Monday, June 18, 2012

Storing Granules of Grace with Gratitude

I had just dressed up my blog a wee bit yesterday when I came across this written by Emily at Chatting at the Sky:

"Even when I feel hopeless, discouraged or small, writing here reminds me that small isn’t a bad thing."
I've been blogging for 7 1/2 years, practically when weblogs were first unveiled. I was game to the idea and genuinely intrigued. But I held off. Would people think it presumptious that I actually thought I had anything to say, little me? Would people think I was too bold, little shy me?

I began tentatively. I wrote slightly and lamely. Tip-toed into the murky waters. I didn't share my blog with anyone probably the first year or so. I didn't share my blog openly with family until probably half-way through the 7 1/2 years. I spun my web slowly and carefully. I didn't hide it, mind you, but I didn't proclaim it from the door jamb either, least someone swat it down.

With publication of my books came an avalanche of attention. It was nice and everybody was so nice. But I never realized what a private person I am until that time. Then Facebook came around and there are no expectations at Facebook the way there are at blogs. I gave myself permission to spend more time there than here. That period was nice too.

I've never been one to jump on other people's wagons. I tend to like to tidy and decorate my own campground. In hindsight, I see the braveness of this. I was not born with a follow-the-crowd mentality. I hang back. But it isn't fear of the unknown or of what others think, that holds me back; it's the ever present, ever avoidable fear of pride. I don't want to fall victim to that vice.

There's also a mean-streak of originality in me that comes with being a writer. I don't want to fall into others' cliches and old plots. I don't want to be the character in other people's stories; I want to be the author and create something original, something worth sharing freely. I don't want to row the same pirougue as everyone else and this, dear reader, can also prove breeding ground for pride. We must be careful.

Emily writes: "God has used writing to convict me of sin and selfishness. He has also used it to convict me of righteousness and giftedness. You can’t leave that part out."

This was true for me. Writing this blog and reading others as built me up, lifted me up. It has refreshed my soul to see the way others think and, by doing so, to understand them and their stories better...more charitably.

I see myself observing my writing more...less impulsively. I am not happy with some things lately shared. Not that they were wrong to write or out-of-place or not due considering current events, but they are not what I want to be writing. They are not the voice I want to share. While those thoughts and conversations are in my life at this point, it is not the tone I want here. I want to look back on this blog years from now and see something good and holy, not drab and holy. I want my voice to lift others up, to make them smile, offer them to share and think, and, hopefully, to soar to their own adventure.

I have a couple more thoughtful posts to do before I turn over a fresh leaf but things will look fresher and more light here in the next couple of months. I feel a strong pull to reclaim this space and spend more time here than there.  I want to reclaim the adventure here.
Some things have come up in the past months...lots of happy, family, blessed events...that have stretched our family and bonded us. Grace has been poured into our family.

Grace has also been withdrawn, through our own sins and through the sins of others. But God heals and makes all things new again. And He waits to renew us, with more granules of grace. God doesn't keep a blog, at least I don't think He does, but His graces are journaled in a text that should be alongside all our computers.

Our adult children have grown into wonderful people that I can depend on and lean on. We have a new daughter-in-law who not only dries our clothes when the dryer breaks but also returns them folded. She also texts me on nights she is cooking and let's us know what is for supper that night. They live next door. ;-) We are beyond blessed.

And, due to that pride thing, I have often worried about others thinking my family lives a stressfree, overtly-blessed life. If my blog comes across that way it is only because I strive to find a glass full of positives in a world full of negatives.

I would put those positives in a crystal goblet if I could find one. Instead, I have only this little blog. 

The negatives are always there, always in our face, always threatening our peace. The graces are usually so small and fragile that they must be grasped carefully...sometimes on a simple blog such as this.

And...still...this fallen world threatens to knock that precious crystal glass from my hands and shatter it on the rocks.

Job's walk was real and Biblical. And God alway loved him.

I was recently talking to my daughter about her journal keeping. I don't want her to ignore the negative but I want her to focus on the positive. I encouraged her to go back to the gratitude journal I gave her this past Easter and wrap herself in God's graces. That is the armor whichs protects us from the harm this world invokes, through the sins of others and through our own sinfulness.

People remember the big awful things that happen in theirs lives while often forgetting the small graces God offers them everyday. Years later, if we thought to treasure those graces and store them in a crystal glass (such as a journal or blog), then we can come back to those little diamonds of grace and smile and put the big ugly things to rest because we can visually see all those fragile graces glistening in a fallen world.

My family has gone through a very full season in 2012. We're looking forward to a quieter season in the near future. We're anticipating a gentler season in the near future. We're praying for a graceful season.

And I will go back to storing my little slivers of light here on my blog because my family needs to see that light and, as mothers, we are the lightbearers.

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