1000G: Chapter 2

“1000 Places to See Before You Die.”

Sounds pretty urgent, doesn’t it? Like you’d better get started on it, so you can get them all in maybe?  Already I think I’m done for.  I don’t get far from home, have never been crazy about traveling.  Not too likely that I’ll check many items off that list.

But I do like to see pretty things.

I find that just the day-in-and-day-out of life drags me down.  My typical day’s events usually include washing laundry, wiping tears and bottoms, fighting the battle of the grunge.   I can count the number of real, honest-to-goodness vacations I’ve been on in the past ten years on one hand.  Seeing 1000 exotic places is quite a ways from where I live.

This day to day life, though, contains bits and pieces of neat things that I want to remember, but I find myself missing events.  I decided to stay home with the children to see every event, cherish every moment.  And yet I miss things with one child after another . . . . the first time the first three rolled over, I was in the kitchen.  Every time!

My new year’s resolution this year was to live more fully in the moment.  I’m tired of missing the here and now while seeking the future yet to come.

Of course, it’s one thing to be savoring, enjoying, soaking in the happy times, the kids’ smiles, the hugs and kisses, the pizza recipe that turned out stunningly tasty.  But life, as we know, is not all hearts and roses.  What then?

Ann breaks it down in great detail in the video, expounding on what she wrote in her lovely book.

It’s all about this long, hard-to-pronounce Greek word, eucharisteō.  Hidden inside are two bits of wonder, charis and chara.

Hidden in thanksgiving you will find grace and joy.

I really liked the way Ann said it:  “Take everything God gives as grace.  Give thanks for it.  There is joy.”

It sounds an awful lot like something else I’ve heard.  In Ephesians 5:20, a list of instructions from Paul, he includes one that has been hard for me.  “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Always?  For everything?  Are you serious??

(I think he is.)

Somehow, it made more sense to me when Ann said it than when Paul did.

So how do I do this?  How do I find the blessings among the hard and painful events of life, that proverbial silver lining?  It sounds so easy and yet it’s much harder to be thankful during the difficult times.

I’d have never asked to go through my first husband’s death, yet would I have moved to Alaska otherwise?  Would I have spent time with his sister and her husband and developed the relationships with them that have sustained me all these years?  Would I have the understanding of pain that I do after living through such a horribly painful situation?

Maybe.  But maybe not, at least not how I do now.

It just takes a long time for me to be able to see these.  There are some sad events lately that have been harder to see the blessings.

But accepting this as a gift from God?  Grace?  Charis?

Gulp.

Thank You LORD, for the grace You’ve given me.  Help me to see the joy.

I found some this morning, ironically enough.  After having a lovely discussion with The Bull about eucharisteō I stopped into a place to get a sausage biscuit.  Holding my sandwich was a bag that read: “Sip the Joy.”  A year ago I’d have scoffed at this lame attempt at selling a cup of coffee.  Today?  I know better.  Sometimes the joy is that cup of coffee.

Hmmmm. . . . . think I’ll save this little bit of joy.

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