I absolutely love it when a snow fall sneaks up on us. I was up late last night, which seems to be an unhealthy habit I have acquired lately, it's the only time I can have some 'me' time. As I was cleaning the bedroom I just happened to open the curtains and was completely caught off guard. The sun set on a land that was dreary and lifeless and now the moon illuminates a thick blanket of snow that covers everything. I love it. It all looked so alive, the snow falling soft and fast. It was one of those snowfalls where the flakes are tiny but many.
Now, this morning the world is completely changed. One of my favorite things when the snow comes is how it casts a warm glow into my kitchen. I live in a house that was built in the early 1900s, and every room is painted a different color. When we first moved in I really wasn't fond of the colors. The only room I liked was our bedroom that had a very calm blue. The kitchen is also blue but it just didn't seem fitting for a kitchen to be so blue. However, all the colors have grown on me by now. And now that blue that I once disliked so much, I absolutely love in the winter time. Combined with the glow from the winter wonderland outside, it is one of my favorite rooms to be in.
I know it is not Monday but I want to make this post my "Multitudes on Monday" post because I am reminded to stop and take it all in. God is speaking to my heart that, truly, no matter what my circumstance, I really can give thanks in all things. I don't know why I have felt like I am exempt from being thankful and, dare I say it, happy because of all that I am going through right now. Truth is, I haven't been thankful for much lately. Don't mistake that for not having anything to be thankful for. God has showered blessing upon blessing on me in this season of turmoil; and yet, I walk around in a thankless, hopeless, joyless stupor. Perhaps I felt that allowing myself to be thankful and joyful meant I was okay with my situation and the last thing I want is for God and my Husband to think I am okay with what is going on. Or, perhaps, being human, I just like licking my wounds. I do have that tendency in me. Whatever the reason, I feel God gently whisper in my ear "Sara, it's okay to be thankful. Do not be afraid to find joy where you are. Do not be afraid to be happy in your circumstance, it does not mean you have to be happy with your circumstance." It sounds ridiculous I know, God telling me it's okay to be thankful. Of course it's okay!! When in the world would it ever be ill-advised to be thankful?? That's what fear can do to you. That is what trying to control everything will do to you. It strikes me too that we are commanded to give thanks to God, but notice how God did not say "Sara, I command you to thank Me right now! That is enough of taking Me for granted, you had better fall on your face this instant and start being grateful!" He is so much more gentle than that. He is not exempting me from the command, but God knows my hurt, He knows I am fragile...and He loves me. He speaks to me in love, and the more He does, the more I love Him. Oh, how I am loving getting to know Him more and loving Him more. I want my actions to speak that as well, I want to show Him that I love Him, not just write about it in a blog.
Today, I am reminded of Ann Voskamp's words, "Life is not an emergency." Funny, how I am simply a Mother of two boys right now and I have been treating life like it's an emergency. As if there is no time to do anything but worry, fret, get this and that done. And, no Noah I can't play with you right now there's things that need to get done, no Nehemiah I can't hold you and stare for hours into your precious face because I have work to do, and no God I cannot stop to think about You, or thank You, or spend time with You, because....because....well, because...I don't know. And that's just it, I don't know why this has been my attitude and mindset for so long. I look back and ask myself what was so important that I couldn't (or more accurately wouldn't) make time for my own children and my God, my Lord and Savior. The One who gave me life, who offers me abundant life if only I reach out and take it, who has held and cradled me through such a painful time in my life. The One who watched me walk away for so many years and completely defile what He created, but when I chose to come back there truly was "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1) And that's not just a one-time occurrence for me. Daily, it seems, I walk away from Him to serve myself and time and time again He saves me from myself and pours His love out on me rather than condemn me. What is so important and urgent that I can't even set aside one hour for Him, or even just a moment to thank Him, reflect on His love for me, to remember all that He has done for me. The answer is nothing. Nothing is more important than Him. And after Him, nothing is more important than my children. Yet, so easily we believe the lie that we don't have time for them. Yes, laundry needs to be done, dishes washed, house cleaned, e-mails replied to, errands to run, and all that jazz. But if I'm being completely honest, I haven't even been doing those things. I'm just being honest. I've mostly been wasting my time whether it's trying to put my hair in a sock bun, teach myself how to put on makeup the correct way (yes, I am pathetic), or the biggest time consumer..the computer. I feel absolutely horrible admitting these things, that I have put such trivial junk in front of spending quality time with my children. But I feel led to be completely honest and lay it all bare. That last thing I want to do is put on a mask and pick and choose as if creating a highlight reel.
Whew, I think this may be enough for now. I could go on for much longer sharing, it feels good to write, and it feels even better to be taking steps in the direction God would have me go. For starters, instead of pushing everything aside to write this post I did it in bits and pieces in between taking in this beautiful wonderland, my warm kitchen, my hilarious toddler, and my absolutely precious baby. I have to share one more thing before I end this post. Nehemiah was my inspiration for today to stop treating everything as an emergency. I was reading my daily devotional by Girlfriends in God and while I read the words to Silent Night,
"All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild"
I had a picture in my head of a glorious starry night, quiet and peaceful, and Mary, a new mother holding her firstborn child. Basking in the beauty that is a brand new born babe. I pictured her starring at his face for hours and "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19) And I wondered "why can't I do that?" And nothing came to mind why I couldn't. Life is not an emergency.
This is the promotion video for Ann Voskamp's Book "One Thousand Gifts" and I feel it is really fitting and a great reminder. Please, take a moment and view it...and remember.
Things I am thankful for....
~*~ Fresh new blanket of snow, making all things new
~*~ Having an empty garbage can
~*~ Nehemiah's eczema clearing up
~*~ Having a newborn babe
~*~ The opportunity to stay home with my children
~*~ A Father who teaches me to treasure this time, because it is only temporary
~*~ My coffee cup
~*~ A clean bedroom
~*~ Fresh balsam oil plugin in my bathroom
~*~ Freedom to enjoy and be joyful during this painful time
~*~ The hope and His promise that He will get me through this
~*~ How each time I stop and name a gift and truly let it soak in, it really does bring warmth to my heart and it allows me to "taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)