Formal

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Day 6: Formal

My word of the day today doesn’t embody everything about this word. Instead, I wanted to explore the side of formality that is generally overlooked: how it has shaped male and female roles in society in both old and new ways, and how it translates across the ages. Even though some of these sentiments are “outdated” I think they are still expressed to some degree today, perhaps with different wording. At any rate, I believe this type of “formality” has helped lay the foundation for widespread thinking or perception we may now be struggling to change. Enjoy!

I will fix you.

I am the rigid bones of a corset, shaping you into acceptable form. Without me, you cannot leave your bed chamber. Without me, you are not free to act, to move, to speak. I care not for your comfort. I am steel bars that close around your softness and make you hard. You are a woman, but I will make you feminine. You are beautiful, but I will make you desirable. You are unheard, but I will make you seen. I will not give you a voice, you do not need it. I will form you and shape you and render you necessary in your proper place. Without me, you are sloppy and underdressed, the whore of the upperclass–and I am unforgiving of disgrace. Forgiveness is not my nature.

I will bring order.

I am the throne of kingdoms, the spikes upon which hierarchy is set. Without my face you cannot access my power, and I do not share my gifts with grace. When you wear me, I will take, for taking is my order. I have set the rules in stone by which your feet are crushed, but you continue to dance for I lead you higher. Behind my mask chaos ensues, but that is not my concern. I lay your footholds and you obey. You are men, but I bring you supremecy. I am the whip you yield for clarity, and I am the veil that keeps your flaws hidden. You speak, but I make you seen. You are strong, but I allow you to strike. You are sensitive, but I demean your femininity and give you masculine rule. I am the iron jail that boasts freedom and you gladly lock yourselves in.

I will deceive you.

I am definitive beauty, slaved over in mirrors, surgery, photo shops, sweat shops. Scalpels and brushes, pens and programs, these are my tools and I give just enough to always be in high demand. Never too much, always too little. Hours upon hours I labor before I step outside my shadow, but In the light I smile and look effortless. I am ballroom dancing, Prada-wearing, champagne-sipping success, free with my smiles and cold eyes. My voice echoes through all the ages.

I am frivolous and shaming, with just enough care to make you feel you deserve to be shamed when you are not like me. I do not look at the homeless man on the street, I scoff and keep my gloves clean. I do not broach class. I do not trip over the rules I have created. I do not speak out of turn. I am policy and procedure, laws and regulations. I am the system. I am accepted. I am perfection.

I do not think I am so evil. I have been created to fill a need. My existence gives unspoken security, and I have written my necessity into the rules. I am am wanted and here to stay. I am formality.

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Haze

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Day Five: Haze

Guttural and harsh, the voice cuts into my foggy brain. No, that isn’t right. Not foggy. Hazey. Dried out. My dried out, crispy, shriveled brain.

Parched, my throat is a chasm words cannot escape.

In another language the voice shouts again, another language sounding like my mother tongue. Animal sounds surround me, thudding through the ground beneath my body. Like a snake I feel the vibrations echoing through the sand. Miles of sand, dunes upon dunes of it. A breeze kissed by flames blows over me and stings my sore-ridden flesh. I try to moan, to beg for relief, for anything other than the million blinding flashes of pain that sparkle over me and descend, but the sounds crumple and die before I can make them take flight.

“Alive?” Another voice says from high above me, like an eagle calling from the sky.

“I hear the heart beat. It is faint, but there is a pulse.”

These are men. Deep voices that roll and rumble and have brought me so much pain in the past, but today, in this moment, they bring desert rain. I have to open my eyes, to see them, to show them I am alive. I can live. I must live.

“How strong?” The voice descends again.

And suddenly I am being handled, someone is touching me, touching me for the first time since I can remember. Even in this dehydrated shroud my tiny pebble-heart leaps: this touch, this contact, it transcends my thirst. Riddled with sores, my papery skin sealed to my brittle bones, an emaciated imposter to my previous health–I am still human and I am finally worthy of someone’s touch. A man’s touch. I try to open my eyes, to force the binding glue of sleep tethering my lashes together to melt, but the haze and wind and hot, hot sun chant no. It has taken the grip of death to blind these men to my disease, my disgusting existence. I soak it in, their presence like rain water on my skin.

