When It’s Gone It’s Gone

When it’s gone, it’s gone. 

That’s what I told the boys when the water table was finally filled. They like to dump it. Bucket by bucket. Into the holes, “feeding the flowers”, drowning the ants, into their stomach…

Thank goodness grace doesn’t work this way, am I right?

Sometimes I think there could never be enough grace for my ugly, impatient, fretful heart.

But my God, He is like my boys…bucket by bucket, He keeps spilling it over.

I will tell you that these last couple of months I have been practicing the art of gratitude. It might not seem like an art, and in all regards, it probably shouldn’t be. But when you reach a certain age, things that used to come easy and naturally, seem to take a shift. It becomes easier to worry, to complain, to nitpick, to judge. To stay stuck, stay complacent, dig our stubborn feet into a pit of judgement and negativity.

I’m not sure why, I think it’s part of broken-aging.

Let me just take a break here to tell you that I just got a sweet kiss from the Lord, affirming that something right is going on in our parenting and home. An older woman walked by our porch leaving the chiropractic office and Will exclaimed boldly, “Hello! God loves you!”

Thank you, thank you, Jesus. 

And this is what I mean, when we are little, we live our lives in simple acts of joyful living.

Out of thankfulness and belief. Out of dreaming and adventuring. Out of curiosity and questioning. Out of not ignoring people and out of reaching with our words. Out of mistakes covered in grace and growth out of the learning.

When does that slow down? When did some of those things halt altogether?

This aging thing has been a big kick in the rear for me.

It shows my selfishness.

It shows my quick to anger.

It shows my heavy in frustration.

It shows my empty love tank.

And it shows my need for more and more gratitude.

So the art?

I’ve been waking up in the habit of saying, Thank you God for _________.

I have our boys name the same at breakfast. We sing His praises at the dinner table. We drift off to sleep, wiped out, but in thanks.

We share that gospel love, thanking Him for the tender gift of the cross. For the endless spilling of His grace over all of our broken.

And then we break it down to the micro thanks, the kind that builds hope.

The routine delivery man, the grocer with a smile, the friend showing up with dinner, the husband who cleaned the house, the son who put his dishes away, the friend that joined the team, the social media gal living in encouragement, the teacher with that just right word, the long time friend who checked in, the stranger who said hello, the ones that show up in daily presence.

The hard line truth I’ve learned the last couple of years,

We live gratitude on flat screens.

We lend smiles when it shows our goodness.

We show up for other people when it feels good for ourselves.

We’ve got to give it a kick in the rear.

Our life is one thread, and when it’s gone it’s gone. When I reach the end of it, I want to know that I lived in that kind of light, with thankfulness and arts of joyful living on spill-over mode.

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