What would it look like I began to wonder, if I had a month of thanks. 30 days dedicated to the gifts in my life. If every day for the month of November I shared thanks and 5 gifts for my 1000 Gifts, where would I be?
Looking beyond the 150 individual gifts – where would I be spiritually, emotionally, in my marriage, & my relationships with my friends. Would I be a different person?
So I decided to try it. 30 days of thanks and gifts. No repeats. Both the simple and the extravagant. An experiment to see who I become. My posts will be pre-written only as early as the evening before the post goes live. I’m not creating a surplus of gifts. I want these next 30 days to be one where I am intentionally being thankful and seeing the gifts in my every day.
Would you care to join me? On Thursdays I’ll post a link up to share your thanks.
The cold air swirls around me and fills my lungs. I’ve been waiting for these mornings since the heat first started to dawn earlier this year. Gratefully I pull on my hoodie. I prefer cooler weather over sweltering heat.
And autumn brings her crisp winds and mugs of hot cocoa. This is my favorite time of year. A season of grace, when time allows the overgrown to shed some skin and in the midst of our winters be remade afresh in the spring.
So gather around you this grace, with sips of tea or cider. Let the beautiful aroma engulf you.
0240 Sunday afternoons on the couch with Shawn
0241 Chihuahua ears
0242 Saturday morning bike rides
0243 Apple cider scented candles
0244 Oat leaf from a friend
0245 Getting surprised by Shawn during a Starbucks run
0246 Zoo babies (e.g., baby giraffe, baby jaguar, baby porcupines, baby tapir)
0247 Re-reading a favorite book
0248 Seashell sent from a friend
0249 Wee rabbits feasting in our front yard
*Wednesday I’ll be sharing about a thankful experiment I’ll be beginning November 01st. Be sure to come back and visit.
she stretches her fingers
brush of air across my cheek
a burgeoning in soul
when all seems lost
she is there
her feathers dance upon my skin
light upon my face
she renews me
she is grace
when i am lost
hope sings my name
she whispers words i’m parched for
and doesn’t let me go
hope is the light i need to see
hope is the light i need i need to feel
The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole of the sea. – Vladimir Nebokor
I look back over these last several months. From when hope became the banner I tried to once again get a grasp on.
I still wear the silver band of hope on my right hand. It catches my eye sometimes. A quick reminder. I rub left thumb over the etched letters that at times serve as a talisman.
I’m coming up on a year since everything broke. When my hope was ground up like worthless chaff. It scares me. This anniversary of sorts. I still vividly remember standing in our bedroom yelling at God in the midst of a heated talk with Shawn about it all. I remember the sleepless nights where I yelled at Him even more.
A year ago a wave broke. It crashed against my heart and everything within me shattered as the wave retreated and became nothing more then effervescence touching every part of my life. Yet, I’m being taught that these incidents don’t tell my whole story. They don’t tell of the scared girl teetering on falling back into hope & dreaming. They don’t tell how these anguished wrenchings drew me back to creating art. They don’t tell of the who I will be. How one day, hope will be renewed fully and not only fully but stronger.
They simply tell of a season in the life of a girl.
Last year when I chose to focus on the word grace as my word for the year I thought it would be a year of learning to have grace for other people. And while it was, in large part it was more God inundating me with His grace for me. This wasn’t what I had bargained for, but as the year wrapped up and my declarations that God was good had become I hate you God, I had a foundation of His never ending grace for me.
It was a foundation I needed.
I’m seeing now though, nine months 16 days into a year of hope, how much last year’s grace has affected my thinking & how I operate today. How I see others in the light of grace rather than with eyes of a vulture. How grace looks beyond labels & shame and says you’re beautiful, worthy, able to be redeemed.
I’m seeing that having experienced such grace myself I can’t help but see others with it.
