Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Glass Half Empties [turned upside down]

Sometimes it is easier to write about life experiences when you are through it... on the other side... over the hump... Sometimes it is cathartic to write in the thick of it... I don't really know what this is... but it is my streams of consciousness...

It has been one of those weeks (shoot, couple of weeks if I am being totally honest). I have felt "off," worry and anxiety have crept in, and I have been swimming in a sea of worst case scenarios. Ever feel that way?

During one of my bouts of insomnia, I picked up this read (picture below... Still dont know how to manipulate picture with the iphone app) from close to the bottom of my nightstand selection, and was wowed by its truth. While the week has remained a struggle, this book has helped me slowly convert to seeing my glass as half-full.

In it author Ann Voskamp explores some of the theological ideas that trouble me the most. I know that my God is loving and merciful and GOOD, yet there are so many things I fail to grasp. Sometimes I delight in the mystery, and other times I feel swallowed by it.

Ann laments my sentiments so eloquently. Her answer to God's mystery is in living a life of thankfulness, celebrating the Eucharist ideals daily, intentionally, simply, even--at times-- reluctantly.

In college my friend Jesse gave me a journal that was dedicated to recording "blessings." I loved spending the following year practicing that discipline of thankfulness, and I love looking back at what I recorded there.

In the midst of trials and rough patches, acknowledging our blessings can help us from slipping into despair. Sometimes it works better than others... :)

That's one of the reasons I love social media outlets. Sharing pictures and stories that highlight what I am most thankful for--and, likewise, seeing how friends' blessing unfold--keeps me encouraged and inspired.

But that can be "dangerous" too--can't it? A friend recently--and very thoughtfully--posted about these social media dangers in the world of moms. I agree with so many of her points, and there are times when I go on blog reading hiatuses-- when feelings of inadequacy seep in, and my "behind the scenes" don't measure up to others' "highlight reels." I also believe that transparency is better than any pretense.

That said, I still plan to post the highlight reel blessings in our family's lives. In practicing the discipline of thankfulness, I want to intentionally share the good. I want to celebrate my friends and families and cyber friends and families' blessings as well.

At the same time, I am ever thankful for those friends who encourage me in those hard times, when the blessings are harder to see, when hope feels lost--even when it is not. Sometimes-- for whatever reason--it is easier to share those vulnerabilities with a smaller audience, and I am thankful for that groups that celebrates, shares, encourage, comforts our empty glasses and our overflowing ones...

Here's to living this precious life with thankfulness.

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