Grunting sounds as my body is uprooted from its grave and I am turned on my side. The sand is gritty and I feel my skin give way to abrasive teeth. Another sore has been bred for tomorrow.

“Not very strong. She has been here for a day at least. Look, she is riddled with the disease. She is dirty.”

“That is a woman?” This voice sounds incredulous. I know I am hideous to gaze upon, and the desert heat has done me no favors.

“Yes. On the cusp of death, I think. Should we leave her to her fate? She will not survive the sun. Perhaps it is a mercy.”

There is brooding. I can feel it in the air. My bodily senses may be lost to me, but I know the weight of silent thoughts, of judgement and condemnation. I can feel a hateful gaze long before I can see the culprit; I know the sting of pity. I have yet to experience the soft touch of mercy, but I know this man is wrong. Leaving me to catch fire in the sun and starve to death is not mercy. It is cruelty dressed up in kindness. It is willful ignorance and a denial of my humanity.

If I could clench my teeth in protest, I would. But my mouth is full of sand.
I can hear them exchanging solutions to their plight of stumbling upon me. They effortlessly slip between languages, some I am accustomed to, some I have only heard in passing. They are traveling between villages, I am sure. They will not linger here long. If I am to make my case for survival, I must do it now. I settle for pushing a grunt out of the abyss within me. This time, it breaks free, but I sink further into the sand.

The voices continue: they are too loud for me to overcome. I push another sound out, a moan, reaching into myself with all my remaining strength.

“Wait… Wait! I think the girl is coming to!”

The speaker bends down low and his voice washes over my face. “Can you hear us? Are you awake?”

I try to nod, but my strength is failing me. My breathing is shallow, rattling in my lungs. My head is so heavy.

“She barely stirs.”

Voices mutter consent. I hear a camel snort and stomp on the sand. At least, I think it’s a camel.

“If you wrap her in blankets to be burned after, we will spare her. Is there room to pack her?”

There is mutiny brewing at the suggestion. How dare this man risk saving someone like me?

“There is no room!” I hear someone shout.

“She is dying, anyways! And then we will be carrying her curse! Leave her to her fate! Look!”

I am not surprised by the anger at my rescue. But I am moved, even in the throes of death, that a man would consider rescuing me. I scrape out a sigh of relief and my eye lids are heavy stones. I will never open them again, I think. But I don’t need to; I am being rescued. How redemptive.

I am being picked up suddenly, gingerly. My limbs are weightless and the sand pours out of them, filling the desert with dunes upon dunes, more sand than it can hold. My body was full of it, full of its grains, full of its salt, full of its heat. But now it is gone, and I am rising above the sand and my skin is healthy again. Rare and precious water is being poured over my face, and I am healed.

I hear a wind-filled voice whisper, “Be free, beautiful one,” and my pebble heart is swelling into a gorgeous oasis of flesh and blood again. I have never been called beautiful. My eyelids peel back and I can see, more clearly than I have ever been able to see before in my life, and I realize I have never had true eyesight before now. I am being lifted, higher and higher, and looking below I see a group of men picking up a lifeless body, wrapping it in a blanket.

Poor soul, I think, and my heart goes out to the wraith below.

They shrink until they disappear beneath the desert haze and I soar onward.

Snowflake

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Day Four: Snowflake

A snowflake is a snowflake is a snowflake… Not going to change. No changing. Never changing. It will always be a snowflake, bright and beautiful and falling, always falling, falling, falling, falling down from those clouds and… Clouds? Were those always clouds? Were they there before? How did they get there? No, no, no… Snowflake. Concentrate on snowflakes. Those are Real. You know they’re Real. Snowflake, snowflake bright and shiny, falling down on me. I am in control. Me. I am. Because they melt when they touch my face. Not his face, or her face or… Faces, faces, faces… I have a face. Those clouds have faces, tricky tricksters trying to make me think they’re clouds but they are them and they are watching me… Trying to steal this from me. No one can take the snowflakes away from me. They’re mine, mine, mine. A snowflake is a snowflake and the snowflake is mine and I…

“Linda?”

