pure grace

Monday, July 9, 2012

During the past weeks when our house was overtaken with illness, loss of electricity, storm damage, and disrupted schedules, I struggled to count gifts. I struggled with guilt because I couldn’t count it all joy. Even sillier, I still wish as I write this today that I had been able to look through the difficulties, move past my exhausted body, foggy mind, and weak stomach, and focus on what matters. I wanted to focus on the good, see God in the mess, and I really struggled to do that.

Here’s the thing, though. I realize that all of those feelings are totally missing the point. Is the point of naming God’s gifts so that I can feel guilty when I can’t? Is the point so that it becomes some sort of barometer by which I gauge how spiritual I am or how close to God I am? Not so much. The point is this: I want to see God. I want to see God in the mess. If I can’t do that sometimes, that's ok. If I feel really bad sometimes, that is ok. God is not giving me gifts because I deserve it or because I react appropriately and with the proper amount of gratitude. God is in the midst of the mess whether or not I see Him or feel thankful about it. It’s pure grace…

1041. a daughter who gets up in the middle of night to strip down the bed she’s just thrown up on before she even comes to tell us she’s ill
1042. the sacred act of rubbing a vomiting child’s back while they’re sick
1043. cool compresses for the forehead
1044. friends to pick up kids when we’re in a bind and to bring them home when they fall ill in the middle of baseball practice
1045. the joy and pride on my son’s face when he got the call that he was selected for the all-star team
1046. small boys, becoming men, getting to play baseball under the lights
1047. promise of new friendship
1048. swim dates and sleepovers
1049. having my anxiety over my daughter’s first sleepover with a particular friend eased by the thoughtful and safe-practice actions of that family – an unusual blessing and surprise
1050. a husband who will work immediately to get a cover for his shift at the firehouse in the middle of the night when he realizes I’m too sick to care for the children
1051. sprite and saltines
1052. restored strength
1053. generators
1054. air conditioning
1055. a daughter who will hold my hand when I’m feeling a little scared
1056. the amazing blessing of living near my parents who can take my children for as long as I need when I can’t get out of bed to take care of them
1057. Phenergan
1058. keeping down a half-cup of rice and 6 saltines after 3 1/2 days of nothing
1059. a boss who allows my husband to take off work to take the daughter to therapy when I’m still too sick to drive
1060. sisters to drive me around when I’m too dizzy to feel safe on the road
1061. a sewing sister who is willing to help make a needed item for far cheaper than we could get it otherwise
1062. the benefits of living in a community with so many resources for families with special needs kids
1063. the joy of a restored appetite
1064. safety for a relative during a scary health crisis
1065. the love of extended family
1066. new furniture and not feeling embarrassed when people come in to sit in our living room
1067. after illness kept me away for a couple weeks, finally getting to worship with my family of faith

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