1000 moments to build on...

Monday, July 25, 2011

it begins while the white buckets are still empty.

while the hot sun has already climbed on ahead and the possibilities seem endless.

you gotta find the ones that are the size of your eyeball!!

and the race is on...

wild and crazy in the middle of a july-ripened blueberry patch...

and i think of the beginning of this journey of hunting out moments...always looking for the one filled and full of obvious God-glory and the pure joy and exuberance when it is found.

i found it!! i see it!! thank You!  thank You...

and i think back to that cold november morning when this journey began in a different city, a different country and life trembled on an uncertain path and i began my list...

number one was for a tree, unadorned yet standing.

but really, i was trying to find gratefulness while i stood broken, adorned with loss and grief.

and the more i found the moments and the numbers began piling one on top of the other, the shroud of pain began to lift...

and the sun climbs higher in the white-blue sky...

we pick together; 10 children, 2 mamas and i as we bend down to help up, to encourage, to share a blueberry or two and a cup of cool water.

and the sweet mama to my right says it softly,

it smells like tea in between these rows.

and it takes me by surprise as i stop to inhale deep,  these bushes heavy laid with fruit ripe for the picking and i think of how each life, each season, each circumstance heaves with thousands of gifts ready to be plucked, to be held and savored.

and in the gathering, in the recognizing...as we physically reach out and fully take of what He has given, the fragrance of joy is released into the air of our homes, our families, our friendships...

joy truly is a fragrant offering to the Giver of Life.

the temperature climbs and i begin to see my little ones flag...

and i bend down low per the instructions of the one who works this patch and i think of peter jumping out of the tossing boat with all the passion in the world to reach Him standing on top of those wind-crazed waves.

only to sink below the water...

and how there came a time, a month or more, when my pen sat silent.  quiet.

i felt overwhelmed by a sea of blue ink.

i took my eyes off of Him and what He gives and gave in to fear.

fear became the ball and chain that took me under and i had to go lower still to get out from under its grasp so that i could reach His.

i had to bend lower to find the sweetest berries.

and i had to bend lower still so that all i wanted to see, was Him...

i am amazed at how one blueberry placed on top of another can fill and turn into 20 pounds.

how one simple thank You can fill up more than half of a moleskin.

how a soul that was so empty and parched and bitter could be so filled and rounded out and sweetened.

how thanking Him for the hard and the painful has drawn me closer to Him.

as i sorted and plucked out stems and leaves i came across a few berries unripened.

the green ones that taste sour and can upset tender tummies and i pulled them out and set them aside...

we have moments, you and i...moments that enter in that seem puny and ugly and too full of pain to be any good to us.

unripened moments that seem useless and we cry out why?

i looked at them, in contrast on my counter top, struck by the beauty of the colours brushed up against one another,

and i don't pretend to know the why of suicide, or daddies walking away, or families rejecting one another.  i'm not going to claim to have that answer, but what i have learned, what i am learning and what i want to keep on learning is that i don't have to know.  He allows both, because He said He'll work it all out and maybe only He knows how, but by bending low, by thanking Him for the good and the bad i have the chance to see beauty in the midst of deep pain.

i have the chance to see the Almighty paint a masterpiece with my life...

i've reached 1000 moments of joy.

seems fitting that my preacher spoke on this very subject this hot sunday morning.

and he said something that i wrote down and hold close, because today, my present seems rather overwhelming.

i can choose joy for the present by building on past joys and borrowing from future ones.

do i stop here, now that i've reached the goal?


with each number i wrote down, i was laying a foundation...one that allows me to hope when circumstances seem bleak.

and i think of the blank pages left in a red moleskin on my counter.

they are expectant with waiting.

and i borrow joy with the hope that He'll continue to surprise me with moments that have been sweetened with the grace of His goodness...

990. waking up to the sound of falling rain.
991. cool, fall-like days.
992. the privilege of having daughters.
993. a son who throws everything
994. bending low and wiping it all up.
995. made up words and the laughter they bring.
996. coffee house tantrums and the friend who still stayed.
997. the friend who already knows lyla's love of animals and gave her the privilege to puppy-sit.
998. elias meowing.
999. how tender tony is, even when we have to walk through the hard moments.
1000.  for this. for 1000 moments to build on.  for 1000 more moments to hope for.  and that He gives it all...