She jerked from her place on the bench and scrambled to brush her hair with her fingers. It was ratty and unkempt, and didn’t look like she had washed it in days. Her pupils dilated wildly as she brought her fingers down through the tangles, muttering something unintelligible.

“Linda…” His voice was calm and careful. He did not want to push her too far, but today was an important day for Linda and she needed to come with him. To get off the bench.

To get dressed… He thought, eyes traveling down to her sweater, hanging off one of her shoulders. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Her navy sweatpants were full of holes and soaked through from sitting on the bench in the snowfall, and her Christmas socks were bunched at her ankles.

She scooted down the bench and kept running her fingers through her hair. Harsh, violent gestures, trying to get the tangles out, pulling and ripping at the knots. Linda turned her face up towards the sky, still muttering to herself, clenching her eyes shut tight as the snowflakes brushed her skin.

They were sticking to her eyelashes, landing in her hair, suspended for mere seconds and adorning her like diamonds would adorn royalty. Her cheeks were flushed, pink and pulsing and rubbed, trying to suck warmth out of the frigid sky. She is beautiful, in her own way, he thought. But in a happier, healthier time she would have been lovely.

She smiled and a small, throaty laugh escaped her, unfurling from her mouth in a wispy cloud.

He didn’t want to disturb her, to take away this one moment of peace and perfection. The rarity of these moments made them valuable and precious, gems floating to the surface of a mire of sludge and shadows and brokenness.

He wanted to wait a moment longer, to give her more time. But the system doesn’t give time to those who need it. It is a rigid, cold construct built to fit around a constantly morphing beast it cannot contain. He sighed.

“Linda, can you look at me? I’m Dr. Sand. Do you remember me?”

Linda squeezed her eyes tighter and a pained look passed her face.

“Sand. Sand…” She rolled the word around in her mouth, trying to find something to connect it to.

“Dr. Sand.” He repeated, as kindly as he could. “I see you every week, Linda. We’re quite good friends, you and I.”

She smiled and nodded fervently. “Yes, yes. I know you! Dr. Sand.”

He felt a rush of relief. “Very good, Linda! Now, I know this is beautiful weather, but you must be very cold. Would you like to come inside with me? Your children will be here to visit soon.”

Fear bloomed in a far, unreachable place behind her bluebell eyes. As quickly as it showed its grip, it receded back, cloaked in glossy confusion.

“Children…” She whispered, frowning. He waited, his hands going numb in his pockets. She started picking at the cuffs of her sleeves, which were shredded and limp from countless hours of being torn and pulled and picked at in distress.

Then Linda smiled, a wide, innocent smile and his heart quickened in excitement at her recognition.

“I like the snowflakes.” She said calmly. And then she turned her face towards the sky again and closed her eyes. “Snowflakes are mine.” Her breath fanned out from behind her teeth, a column of smoke melting her beautiful diamonds just moments before they could touch her skin.

There will be no visit today, he mused, and trudging back to the building he left Linda to her snowflakes.

Restless

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Day Three: Restless

“The sun’s restless, too, child.”

Mama squeezed the sponge, ringing out the muddy water. It dripped down my back in cool rivulets.

“How d’you know?”

“On account of I know. Every one with half a brain knows that. But you wanna know a secret ’bout that old sun?”

She started scrubbing the cakes of dirt off my elbows and I laid my forehead against my knees, letting her rub my skin raw. The wire brush was bristly and hurt, but you didn’t tell Mama that when you had misbehaved. I didn’t get to tell her a lot of things because of that rule.

“Yeah, I wanna.” I squeezed my eyes shut tight as she started dumping water over my head, my hair streaming down my arms and sticking to my skin like it does in the summer when I’m hot and sweaty cuz I’ve been racing cousin Glenn. I usually win cuz he’s not very fast, but he’s the one who’s dumb enough to keep racing me, so I do it anyways.

