Begin (v) come into being or have its starting point at a certain time or place.
Gratitude often begins somewhere. You have to begin to look around and start to take in the things that are blessings. Sometimes they are things that are obvious and other times they may take a deeper look or perhaps some pondering time.
When I first read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts I wanted to start counting all the things that were around me. But sometimes, I felt like I had the same things day by day to be grateful for. I wasn’t sure if my list would ever get to 1,000 things.
I don’t know how far I got, and I’ve done a list a couple of times, but somewhere around 100 or so, my attention span would wane and I’d stop counting. Perhaps my inward focus and attention on all the other things streaming around me were what preoccupied my mind.
Lately, I find that God is slipping in blessings in my life all the time. I just have to have the eyes to see, ears to hear, heart to be open. And I need to be able to name them for what they are, his good gifts to me, whether I see them as that or not.
In this past year, there have been a couple of little God winks that I’ve been aware of, situations or moments where something happens that’s clearly God saying I see you and I know your heart.
I hope to continue to count my blessings, to continue to begin again on the list, no matter how far I get and to not give up when I become distracted again, because I know myself and this is most likely the outcome.
Joining up with the group over at Five Minute Friday where everyone takes the same one word prompt and let’s the words flow for five minutes. It’s such a grand writing practice and the community is wonderful as well.
Every morning I take several pills.
I take Iron because I’m anemic. I take birth control because I have endometriosis. And I take three little anti-depressant pills because I have Major Depressive Disorder and an Anxiety Disorder.
When I was in my teens I went through many angsty days of ups and downs emotionally. I often wrote poems to express myself. I cried and yelled, trying to work through the foreign soul that is the adolescent life.
I don’t remember if I was in my later years of high school or just into post secondary when I told my parents I think I needed to see a doctor because I was really struggling. I spoke with my family doctor and he prescribed a pill to try. It changed somethings but didn’t seem to be what I needed.
Thankfully I was able to speak with a psychologist and begin attempting to not only work through the deficiencies in what my brain was producing but also what some of the underlying thought patterns might be to help to combat some of my depressed thinking.
We have worked through different medication throughout the years and at the moment I believe I have been on this specific pills for 10 years. I am thankful for the way it helps regulate my body. There have been days that I have missed taking my pills and I can definitely feel life starting to get overwhelming without this working in my system.
I’ve heard of people hating the stigma associated with taking pills for this purpose. I am so sad that there is stigma. For me, it’s like taking insulin when you are a diabetic. I know that I can’t live in this manner (where I am now) without the pills I take every day. I am so thankful for them.
what if the war you are fighting
is a figment of your imagination
what if this valley you find yourself in
was your own heart betraying you
what if, instead of gathering
the thoughts of others
in place of your own words
you began to speak
what if fear didn’t hold
what if you didn’t hold yourself
your words are yours
no one else can say them
they stay choked up inside
one behind the other
trying to stop
taking up space
wishing for invisibility
one day there will be a torrent
one day that flag of peace will fly
because one day
you’ll break those chains that bind
you’ll open your mouth
and the words will fly
and you will be free
I feel like a broken record saying the same thing over and over again.
I don’t know what to say or to write.
Everything seems to be locked up tight inside me.
I think that might be because rather than deal with things actually, i just face what comes and just carry on with the next thing.
the burdens are getting heavy. the cares are filling my heart.
and my mouth seems bound and gagged..for some reason even though i often use my fingers to type, the image of my mouth being stopped up continues to come to me.
Joining up with friends over at the Five Minute Friday community to write 5 minutes on one subject. It’s always so much fun reading what others share about the same prompt.
““Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.”
2 Timothy 4:2 NET
I have always struggled with sharing my faith. Perhaps I have felt that I don’t have the right words, or I didn’t want to offend the person who I am speaking with.
I avoid conflict like my life depends on it. It is one of my biggest weaknesses and at times it feels debilitating. It keeps me from speaking up when I should and feeling frustrated when it was clear I should have opened my mouth.
Sometimes it feels like there are way too many mouths open these days shouting to be heard and to put forth their beliefs. Perhaps my complacency comes from not wanting to add to the noise. But in the midst of lies, darkness and despair, speaking truth and hope, wether quietly or at the top of your voice doesn’t necessarily strike me as a bad thing.
In the traditional words that accompany this verse it says “in and out of season”…which really just means every moment of your day.
Sometimes it’s not convenient. But sharing truth when it is convenient doesn’t require a lot of faith or reliance on the Lord to give you the words.
Image: Unsplash – Valentin Salja
Joining up with those wonderful writers over at Five Minute Friday for a one word prompt which we each examine for five minutes. A good way to get the mind whirring and heart pumping.
Better usually means more.
More appropriate. More useful. More suitable.
It’s a term of comparison.
When striving to BE better or find something better, the comparison lays just under the surface. Perhaps it’s something we aren’t conscious of, but it’s there.
There is a heaviness to comparison. It leaves you with not enough, until you find what is better.
But experience tells me that finding what is better is never enough.
WhenI was younger (early grade school) I would dream of being a teenager. In high school I looked to young adult years. In University to being an adult with a degree and going forth in the world.
Each seemed better to me in the stage of life that I was in. But reaching that longed for age or stage revealed that there was always something better to be longed for.
Better is often not the companion of contentment. But maybe we need to refocus from comparison to contentment.
Being content with where we are, who we are, what we have – that is pretty counter cultural. I’m not saying these things can’t change, that learning and growing aren’t part of the equation.
But if we moved from always seeking better,to finding contentment with the better we are in the midst of..there may just be redemption of the word.
Image: Unsplash – Bud Hellison
This is a tribute to two friends who have gone through hard stuff the past two years. They are not alone, but when I think of their stories, they both come up in my mind.
Both have been broken open deeply in ways that they had never imagined might be possible. One by a husband’s illness and the subsequent falling away of all that they had known, and one with a daughter’s illness that brought them near death several times, and where darkness and anxiety sat like weights in their family day and night without a diagnosis.
There is a depth to heartbreak that can only be understood by those who may have experienced something that may have been similar. And yet each story is different. Both still clung to faith, but sometimes all that they could see was a flicker of truth just beyond them (or so it seemed).
There journeys are not over. There is no happy ribbon to put on their stories, because they have been forever changed and their lives shaped by these happenings in their lives. While the daughter did receive a diagnosis, some of her discomfort and pain was never quite explained. The what if continues to linger. And in the other lives, the illness remains, but it has become the new normal. There is rebuilding. But with the stripping away of what once was, there is a renewing of vision. She says its painful, but she sees moment by moment that ways in which she is being molded and shaped. And how her family is being redeemed through this fire.
in the midst of deep pain,. there is hope. mercy. faith.
and though it might seem like just a glimmer or maybe a single spark…it is there.
even in the deep.