Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Old" Blessings

I've been out of town for several days, and lately my thoughts have turned again and again to a young mom who had a major stroke a week ago - still in a drug-induced coma...starting to come out of it, but don't know the extent of the damage yet. So, we pray.

I thought a lot about how wild and inspiring it has been to watch literally a world-wide community come together to bathe Joanne and her family in prayer. You can read about her journey and the precious love of her husband at The Simple Wife. It's truly a beautiful...and frightening thing.

I've also thought a lot about the mulitude of blessings I've been given and how often I take them for granted. A week ago, Joanne's husband and her two little girls were likely going through the regular routine of life. And then there was no more routine.

I've wondered what would happen if my routine was suspended indefinitely. Oh, it has happened before, and I survived - even thrived in some situations. But I'm thinking about NOW. This routine that I've settled into is quite lovely. Stressful at times for certain, but lovely nonetheless. Some might think of it as drudgery. I mean this certainly isn't the stuff of sitcoms or reality shows - Thank You, Lord!!

Mine is a life focused on my beloved family, on making a difference because of the work I do, of serving in ministry alongside my husband as well as on my own. A very GOOD life. A very COMFORTABLE life. And if something were to happen to my husband or my daughters, or one of my sisters or other extended family, I'm not sure how well I would handle that. I don't think about it a lot. It's one of those things that you ask God never to put you through, but trust Him to get you through if He chooses it to weave the tapestry of your story.

What all this has really rattled in me is this incredible lack of gratitude. This lack of appreciation for blessings - "old' blessings. It's amazing how we become lulled by the routine of life almost numb to His extended goodness.

When I recall the love story that is mine that could have ONLY happened by His divine intervention, I am awed by my God again and again. But when my husband has ticked me off with some little thing he has done, said or not said or not done, the love story is forgotten.

When I recall the tears of joy I wept when each of my children were born or the incredibly deep and abiding happiness that comes with little "I love you" notes with backward letters and misspelled words, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been chosen to be their mom. But when one of those girls literally break my heart by her words or actions, the deep happiness is a vapor.

When I recall sitting on the floor, face down, thanking Him for His provision the first time I walked into my house and realized it would be our home, I look around and see again all the things I love about this house. But when I'm trying to stack 20 students into a teeny space for dinner and devotion, I'm completely sick to death of this place and begin to dream of bigger spaces.

When I recall the day that I was hired as the special education director without submitting an application or interviewing by eight superintendents who had great confidence in not only my ability but my passion for kids with disabilities, I remember squealing, crying, and being completely humbled by the notion of it. But when I'm overwhelmed by unending demands of more and more paperwork, staffing issues, cuts in funding, or even families with needs that make me feel so inadequate, I wonder why in the world He brought me here.

Can anyone else even begin to relate? Am I the only one that forgets the incredible goodness of His "old" blessings? You see, He wasn't good. He IS good. It's not just what He did; it's what He continues to do. Sometimes I need to stop looking for Him to do something new and just bask in the glory of what He has already done. Always good, always compassionate, always weaving the tapestry of our lives with a completely loving hand. Consistenly. Over the long haul. He is GOOD.

Praising Him and loving Him with a grateful heart for the routine of this blessed life.