June last year I wrote that I was realizing my lesson of learning grace wouldn’t end when the clock struck 2012. It hasn’t. Grace has overflowed the boundaries of a 365 day year and continued to wreck this one. She convicts my vulture heart when I want to depreciate someone’s worth or follow the crowd in condemning a creation of God.
Grace is a powerful antidote for a broken world. Won’t you join her?
I sat there staring at the numbers in front of me….
1 in 35
Such a small number yet so hard to grasp the magnitude that exists in such a ratio.
1 in 35 people in Moldova are victims of human trafficking.
These numbers make me uncomfortable. Make me sick to my stomach. They leave me depleted. They leave me ripped apart.
I think of the 84 people that work for our company and quickly do the math in my head that means at least two of my co-workers would be part of this statistic.
With such numbers, chances are everyone in Moldova knows someone affected by trafficking. It’s their daughter, sister, cousin, neighbor, the shy girl in the pew at church.
I’m trying to reconcile these facts in my brain. I can’t seem to.
Human trafficking, slavery – for that is what it actually is – doesn’t seem to translate well into our 21st century mindset. Not after slavery has been abolished for over a century.
Our coffee beans and cacao beans for our chocolate magically get harvested or at the very least are harvested by workers who get paid fairly.
Prostitutes are just girls who don’t think well enough about themselves and so they sell their bodies.
That’s why we have fair trade coffee & chocolate. Why a piece of us breaks when we hear of sweat shops across the world paying pennies to those who’ve worked 18+ hour days.
And prostitutes…yes, while some sell their bodies because they can make a quick buck (or 300), many have no choice in the matter.
Lest you think this isn’t a problem in the US, between 2008 & 2010 the Dept. of Justice opened 2,515 cases for human trafficking – an average of 3.5 cases a day! And of course this is only cases that were opened. It doesn’t speak to the vastness of predators who didn’t get caught. This isn’t a problem happening in another country. It’s happening in our own back yards.
My intention isn’t to make you feel guilt. It is to make you aware. Awareness helps breed action. Action breeds change.
Over the next few months I’ll be talking quite a bit about Moldova and about trafficking. I’ll share posts others have written as well. Thank you for supporting me.
Prudence is going to Moldova January 20 – 28, 2013, with Children’s HopeChest. You can learn more about her trip here. She greatly appreciates your support no matter what form. ♥
I made my big announcement last week.
The one that will take me across the raging blue of the Atlantic. I’ve been counting the days since I agreed to go. They’re slowly getting smaller. Only 104 left.
From the onset of my going I knew these months preparing to leave would be full of attacks. And they have been As I shared in my post last week, we’re partnering with an organization that is fighting for the lives of the orphan and those who are victims of trafficking. We’re setting up barriers between the those God’s heart is breaking for and the enemy that is literally hell-bent on destroying them.
I explained to my best friend last week that I’ll probably proclaim I’m not going no less than 20 more times between now and stepping on the plane. It’s a great encouragement when she knows how I feel from her own mission experiences.
So, when I say I covet your prayers….please know I really do.
This past weekend was a relaxing one after a couple of busy weeks and weekends. The only thing that demanded my attention was laundry and cookie baking. We sat under strung lights while a band serenaded the night’s stars.
0230 Peppermint tea
0231 Replaced cars
0232 Pretzels in cookies
0233 A text that I am loved
0234 Sunsets painted with fire
0235 Shawn’s belief in me no matter what
0236 Homemade peach pie
0237 Darker mornings & evenings
0238 Bicycle rides
0239 Red rose rings
How was your weekend? What is one thing you’re counting as a gift from over the weekend?
To learn more about my trip to Moldova with Children’s HopeChest read here.
This story starts about six years ago; with a prologue written with ink of discontentment.
It was about six years ago that God started changing my perspective on Him, on how I do life, on how Shawn and I spend money, etc.
He’s been teaching Shawn and I how to live our lives as sent people. Not lives for our own benefit but lives dedicated to loving and serving those far from God, those who are vulnerable, and the orphan.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.