Posts Tagged "gratitude"

option b

Option B: How to Rise Above Disappointment

This year is six years, six years since we lost our first baby, six years since the toilet clotted blood. Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week and it pulls me back to the memories like my eyes to the scene of a car crash. I can see myself on the floor. Praying. Begging. Being willing to do anything not to lose him. What kinds of bargains we try and make with God in those moments. I don’t know if it was a him, but I imagine it so. So many times I blamed myself. Shouldn’t have been working so hard.

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paying attention

How the Art of Paying Attention Heals Us

I’ve been ruminating recently on the idea that there must be a secret that can get us through hard times. There must be a secret to healing along the way as we pick up wounds in our daily living so they don’t pile high inside us. I’ve been looking for ways beyond the obvious practices, the things we know we should do, that cause us to find peace, to see the face of God, to grow. I’ve been meditating on a phrase I read recently from The Artists Way: “Our quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity

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Open road into death valley

Ten Lessons I Learned from a Road Trip

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road Sometimes it’s hard to live in the present. Life with its busyness seems to suck at our joy of living in the moment. Then there are trauma’s that pile high which we try so hard to ignore and disconnection that subtly crawls into the corners of our relationship with God, our spouses, and each other. But if you want to live a life of adventure, of growth, you have to be willing to shake things up a bit. So two

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me n my truck

When You Need Purpose

Sometimes in between the kitchen and the washing machine, doing the same acts over again with seemingly little result, I wonder if my life has purpose. I used to love my job. I used to love what I did with a kind of maniacal passion. I used to stay up late writing blog posts and used to look forward to going into the office in Uganda every day to hug each of my beautiful staff each morning. I used to love to sit under a mango tree and counsel a struggling woman. I was someone people looked to for answers, I was

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view

How to be Content

Most days I don’t know how to let go of fear.  It presses heavy on my chest and claws up my throat threatening to stifle my breath with all the things that can go wrong and do go wrong. And breath is the only thing I have. In and out. Infilling and surrender. Sometimes the mountains don’t keep the grey Marine layer out and the fog rolls in obscuring my view of the sloped horizon. Days like this I have to fight hard to remember what I’m thankful for when the myriad of test results don’t come back the way

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porch

What If There is Meaning in Suffering?

  “We seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We can endure great pain if we believe it is purposeful.”   -Andrew Solomon- When we don’t get what we want, it throws our life into a certain amount of chaos. There is a deep desire to control, to force the world to bend to my will. But what if there is meaning in this suffering and like peeking over into a walled garden, perhaps I can discover a secret?   I’ve been trying to get pregnant for over 11 months now. There are a myriad of reasons why this

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e-as-baby

How to Become Grateful

When the mommy brigade takes over Panera with their newborns I want to run. In fact I do run, right out the front door. Tiny heads with tiny hats on them. Little animal-eared sweaters. Most days it doesn’t affect me. Most days I don’t feel like the air has been squeezed out of my chest. But today I do. Sometimes we don’t understand why.  Why so many around me this year carried that hope in them, that new life, only to have it be snuffed out. Why good people, the best people, lost the most precious thing in the world.

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niclete-and-josh

How to Remain Hopeful

Last year, Niclete was just another woman in Uganda living in the slums, trying to provide for her family of growing children, alone. Last year, she did not have a job, or access to maternal health care. Last year, Niclete gave birth to a still-born baby boy, body too twisted.    Last week, God redeemed all that.   As I struggle through the why’s and wonderings of why bad things happen to good people or any people, for that matter, I look at a picture of Niclete, and I am satisfied that God remembers us. That His intentions towards us

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sunrise

How to Go Through the Fire

  Give thanks for the morning sunrise I am well enough to see. Give thanks for the husband still warm in bed, his arm over his head in dreams. Some days we give thanks because we don’t know what else to do. Because if we truly look we can see the gems shimmering through the mud and the mess. I slip out into the cool of the morning before the day’s heat drenches my shirt, and give thanks for that breeze and early stillness. The doc says I have malaria/and/or food poisoning which is less than reassuring with all the

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funeral

When We Touch Glory

  We sidestep trash and puddle-filled stench. We move through the narrow corridor of buildings in the slum. And there in the midst of it all, we find glory. In the small, dark room we huddle.  We’ve come to love. To stay. In solidarity. When Niclete starts to sing, tremorous and brave, the women start weeping. The holy spirit breathes close and still. I think it is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I don’t understand all the words. But I know she is singing to Jesus. A hum of a prayer. Worship in the face of loss.

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