Mama says it’s cuz I’ve got restless feet. I never stop moving. It’s probably why I get in so much trouble.

“Well, that sun, he’s restless. He’s always on the move and he’s got a lotta sky to cover on account of the whole world’s gotta get their fill of him. So he’s always wandering, trying to make someone’r other happy, like. But he’s got a route, see?” She stopped the assault for a moment and pointed up to the bluejay sky, drawing a line from the sun to the tops of the tree line at the back of the forest, way back where I wasn’t allowed to go by myself. The sun was right over head and it glared off the top of the water and glinted off the walls of the metal tub I was sitting in, slicing right into my eyes. I had to screw them up just right to even see the tip of her finger.

“I can’t see.” I complained, and slapped at the water.

“Well it’s a good thing you’ve got yer Mama to tell you ’bout it then. Close your eyes.” I obeyed, and she squirted pasty soap in my hair and started rubbing her fingers on my scalp. The soap lathered and started dripping down the front of my face and I held my breath, imagining that I was a crocodile at the bottom of the river, waiting to snap at my prey.

Mama’s hands were rough and a couple times she yanked my hair so hard I had to grab the sides of the tin so I didn’t fall out. I bit my lip so I couldn’t yell, cuz crocodiles are silent and stealthy.

“You’ve got them restless feet, child. What am I gunna do with you?” Suddenly she was in front of me and she was blocking out the sun, leaning forward, squishing my chin in her big, cracked hand that was hard and raw from the lye she used to make soap. She pulled my face up to look at hers, with her steel trap fingers clamping into my jaw so I couldn’t move. Her eyebrows were all scrunched together and her hair was coming out of her bun all wispy and sticking to her forehead.

“You gotta find a route, Letty. A pattern. I don’t want them wandering feet getting you into all kindsa trouble later on, you hear me?”

I nodded. Mama was really good at grabbing you so that you couldn’t get away. Her fingers pressed a little harder.

“You gotta promise to grow up right. You ain’t gunna leave here with them restless feet, and leave your Mama all alone.”

I nodded again, confused at why she would even say that. There were still tons of places around here I hadn’t explored. Like the back of that forest. I bet there was acres of land I hadn’t even seen before. I wasn’t trying to leave, just slip away for a few hours when she was busy so she didn’t know where I’d been.

She kept holding my chin in her iron grip. I would normally let her until she decided she was done, but she was really starting to pinch. I squirmed a little.

“Mama, that hurts! I promise!”

She just nodded and let go. Then she smoothed my hair, and for a moment all the hard, rough edges were gone and she bent down and kissed my forehead, mud and soap and all.

“That’s my child.” She whispered, and she bent down to get the water bucket. The light burst from behind her like it had been cloistered up behind a dam, bright and dazzling, and it went straight for my eyes. I squeezed them shut before it could get in. It was kind of magical, I guess. This weird glimpse into a soft part of Mama’s brain she usually kept stuffed inside. I smiled really little, cuz I didn’t want to give her away. But I knew I wasn’t in trouble anymore.

She dumped another bucket of water over my head and I was a crocodile again.

Accusation

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And here, to a completely different tune, is today’s word.

Day Two: Accusation

Black. Black like poison, slipping from your tongue, my tongue, our tongue.

Collective–we breath the same air, speak the same spells. Our words hug in deceit, beguiling smiles glinting with just a hint of treachery.

This is for your own good! Each word falls on dead ears. Pulling their daggers, striking at the gut, in the back. Searching for the heart.

Dancing now, with our blood pouring out. Dancing in the hot, sticky pulses with our tricks and knives and costumes. We are ugly, so ugly, but awash in the blood we feign beauty. Dancing, madly, to the ritual we always seem to find: even after swearing off your enemy, my enemy, our enemies. All for the common good.

But we are enemies without reason! Screaming, my knife is at your throat–it is pushing deeper, deeper, as far as it can go, as we dance in bloodlust and again draw our sharpened tongues. Quills, we carve the words into each other’s skin. Singeing away flesh, gobbling up old scabs, tearing away muscle to leave open, fetid wounds.

