The stories coming from the East Coast and Hurricane Sandy have such an emotional pull to them and leave me wanting to spring into action somehow. My friend Karen @ This Old House II has pictures and stories that give a glimpse into what is taking place- here is her post and pics: Aftermath.
The list of people who I am praying for has sprouted these past couple of weeks and I don't know what to do to stem the flow. So I pray earnestly... for the friend with a niece who had brain surgery yesterday on a cancerous tumor... for the friend with a sister-in-law who had a double mastectomy on Halloween... for the friend whose father is making his way towards his new heavenly home... for so many weathering storms and carrying burdens... for the mess of it all.
And yet, there is a fullness in the abundance still present when we put on our glasses of grace and count our gifts. Have you picked up the one thing I am grateful for challenge- for the next 30 days? I didn't think I would be dedicated to it. But I've noticed I am somehow keeping track anyways.
I use my phone when its the handiest to grab. And just look what has headed my way this week.
1~ October sunrises with cotton candy pink clouds against a dramatic dark sky...
2~ A beautiful card with thoughtful and encouraging words- with a gift card inside (blue card below) And its "anonymous..." and I love the mystery of it and the cleverness... and someone who must know I love Target :) Thank you "admirer,"it made my whole day.
3~ Catching a friend in the act of trying to anonymously drop off made from scratch- strawberry margarita cupcakes and a "fabulous" card. So glad I could give Jenny a hug and thank her- they have delighted us so... and yes, everyone who has asked... message me if you'd like to order cupcakes from Jenny or have a cake made for a special occasion- Jenny is quickly becoming both a talented decorator and an amazing baker.
4~ Thursday both Rick and I were given t-shirts from Joel, Nolan's trainer. They're pink with a ribbon that wraps all the way around my heart.
5~ I don't have a picture for the soft and fuzzy warm slippers that slipped there way into my mailbox. Thank you Karla- you were spot on- Crosby did try to sneak one last night, but I am so onto him.
While 4 out of my 5 on my list were actual "gifts," what I see is the intention of giving behind them. And the gifts of care and concern and compassion. Those are really the things in abundance on my list. This is what anchors me in the midst of the storms threatening the dailiness of our lives- his faithfulness in all things. The messy, the hard, the joy-filled and the abundant.
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
― Thomas Merton
― Thomas Merton
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
― Maya Angelou
― Maya Angelou
I am grateful for the reminder to look for the grace in the mess. It may not always arrive on your doorstep or slip into your mailbox, but don't be surprised when it blazes a trail across the sky. It may be a fleeting moment, but a full moment just the same.