On this Thankful Thursday (actually, it’s finally being posted on a Saturday…better late than never..)… I’m thankful for flowers (weeds) by the side of the road that beckoned me to stop and breathe for a few minutes.
I’m thankful for the sun on my face and the wind through my hair. I’m thankful for the solid ground under my feet and vast sky beyond the field and the awareness that like those flowers (weeds), I’m pretty small in this vast, vast world.
I’m even thankful for the stressors that push us to find the respites. And for the respites that sometimes show up in unexpected places, like roadside ditches where a few little flowers (weeds) are blooming with a beautiful sunset in the background.
I’m grateful for the truth that when we’re fully-alive and fully-living and fully-putting-ourselves-out-there, well, there will be pain…and heartache…and uncertainty and struggle. There will be loss, and hurt, and defeat. But there will also be victories won, big and little. There will be muscles made and skills honed and fortitude grown in the struggles if we don’t lose heart, if we don’t give up. That’s the key isn’t it? To not lose heart? To keep on keepin’ on. To keep on putting one foot in front of the other…
I’m thankful that one of the very things that might help us to not give up or give in or lose heart could be as simple as a phone call, a letter, an I’m thinking of you text, or a glimpse of some roadside flowers (weeds) that glow in the mellow tones of the sunset on a warm March day.
I’m thankful that although sometimes stopping and breathing and taking in the sunset might take moments from our days, it adds energy and hope and light and joy and value to the rest of the moments of our day because, those moments of taking it all in? They help to process, to see things in a different light.
I’m thankful that my children (who happen to be adults ) whom I adore are living and pushing and stretching. And even though it is so incredibly difficult to watch at times, I am thankful for the growing pains, the casualties, the falling downs and getting-back-up and the tenacity and compassion and gratitude that can result from those moments. I’m praying that they always have hope to get back up in a world that is pretty good at pushing down.
And I’m hopeful that irregardless of how many times my kids fall down and need to get back up,…I’m hopeful that they will be those who help lift up, not push down. That they will be little respites to those in need. That they will love because they know they are so loved. A lot of people don’t know that to the core. I pray they KNOW it, and live it out of the love that they have received. Not just familial love. Supernatural, all-consuming love from the God who knows every falling down, every gift, every scar, every fabric of their being. The God who Loves them and knows them to the core…and calls them to know Him more. He’s the Ultimate lifter of our heads, of our hearts, of our hands.
God’s infinite, all-consuming grace seems so clear and present in these little snip-its of time that I take to see it. It is mine to show up and open my eyes to see and hears to hear and heart to just feel….and He always shows up. Sometimes in flowers. Sometimes in weeds. And sometimes it’s not about what they are, but just about how I see them in the Light of grace. And it’s a bit ironic that I often see those things more clearly on tougher days because on those days?…On those days I am aware of my need, and I’m looking, seeking, knowing that I need to take time to find the reminders of grace. What we seek, we often find.
Oh, and am thinking that more than anything…in this crazy, chaotic, rushed and so often angry world where the ground doesn’t seem so stable and the future doesn’t seem so clear?…Well, knowing that He sees us in a different light and loves us through it all and beckons us to dare to LIVE a life counter to so much of what we see….that knowledge beckons me on to know that regardless of what I see to the left or the right, He’s with me in the middle of it all. And sometimes all it takes to be reminded of that is to take a few moments to stop and see. Yes, what we seek we often find. When we see things through the eyes of grace, there’s very little room for seeing weeds as anything but beautiful, beautiful flowers. And the cool thing is that in Christ, God sees us through eyes of grace. Kind of like looking at us and seeing it all, but treasuring us as a beautiful flower. Knowing that we are loved like that can change the perspective on any landscape we face…be it on mountaintops, valleys, or roadside ditches.
“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6