Devouring, because bloodlust is hard work. We are hungry and we embrace savagery like an old friend.

Hello. Come in, and help us consume.

Finished and full, lips smacking, bellies swollen. Feeling sick after the gorge. Lunacy has a price, one we thought of only after we supped on its finery.

We scamper away to inspect ourselves, retreating into hollow caves. Each one worse than the other-or is it the opposite? Bleeding, we are torn. Flayed. Mutilated. We bind our wounds and get cozy, bathing with salts and salves. Remembering the blood lust; it is running in our minds like reels of tape, caught on repeat. Each blow a little harder, each word a little louder.

Did I do that? My words are silent epitaphs in my throat, your throat, our throat. Those hands wielding destruction–those are not my hands. We cast down our knives in horror, cursed weaponry housing evil we dare not claim. But perhaps the real horror is that they are only twigs. Sticks. Stones. Our eyes light on them, and twist inward.

How did we do so much damage with such inconsequential trifles?

Regret is now our costume–but quick–-bury it in pride.

Accusation emerges from the shadows and feasts on the remaining carnage. We did not see him standing there. We never do.

Beginning

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So, Hillary challenged me to do the 30 day word challenge she is doing where you write a short “whatever” based on a one word prompt for that day. I have gladly taken up the challenge, so for the next 30 days I will be posting whatever random thing my brain spits out based on the following words:

beginning. accusation. restless. snowflake. haze. flame. formal. companion. move. silver. prepared. knowledge. denial. wind. order. thanks. look. summer. transformation. tremble. sunset. mad. thousand. outside. winter. diamond. letters. promise. simple. future.

It should be fun 😉 And if you like to write, or just to engage yourself in random spurts of creativity, you should do it, too!

This is for yesterday, Day One: Beginnings

The first beginning started at the back of his mouth.

Wisdom suggested he hide it just behind his very last tooth, which he laughed kindly at and said would be too easy to find.

“It must be somewhere hidden, but not so hidden it cannot be found if one is brave enough to seek it. Besides, that is not the origin, but these teeth I will bless and they will bear your name. It will be a sign for the ones who will come seeking after the Beginning, if they care to find meaning in design.”

Wisdom was very pleased, which He knew because music of joy and delight swelled in the Great Expanse.

“How will they know it is the Beginning when they see it?” A symphony of voices carried across the waters.

“It will take them a great while, but it is not impossible.” His voice boomed and the waters rose up to meet Him like a bowl. “They will not know it by sight, but by its sound.”

The waters folded into one another, orbs of light in lilac fields dancing against beyond and back.

Wisdom called from above, overseeing the scene unfold.

“And were they to hear it, how shall they arrive at it? Surely their feet cannot wander into the Great Expanse. The cannot climb into your mouth!”

His laughter boomed into the cavernous halls of the cathedral, draped in gauzy constellations, and leapt forward through the gates into the Expanse.

“It will not be hard to hear if they are eager to listen. And you shall be there to guide their feet, until they have Arrived.”

“But where you will place the Beginning for them to find? They cannot see what they can only hear! They cannot hear what has only once sounded!” The choir exclaimed in harmonious praise, bells chiming in the waves and wind.

His voice boomed across the deep in answer, and the night began to glow orange and iridescent in the cosmos. “It will echo for all eternity. They will know it by sound, not by sight, for they cannot come into my lungs anymore than they can dig into my vocal chords; they cannot climb upon my smile or build a tower unto the heavens. They will even name it after a sound when they do not know what to call it! It will appear to them from a point, the point of their Beginning, and they will have to transcend their eyes and ears to hear the sound at the source.”

Shouts erupted in the darkness, shouts that caught fire against the black. Illustrious song burst forth and there was dancing and gladness to herald His words.

Wisdom bowed her head in consent, acknowledging the journey to come.

“It is beautiful,” she sang, her voice an ointment that spilled into the waters below and gleamed in the luminescence.

“And what is the sound that will echo in all eternity?” Lightly did her words skip upon the stars.

“My voice.” He said, and with a breath that held all breath, He began.

