... Living inspired by the beauty of life, one post at a time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Journey of Gratitude

'Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.' - Sarah Ban Breathnach 

As the school bell echoed its shrill morning call, I contemplated the day ahead. The chatter of little people filled the air, noisy banter spreading across the classroom. The contents of school bags were deposited and sorted, greetings extended, show and tell displayed ... and then they sat, legs crossed and arms folded, waiting. I looked out at the sea of faces before me, their bodies still and expectant. For the rest of the day these little bodies would become restless, fidgety, so very busy, but for now they were still. We opened the day with prayer, simple and encompassing. Cries of 'Amen' rang out signalling its end. I looked up, inquiring who would like to contribute a prayer for the day? A hand shoots up, an eager face imploring me to allow them to be the one chosen today. Again we bow our heads, a simple prayer is offered heavenward. 'Thank you Father for this beautiful world and everything in it, Amen." 
My heart catches, is snagged by the simplicity and sincerity. The words flutter within me, a simple prayer of thankfulness. The thankfulness resonated deep, something about those words, the way they were whispered and extended left me in awe. 

For this is the journey I am on right now ... 
my learning place, learning the lessons of a thankful heart - true, real and honest thanksgiving. 
Because I want to discover the mystery of raw, genuine and authentic gratitude, I sit and wait and smile at the sea of faces. 

     Because I want to understand Ann Voskamps Eucharisteo - the thanksgiving she writes about, the thanksgiving that always precedes the miracle, I linger in that child's prayer
... because I really want the miracle.
Need the miracle!
     Because I want to fully understand the secret of living content in every situation, whether full or empty. Because I want to grasp how to see the gifts of heaven even in the hard places of my life, I pause and roll the thoughts around in my heart. I let them sift and settle within my soul

I hear the 'God whisper', quiet within me and am surprised with the simplicity of its sound. Surprised how he used these words to arrest my attention, the prayer of a child to awaken something within me. (I don't know why I am surprised, isn't this how we should come?, come to him like a child ... come to him with arms open wide, come to him open and thankful!) The whisper from heaven opens the way,  I tell the little people before me that this is how we come to God, with thanksgiving in our hearts ... thanking him for all things, even the little and seemingly insignificant because there truly is so much to be thankful for. I lead these little ones on a journey of thankfulness and we list some things ...

- For this beautiful world,
- For our Mums and Dads,
- For the pretty children in this world
(because God made us all pretty!)
- For no war in this country,
- For lego to build things

... and I sit, there on my teacher chair watching the gifts of heaven begin to open up.

'And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.' - Ann Voskamp.

Thankful for the majestic and the microscopic ... I stand in awe of it all.
Thankful for this breathtakingly beautiful world!
Linking up with Ann Voskamp

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Believe wholeheartedly

Believe that anything is possible
Breathe in deep the promises of tomorrow
Throw your hands wide to your dreams
Greet the rising sun with an open heart
Take the path that is less travelled
Walk the wild and unknown way

Believe wholeheartedly 
Trust unreservedly
Love unconditionally

Grasp Grace
Follow Peace
Cling to Mercy

Whatever you do today, 
believe ... and make it count
for you will exchange a day of your life 
for it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Song of the morning bird

Good Friday Sunrise

Early this morning I crept downstairs before the morning light awoke the earth. The full moon illuminated my pathway as I made my way down to the kitchen. Filling the kettle and flicking the switch I eagerly anticipated a steaming cup of tea. Methodically I went through the motions as my groggy mind slowly emerged from the remnants of its recent slumber. Wrapping my hands around the mug I paused wistfully, allowing the warmth within to seep into my being. I sat for a moment, quietly contemplative and reflective. 

As the last vestige of darkness blanketed the earth I heard the first morning bird trill out its pre dawn song. I listened to its sweet melody calling the cosmos to take note of the new day. Its song quavering and full, suddenly filling me with a pressing and yearning desire to embrace this day more fully. I was overtaken by an unshakeable urgency to see the sun rise, to watch the dawn light slowly arouse the sleeping universe. The song of the morning bird had awoken my senses and whispered a sound of hope in my heart. 

Slipping upstairs I donned my running gear, grabbed the keys and headed out to the car. Driving towards the beach I contemplated the significance of this day, this day marked by suffering and sacrifice so very long ago. As I looked out to the horizon and watched the inky blackness begin to fade I thought about the price that was paid. About the broken body, the blood that was shed and the life that was given. 

As the dawn light spilled over the edges of the ocean I reverently watched the sun begin to rise, serenity enveloped me holding me close in a lingering embrace. The awe and splendour of the moment seeping into every pore, filling me with an inexplicable gratitude ... a deep and pressing gratefulness for such profound atonement, salvation, redemption and divine devotion. My heart and soul finding rest in the promise of eternity.

~ Thanks to the morning bird for singing me her song ~

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love makes a way

When we are alone in the darkness, 
in the confines of our own dark 
and oppressive tomb ... 
when the weight of the world is pressing in, 
when it is just us and God and 
the shattered remnants of displaced dreams ... 
when we have given up, let go 
and lost our way. 

He stirs within the darkness 
and meets us in in this place. 

In this place between hope and despair, 
between life and death. 
It is here in this deathly quiet place, 
that He breathes.

He breathes hope to light the day. 
He rolls away that great big stone 
of heaviness pressed tight against our soul ... 

and His love makes a way.

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