Saturday, November 3, 2012

counting...

The minty smell of icy-hot permeates the air around me.  For two days my back has been forecasting the snow falling to the ground as I type.  The muscle in my shoulder throbs, a knot shooting tension and burning up my neck.  Its no wonder.  I feel like I am caught in a vortex of hard, hard things lately, happening to good, good people and I don't have words enough for all the "storms" being weathered.

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


“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


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.  









29 comments:

  1. I am grateful for your light always shining wherever I look no matter the circumstances. i am grateful to know you or a bit of you even if it from very far away and through your blog.
    I am sending you love and strength and my admiration for your courage. xo

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    1. Thank you Anyes- I am so grateful for your friendship and encouraging words always- xoxo

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  2. Love the fact that you caught Crosby in the act.
    Love the love that is displayed by you, for you, and through you.
    Love you!!
    J.

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    1. That lil Crosby provides us with oodles of entertainment and sure keeps us on our toes! He did manage to find a flip flop while we were at church-ugh. So much love Jackie- and you are so much a part of that :)

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  3. There's nothing worse than back pain or basic body aches. I sure hope everything settles down for you soon. Love the photo with it's pinks and purple hues. Thinking of you Vicky!

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    1. Thanks Lisa- starting to settle down already thankfully. Tis the season my bones seem to be saying :)

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  4. I come here hoping I can encourage you in some way ... and instead I am the one who leaves with a heart full of inspiration, encouragement and gratitude. Thank YOU for all you give Vicky. xo

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    1. And I hope you know that you do encourage just by showing up here, faithfully, with insightful and heartfelt words always. You've mentored me in so many ways and anything you see in me is a reflection of how much I took from you!

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  5. Thinking of you and thanking along with you. Grace and peace ...

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    1. Susan- so thankful for YOU my dear friend- Grace and peace to you as well!

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  6. Vicky--I just love your sweet heart and encouraging words. Blessings to you my friend!

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    1. Thank you sweet friend- blessings to you!

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  7. Good news Vicky your prayers are working on me! ;) I haven't had a chance to blog yet but I found out yesterday, I got a good scan!!! :)

    xo,
    Michelle :)

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    1. I'm so grateful to just see you here- and then to read your GOOD news just makes my day!! Yayyyyy! So happy to hear this new chemo is knocking it back for you a bit- please know those prayers will just continue!

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  8. Yes, that gratefulness to Christ is the only thing that can quiet our heart's enough to give us strength, fullness, and a deep joy. Thank you for encouraging us by being such a graceful example!

    That photo, with the purple in it---is AMAZING! What a sky!

    Praying your body feels peace.

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    1. Thanks Cheyenne- its slowly better. Thank you for encouraging ME with your grace-filled words and support :)

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  9. Vicky, Icy Hot has been my friend ever since I came down with the shingles and was left with PHN. As you talked about it permeating the air I could smell that familiar scent. I can definitely tell, like you, when the weather is going to change!

    You are an encouragement to so many...even me! Beautiful sky and lovely gifts. It is amazing when we actually are quiet and sit down to think about it, how much we have to be thankful for! In the business of life, we tend to forget.

    Thoughts, prayers and hugs, my friend!

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    1. Eileen, you're so quiet in your struggle and discomfort and I am glad you remind me once in awhile so I can say a prayer more specifically. Your continual support and grace-filled words are always nourishment to me- thank you Eileen- hugs to you!

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  10. Vicky, oh, the sky. I put my sky photos up too. You'll recognize one of them in Monday's post. We were looking in the same direction, my friend, giddy as always, ready with the camera lens to catch the rich, fleeting moment. :)

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    1. I think of you often when I am about to snap away! We will have to plan another picture snapping-book reading/writing - whatever we need at the time- retreat soon :)

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  11. Take care vicky. Weather is affecting us all I think.
    Here in BC it is depressingly wet and dark. One wishes for a ray of sunshine but all around is nothing but woe.
    Well..... it's all in Gods' hands.We have to have faith in him and in his wisdom.
    xoxoxoxo

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    1. Yes- its been overcast and damp and cool, but we press on don't we? At least I can get out and not be snowed in yet so I'm going with that for now!

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  12. In the midst of the mess, you scatter beauty with your words.... thank you, friend....

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    1. Oh thank you friend, thinking of you and yours...

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  13. I hope your doing well. havent heard from you in awhile, although I'm not the best of bloggers myself! I'm still holding ok myself. Scan results tomorrow!

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    1. Praying for good results from your scans! Come back and let me know :) Thinking of you!

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  14. i wish i could be as grateful as you are, even for the little things. you are such a positive and uplifting spirit and i thank you for that !!

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  15. Meaningful and thoughtful things from people of the same description. And yes, it's so sad to see so many suffer truly terrible circumstances be they health or the results of this devastating storm. I'm so grateful there are people who care and will actually do something and it may be the thing that saves us sometimes from complete detachment in our encapsulated lives. There is such richness in needing others or in being needed - it's the very stuff of relationships. I'm sure you are a source of great comfort to those who are walking scary paths. You have ALWAYS been a comfort to me.

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  16. Look for the grace in the mess - never more powerful words have been spoken. And I am going to make it my goal. You my dear are having a very positive influence on us all. I wonder if you realize the impact of your words on the World at large.

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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