Monday, August 13, 2012

how to see what matters most

Every time I poured it, I acknowledged it could be different.

Less clean. Or, just plain less.

I considered how our supply seemed endless. And I would stare at it, noticicing how clear and clean it was. Pure.

The Boy couldn't wait until the water in our bucket was all used up so he could go by himself to the spigot and fill it up.

To him, it represented independence.

For me, I was overwhelmed with dependence.

I washed dishes at our campsite for two days and though it was a smidge inconvenient, I was glad. I'd pour water over soapy dishes and my heart would give thanks for the simple. Because, there's something about inconveniences that remind us of our gifts. 

Before we left for the weekend had I read about Haiti.

I told my family about a trip some writer friends took there the previous week and I kept mumbling about how my heart hurt from having seen the pictures and reading Ann's words

During our two days away there weren't hand towels or even paper towels in the bathrooms, and the water was cold. I had to brush my teeth before it got dark because there weren't any lights. And I was glad. 

There's something about coming to nature that reminds me of them.

Not the less fortunate, per say. Simply, the folks who live different than me.

Who's to say I am more fortunate, even though my cash flow may speak otherwise? Because the truth is, sometimes I'm blind to what He wants me to unwrap.

Every part of our story is His gift and we often miss the point.

Our tent was sandy and hairy after a beach-bum boy and a lazy dog scampered in. I swept it clean the best I could. Yet, it will probably always have remnants of their fun in between my toes when I snuggle in my sleeping bag. I am glad. 

My body ached for nearly a week before we left. I was forced to rest while we were away.

It wasn't like me to miss out on the beach and instead take a nap. Grace allowed us the get-away and an understanding family to grant me sleep while they played. A gift I struggled to receive.

For three more weeks after our trip I continued to ache and wondered what scavenger was shredding my energy to tiny bits. I'd think of those who cannot run--the wounded, the weary, the worn. And I'm glad. 

Inconveniences have this way of reminding us of grace.

Clean, drinkable water to hydrate. Bodies that can love and be loved, even when health and energy is compromised. Most of all, Peace. 

It's a gift that we had that weekend away a month ago.

It doesn't matter so much that we had clean water.
     Or comfy air mattresses.
          Or that I didn't end up with another cancer diagnosis after some scary blood results.
               Or even that I am finally feeling better when I wondered if I'd ever have energy again.

What matters most is the Peace He gives us and how certain parts of our story really make us notice the remarkable gifts.

Whether we're cashing in paychecks or not, washing clothes every day or wearing them thin, sick and forced to slow down--He still provides.

He still gifts Peace. And, All. Is. For. Purpose.


{Grace} Unwrapped...

...seeing the importance of being forced to slow down and rest... four weeks of sickness brought me to His feet...

...the joy of a weekend away as a family... my heart is complaining less that we might not have another get-away... gratitude has pushed through...

...the pictures of stillness and quiet...

...the memories of love and gentleness by my beloved's... another's story touches mine...


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  1. A few weeks ago, we spent a few nights at a nearby campground. Scott made us breakfast over the campfire. I posted a photograph of it on Facebook. And one of my Haitian girlfriends (who gets Facebook access at a cyber center in her village) saw the photo. She was so worried about me. "What happened, sister? You ok?" she asked.

    I cried when I read her question. For me, campfire-dining is a choice. For her, it is a way of life.

    But like you said, I'm not sure I'm any more "fortunate" than she is. She has more faith in her pinkie finger than I do in my whole self.

  2. Love, love, love this statement: "Inconveniences have this way of reminding us of grace." That is the absolute truth. Being surrounded by all the modern conveniences and rarely being uncomfortable, there's a tendency to forget to be thankful. One Thousand Gifts has been the perfect book to remind me to be aware and look intentionally for how He's gifted me in the midst of plenty and not.

  3. We are neighbors at Ann’s today...great post...and yes how our inconveniences can clear our our eyes and heart to all His graces...thanks for this reminder...blessings~

  4. Visiting from A Holy Experience - this is so beautifully written. And so true, that when we go through periods of having less and needing to live simply, that we are reminded of others who are doing the same, continually.