Tuesday, August 13, 2013

To really learn

I pick up my pen.  Thankful.
For pen and paper.
How I live; writing.
Writing.  Reading.  Thinking.

This time; different.  The reading.
A new discipline challenges. 
And not just for the moment.
Or a day or two.  And losing momentum.
Not this time.

This time.  To really learn. 

It is one thing to read a book and appreciate. 
To have it resonate.  Deeply.
Or to listen to words and agree with the heart.
Truth to rejoice over. 
And to rejoice. 

But in the rereading.
Of 1000 Gifts.  Written by Ann.
Something more getting my attention.

And I'm listening.

Because the worry of life. 
The un-trust. The discontent.
So much to burden the heart. 
So much to slow the soul.

Worry, complaint, anger; our natural default. Fighting hard for self. 
Hiding the fear.  The angst.  The questioning.
The whys of the not-enough riddling our soul.

And so it resonates.  This story.  1000 Gifts.
In someone like Ann. 
Sharing her journey; so raw, so intimate, so brave.
So riveting; a best-seller.

God-glimmering truth through the cracks of the pain of this world.

Because he, the enemy, not winning the battle.

Already won. By God.

It was in the upper room that Jesus broke the bread and passed the cup.
For us to remember.
And giving thanks.  Always giving thanks. To the Father.
Knowing what was asked of Him.  The cross.

But giving thanks.  Jesus.

Me; having to be reminded.

In all things, give thanks.

And so I am reading again and counting.
Counting 1000 gifts.
Having counted a year ago.  And then again another time.
And then forgetting.  Losing the tablet.
Somewhere in a drawer.

Friends sometimes mocking.
I joining in. 
Ann even; questioning. At first.
Can it really be this simple?

The living full?

Because some days and some events tugging hard against us; being grateful.
Questioning a sovereign God.

But this I know. 
Life was not created solely for my happiness.
Even the thought; embarrassed laughter. 
And yet.  Living like I think so.  Sometimes.  Much too often.

Ann helping me remember.

And, more importantly, to learn.
To really learn.
The discipline required.  The coaxing on a hard day.
To count gifts.  To be grateful.

Writing it down.  Making a list.
So the default in my head changes.

The new default; gratitude.
By making lists.
#301. a quiet house
#302. good conversation
#303. sky rumbling with thunder
#304. summer warm on the patio
#305. stars coming out one by one
#306. the silhouette of pines tall 

And joy even and giddy happiness.  In the naming of gifts.

Appreciating what I overlook and do not see.  Usually.
By not picking up pen and paper.
Or my camera.

But to really learn; discipline transforming.  Worth the effort.
The lens changing everything.

#307. picturesque old barn in summer
#308. wooden rail fence zig-zagging across meadow
#309. window full of wondering high on a house
#310. dandelions dancing
#311. cornflower blue doors welcoming

And the ordinary, everyday; becoming holy ground.


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