mess and let it be redeemed by the power of thanks?
Counting. Searching. Seeing with new eyes the beauty wrapped in all packages. Right here. In every moment...there is joy.