#4

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Today is my friend Hillary Dodson’s birthday. Therefore, my thankfuls will be dedicated to her.

In case you didn’t know, there is a page on our blog dedicated to Hillary, as she is an incredible musician (soon to be musical prodigy) and amazing person. Please check it out (along with her Facebook page ((search Hillary Dodson Music)) and YouTube channel) so you can be thankful for her, too!

1) Once upon a time, I met a red headed, short girl when I came into her room and stood on a chair, looking for her roommate. She didn’t really talk to me, but that’s okay, because now she is one of my best friends and she talks to me every day. Thank you, God, for making a Hillary Dodson!

2) Sometimes, you just need someone who will listen to you break down and word-vomit profusely on everything, without fear of judgement. Hillary, thank you for always being that person, and for never begrudging all of us word-vomiters for vomiting on you.

3) I am insanely thankful to have a friend whose brain flows in the same creative vein of ideas, thoughts and stories. It feels like sometimes we share a brain when it comes to writing and allowing plot lines and characters to shape themselves–which is the BEST!

4) I am so thankful for the fact that I don’t ever have to question that no matter what, you will be my loyal friend for life. It’s just part of your character and who you are, and it’s really beautiful.

5) And LAST, but never least, I am thankful for the impact you have had on my life: for the times of prayer and counsel you have given me, for the times when we literally hang out just to make soup, for when you listen without the expectation of anything in return, for your thoughtfulness, compassion and willingness to open up and share yourself with me in friendship. Thank you, Hillary, for just being my friend!

#3

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The last two days I have been quite awful at posting daily thanks…. As in, I didn’t even do it at all.

Oops…!

I will have to pay penance and throw a couple extra in the mix of today’s.

For two days ago, which was the 29th:

1) On this day, I got to see my family and Tron shot trap for the first time with my uncles and cousins, while my mother anxiously pulled out her hair due to that being the first time Tron had shot a gun. I don’t know if she was worried he wouldn’t know which way to point the gun or if it would implode in his hands out of the sheer desire to prove her anxiety correct, but I was pretty thankful for over-anxious mothers and getting to spend time with family.

2) This was also the day of the season premiere for Once Upon a Time. I don’t think there is anything else I need to say about that.

Yesterday:

1) I felt so incredibly inspired that I developed a new character for my book and added a multitude of new things to one of my chapters. I am SO thankful for the beauty of creativity and the unlimited potential to create something amazing where, once, nothing existed.

2) I was very thankful for my husband, who made me breakfast for dinner, even though the hash browns were so salty they made me cough (and I am usually very thankful for salt and appreciate it in abundance). I am thankful for a husband who wants to do things for me, and does them with zeal.

Annnnnd….. Today!

1) My husband drove me to work. That is very nice and unusual. Thank you, husband Tron.

2) Today, I am wearing my favorite scarf because it managed to be cold enough. Yes, and amen. Thank you. Thank you.

3) Lately, I feel like my brain won’t turn off regarding this book and all the characters and the story development. I literally feel blessed with creative energy and drive. It’s pretty amazing.

4) I am truly inspired and awed by the love, compassion and positivity that some of my consumers (and my co-workers) have for life, and serving others. It is encouraging, courageous and game-changing. It challenges me to change my perspective and be truly appreciative for the multitude of ideas and giftings I may never have or understand fully in my own lifespan.

5) I am thankful, today, for our government. Though I may not necessarily agree with much of what is going on or how they are executing policy, these are the leaders of our nation, and they are the figureheads for lasting change in the political climate. I am thankful that they are in positions to influence true change in government, and I am SO thankful for the ability to bless them in such a way that they can be influenced by the kingdom of heaven. I am hopeful and expectant that we will see God work through these leaders.

#2

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I’ve decided that it’s much more fun to do more than one a day.  Five just sounds more productive.

1)  This morning, small children put doughnuts on me while I slept.  Initially, when I realized that what I was grabbing off my legs were squishy, crumbling doughnuts, I was not necessarily thankful–doughnut crumbs in my bed just don’t really do it for me.  However, I’m kind of excited that it happened because it’s funny.   Weirdly, I’m thankful for small children who put doughnuts on me, although not necessarily thankful for doughnuts, which I hate eating.

