A heart of thanks….

Today is one of those days where I have a to-do list that is a mile long but the weight of the world is making me stop and make sure my priorities are straight. It’s one of those sobering times to take a step back and remember that our lives can change in an instant. Friends are suffering, a woman was shot and killed just steps away from my old college apartment (EDIT: as I wrote this a second shooting was announced – possibly related), a pregnant woman died in a car wreck on her way to the hospital to deliver her baby (who miraculously lived).

I don’t know. It’s a heavy day.

I was not far from the scene of the shooting when it happened. I was at the gym with Calvin and unsure of what I should do or where we should go. Thankfully, I ran into some friends and we were able to catch up for a bit. I think that helped to ease our nerves. But it wasn’t until I had successfully picked up Oscar from his school and came back to our house that I felt like I could really breathe.

Oh that realization that we don’t really have control….it’s such an adult thing isn’t it?

This is the weight of the world, the burdens we bear, the pain that we suffer or witness in our friends and families. It truly is too much. Fears and what-ifs and sadness take the place of dreams and plans and laughter. We look to books, we look to each other, we look to routines to get us “back to normal”. And they help for a season. Until we realize there is no normal.

Just yesterday I was reading Caroline Savage’s blog and her quote has been sitting heavy on me ever since. She said,

Healing doesn’t mean fixing. Healing means learning how to live broken. 

And my oh my isn’t that true. I fully believe it’s the notion that there is some euphoric existence where we attain perfection in our lives that is the breakdown of man. We are broken people either from our own doing or things that have been done to us. It is harsh and it is sad, but the beauty is finding a way to give thanks no matter what. Not simply lip service, but true genuine thanks.

When I look at my life and I remember all the pain I endured during various hard times (divorce, car accidents, miscarriage) I know that my only salvation came from being thankful to Jesus for his overall goodness. It seems trite to type it out, but it’s the absolute truth of my heart. My children are thankful in their hearts. Even at such a young age, Calvin will clap to show his approval and Oscar will remember something hours later and say thank you again to us. There is something about that, something about remaining thankful that seems like the great secret to joy. In the times of my greatest sorrow, I also  lost my ability to be thankful. When I was able to find a single thread to grab hold of, one small thing for which to give thanks, my joy came flooding back.

In the past few years, I ran a series called a week of thanksgiving. I plan to do it again this November and I would love for you to join me. We live in a broken world. Yet, even in the brokenness there is beauty.

May our hearts be praying and full of thanks.

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