Thankful Thursday -The Smallest Hope

provoking sunrise

Recently I was laid up with an unexpected illness, accompanied by a level of pain I can’t ever remember experiencing.  On the third day I woke feeling relieved of the pain.  Until I tried to ride my bike and walk, both of which were not possible, as it brought the pain back full force.  However, what was a constant, won’t-let-up pain, did let up for a couple of hours.  And those couple of hours gave me strength, relief, and hope to carry on when the pain got bad again.  God knew what I needed and He provided.

This experience brought to mind other areas in which the smallest hope is glossed over as coincidence or not recognized at all.

When fretting over something I’ve said or done, something I try not to do but also something I have yet to master, and I’m caught in the middle of inner torment, that moment comes when I realize that God is all I need to please and the burden disintegrates into dust particles.

When in the middle of writer’s block or a stand-still in my writing life and that story idea pops out of nowhere, flashing through my conscious.

When guilt makes its ugly way into my writing time, telling me that’s time that should be spent doing something “important” and “worthwhile,” and then comes that comment from a friend or stranger telling me that something I wrote made such a difference to them.

When it’s been a gloomy, rainy spell and the sun decides to peek from behind the clouds for the briefest of moments, it’s rays creating the most beautiful iridescent streamers of light reaching all the way to the mountaintops.

When it’s been a long, dark, cold winter, and finally that burst of green comes through the thawing earth, showing the promise and hope of spring.

Crocus in Snow

When it’s been a difficult week at work, lots of noise, angry callers and co-workers, and then that afternoon happens that all is silent–the phones, the people, even the background noise.

When it’s been a morning, a day, a week, of feeling painful insecurity, and someone decides to make a comment about nice you look, how much you mean to them, or gives you a hug out of nowhere, letting you know you are valued.

When I’ve had a restless night, complete with unsettling dreams, and when reading the Bible during quiet time the next morning and the absolutely perfect Bible verse is laid out before me, lifting me up.

During these moments of hope, is my mind saying “It’s about time” or “Thank you.”  Each phrase is short, simple, yet place the heart in opposite hemispheres.  One shows the heart to be connected to oneself, while the other shows the heart to be connected to God.  One is negative, one is positive.  It’s all in how we choose to live and see life.  Glass half-empty or glass half-full.

Entitled or grateful.

Gratitude changes everything

Today I choose to be grateful.  And, God willing, tomorrow too.  But right now all I have is today.

Thank you God.

All is Grace

Thankful Thursday – Golden Silence

Silence
Silence – the absence of sound, chaos, noise. That moment that lends all consuming peace and serenity.

 There was a time in my life when silence was anything but pleasant. It was anything but peaceful and serene. In fact, it was equal to the most obnoxious pounding. Pounding which was probably the reflection of my heart pounding from fear. Fear of being alone.
As I’ve gotten older and have learned to grow more comfortable within my own mind–a place that has become a little less scary :-), silence began to change from fear to peace. A reprieve from the busyness of the life around me.

 I found myself looking for ways to incorporate more silence into my daily routine of living.

 I used to listen to my Ipod when I ran. When I was on vacation and didn’t have my Ipod, I was forced to listen to nothing but the sound of my feet on the pavement with each stride, the rhythm of my breathing, and nature’s sounds. It didn’t take long for me to prefer that to the constant chatter of talk radio from my ear buds or even music, as much as I love music.

 I ended my run feeling much more refreshed, energized and alive.

 While I used to love driving in my car with the windows down and the radio up, that has changed to my sunroof open and the radio off. I still love the fresh air, but without the constant voices from the radio. There are still times that I turn the volume up on my radio while I sail down the highway, but more often than not I’m reveling in the solitude of silence. Especially after a day at work when I’ve heard nothing but chatter all day. That silence within the confines of my car is golden.

 While I used to have the television on while I was home, for background noise, if nothing else, now I find myself content to read in silence or cook while giving my full attention to the easy sounds, feel, and smells of what I’m cooking or baking.

 Silence encourages my mind to seek God in prayer or explore ideas for my next writing endeavor, mentally creating characters and story lines.  My mind drinks it in, my soul absorbing it as a beautiful rain quenches the thirst of a parched land.

meditation

Practicing meditation has taught my mind to even find silence in the middle of chaos and noise. To find that peacefulness and serenity when my head feels like it might explode from sensory overload.

Silence really is golden. It’s not lonely anymore because I’ve found peace within myself.

Silence is golden and fluffy

I have discovered that silence is not only the absence of sound, but the presence of stillness. With or without external noise. Simply stillness within.

And for that I am thankful.

All is Grace.