Saturday, January 7, 2012


Today was progress– today was clothes, and closets, organizing dishes and a mysterious gadget with three-pronged blades that I thought was just a salad spinner and discovered in time it wasn't. Three trash bags full of old clothes to be donated: first world problem. So many things to find their spaces. Making the internet work with the new Netflix account. What's for dinner. First world problems.

I am reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: my Christmas book from my parents (God bless my mother who created bookworms!) She was given a thankfulness dare. She wrote down one thousand gifts in her life, gifts fresh with the fingerprints of God. The essence of joy, she says, the only way to a full life, is to receive everything as a gift wrapped in the grace of God.

I am trying to learn how to listen to grace. A year and a half ago on my birthday, Sarah gave me an art board that says this very motto: Listening to Grace. It's hard work, listening. I will hear grace sometimes, accident it seems like (but I think it's God's mercy that forces grace into my ears). But listening requires me to engage, to open up, to be ready; eyes, ears, mind, heart, quivering and alert, like a small rabbit watching you from next to a fence-post. If you move, the rabbit will run. When God moves in grace, am I listening to be able to know what is happening? To react? To give thanks?

While it might be easy to receive sunny days and fluffy towels as gifts, what about the rainy days? What about finding places to put the towels? What about not getting to go with my brand new husband to San Antonio next week, because the university here holds its student orientation at the same time? What about loneliness and missing family and friends? What about when there is a great grief? Will I wallow in self-pity or will I be still and listen to grace? Will I accept that the first-world problems, the minor inconveniences, and the big fat problems are covered with the same God fingerprints as the beautiful days and coordinated schedules and Yes-answered-prayers are?

Will I give thanks?

Can I- can we– listen to grace?

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