Have you ever been hit by God’s sledgehammer? I have but this one drove me to my knees in gratitude. This is how my Advent became my season of gratitude.
Advent 2016 has been stressful. Just a little bit! [I’m making an inch symbol with my fingers in sarcasm]
Here we go: Tensions mounted at work. My car decided to retire without me. Family sidekick Jo is sick and not healing well. Surgery is way too costly. Dad needs cataract surgery. Son just got an apprenticeship. Husband has new jobs (two = fulltime right?). The town decided to change regulations and is citing everyone in the neighborhood…It just seems to be going on and on…and this is only on the top of head as I’m writing.
Instead of taking little steps to get prepared for the season, I am taking really big steps with life decisions every day since Thanksgiving. I’ve been struggling through Advent 2016. UNTIL…my wise mom sent me an innocent, well-meaning text. She did not know the impact it would have on my Advent.
On a work-break last Friday, I sent my mom a “touch-base” text going over all the plans and plates we had in the air. We were trying to figure out when we could get together and chat. It just wasn’t working out. I couldn’t see it happening. I prayed for guidance as I hit send.
Mom’s response text started “Hi Honey, it looks as if you’ve got a full plate. However, it looks as though we have a lot to Rejoice about…” WOW! This is where God got my attention. It was so simple. It was right in front of me the whole time. God was blessing me all along.
If I hadn’t been at work I would have hit my knees immediately. However, I dried my happy tears and reflected on all the wonderful things that had happened since Thanksgiving. I quickly reviewed the things God handled for and with me. I thought of the blessings coming forward since advent began. I realized I am truly blessed.
After reflecting for a few moments, I responded to her text…”Thank you for reminding me of that. He is a wonderful God. He blesses us even when we don’t see it because we are too busy…” I went back to work after my break with prayers of thanksgiving in my head.
Yes I am a “Martha” in Jesus’s world. He has to come right out and stop me in my tracks. I am grateful he is patient enough to do it gently and with love through the people I love. My Mom was an instrument of his grace without even knowing it. The great thing about her is she is just open the Lord. She usually doesn’t even realize the impact she has in being a vessel for Jesus. She simply does the things she is led to do or say or pray. The lesson stayed with me since Friday.
Lets see…they say to count your blessings. Here is the blessings I am thankful for right now: I have supportive family and friends; People are praying for me; My pain has been lessened (which must be My Lord because that doesn’t make sense); I was able to secure transportation in the form of Spicy Mama (little fist pump here); Husband found not one but two jobs Thanksgiving week; Jo is weathering her storm (decisions to be made later); Youngest has secured his apprenticeship; I did not get sick this year; My family is working together to resolve our challenges…
As you can tell it’s a long list of blessings that continues to grow. I didn’t even capture them all. I am keeping a hand on the wheel and my eye on the light of the Lord ahead. He is raining blessings on my Realm. As I follow his lead today I am grateful for his abundance. A friend of mine said she asks Jesus to hold her heart. That is what he does, he holds my heart. I am thankful he does. I couldn’t do this without him.
Last Sunday at church I sat in awe of my savior. I am not the most demonstrative person when I worship. I am in such awe of the Lord God Almighty. I can’t even express it. Nothing comes out of my mouth. I think I look like I’m just staring off into space. When the wonder strikes me, I just hope no one is watching me. They’re probably thinking: What a space cadet… To me, he truly is an awesome God! He is so awesome that I am struck with wonderment. As Father spoke the homily I cried. It’s funny when I think of it because the homily was on reconciliation. I’m sure if someone saw me crying they would think…Oh she must have done something really bad!
But my tears were in awe of a God who really cares about my life and what I need to do even when I’m too busy to figure out how truly blessed I am. These are tears of gratitude.