Currently Reading: Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlante and The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey
Nathan and I went to our church on Saturday afternoon, slipping into the quiet, darkened sanctuary for a half hour of stillness and reflection and prayer, alone with our Lord in His house. It felt so right, so necessary, to center ourselves and lift our thoughts and questions to God after a day of tragic news and horrific truths. I left the church feeling whole and restored, still shaken but sure of who He is and the good that still exists in this world.
My journal received some of my thoughts this weekend, but I want to share some of them here as well. There is so much sadness in the world, so much I want to change- not just the tragedy in Connecticut but those who struggle and hurt every day- in poverty-stricken countries in Central America or war-torn areas in the Middle East, even the homeless and hungry in our own country- people we don't often hear or talk about and are never mentioned in our Facebook statuses. We are so blessed, so lucky to be protected and well. And when our sense of security is shattered, as it was on Friday, we grapple with our feelings of vulnerability and of fear. Of our mortality. Of the potential of losing what is most dear to us. We are stripped raw and exposed as we force ourselves to re-examine what is most important in our lives, and let go of the things that don't matter. While it hurts and tears at us, it is so good to venture from our stable pillars and reassert our faith in God, in each other, and in ourselves.
Weeks from now, the events of this weekend- the pain, the fragility, the awakening- will only be an aching memory and we will return to our daily routines and worries. But this week, with Friday's events still raw in our hearts and with Christmas celebrations drawing closer, my challenge for myself- and for you- is to watch and take note of the little blessings we are given every day, savoring the joy that comes when we stop to notice them. One of my favorite Bible verses is "Be still, and know that I am God." When I am still, when I stop and slow down to fully recognize the blessings of my life, I find God. He is there- in the glow of our Christmas tree, in the dance of sunlight on snow, in the voices of my loved ones. I will seek Him, living in gratitude, despite the world of sin in which I live. And by doing so, even when I feel most helpless, I know that gratitude can lead to amazing things, that it is powerful. With thankful hearts, we can bring love and understanding and kindness to our world and the world of those around us. We can change our perspective... and make a difference in our own, unique ways.