2) Today it allllmost looks like it might rain, maybe.  That is good, because I like rain, and it makes me feel like my creative juices are really flowing.  Bring it on, weather. I’m thankful for you.

3) There are several hours of peace and quiet I will be able to have this afternoon to drink my coffee, spend some time with God, and then write (which I have been dying to do for the past four days.  Thank. You. Finally.)

4) I am truly thankful for what the future holds.  Although slightly intimidating, it’s almost as if I can see the edges beginning to form around the opportunities we will be given and the doors that will open to us.  I’m thankful for the fact that there are an unlimited number of ways for our lives to unfold, and endless possibilities by which our dreams can take root and grow.

5) It is amazing to stop and consider the power of choice you have, everyday.  I’m pretty thankful for the fact that I get to choose the way I approach everything, and for the fact that I am always a powerful person, regardless of circumstance.  All of that being said, one of the most powerful choices a person can probably make daily is to approach every situation with faith.  So faith is, ultimately, what I guess I’m most thankful for today.

The Beginning of Thankfulness–But Never the End

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Generally our blog has been a culmination of random pages (which, by the way, apparently don’t send out notifications when posted, so no one even knows we’re posting them…so please, if interested, check out all the things, because they ARE there!)

Anyways, I was thinking about what we could possibly do that could just be a daily sort of routine. I’m not much for “routine” so that’s quite the commitment. But I want you all to brace yourselves, because I think I’ve got it. THE thing that we can try to do daily.

And that thing is giving thanks.

Which should be a daily process, anyways. In going through this last month, which has not necessarily been an easy one, God has really brought the lesson home to me that in everything, we are to give thanks. And not just in the good things: the things we succeed at, our dreams coming true. He literally means that in everything we should give thanks–and that includes the days (or even seasons) when nothing seems to be going in our favor.  There is something about giving thanks that not only throws things back into perspective, but turns the tides by giving attention and glory to those things that actually matter, fostering hope out of faithfulness and victory.  It is meant to be a process, not a rare event.

I suppose, in a typical day, your giving thanks could look like many things. Such as having a job, having friends, catching a break, getting a raise, finding a kitten, or eating ice cream. If it’s an exceptional day maybe you fell in love, got married, had a child, experienced a miracle, or read a book.

Or perhaps your day was not so exceptional and your car broke down, you lost your job, you had a relational difficulty, or you failed miserably at something you had really set your heart on. Regardless, there are thanks to be had in those moments. Such as the fact that you are simply alive, or that now you might be free to pursue your real dreams, or you happen to have just enough money to pay the bills and make it through.

Hey God, thanks.

So today, though it is not necessarily a remarkable day to commemorate on the calendars, I want to begin giving daily thanks. You can join with us in our thankfulness, or read these posts and be encouraged, or get irritated that you’re receiving daily notifications from our blog, delete us and live a life of misery. Sorry in advance, if you’re in that last boat.

So here is to beginning daily thanks:

#1. I am SO thankful today for my job. For some reason I feel fuzzy and warm inside when I think about what I do and how I got here. Also, I am thankful for fall and pumpkin spice lattes, which fill my heart with unexplainable joy and butterflies, for no reason whatsoever.

#2. I am also thankful that today my husband tried to make me a homemade cappuccino with half and half, the microwave, and a whisk, which was mostly just coffee with a lot of creamer. BUT STILL AMAZING, and definitely earning an A for effort–whisking something in a coffee mug is hard work.

#3. Today is Friday. I get off work at 4, and I get to sleep in tomorrow.

#4. I am going to the gym tonight, after not having gone in 2 weeks out of busyness. I’m sure I will regret that in the moment, but will rejoice in the aftermath.

#5. I love my husband, and even in the chaos and difficulty of this last month, I rest assured that everything is going to be more than okay, it is going to be remarkable.

And thus begins this perpetual  journey of thankfulness.