Monday, February 28, 2011

Finding the gifts in the midst of chaos

This last week found me with a busy schedule of composing a newsletter, sitting at our dining room table writing a sermon, leading the last session of my Thursday night women’s Bible study on “Grace” and praying on what God’s will was for me as I had been invited to be on a leadership team for a new young woman’s ministry and accepting the invitation.

Saturdays around our home have a routine all to themselves. Clean the house, shop for groceries and wash clothes. When you add in preaching at the Saturday night and Sunday morning worship services it begins to be overwhelming. By Saturday my nerves were thin, my patience barely there and the muscles in my neck and shoulders knotted.

My husband on most Saturdays helps with the cleaning and grocery shopping and this Saturday was no exception. The only problem with this Saturday was that I was not my normal self. Every time he offered to do something I felt myself tense up and respond with a bit of an attitude in my reply. Each time it happened, I would pray to God for calmness and to change my attitude. It was only when I started to look at the blessings and gifts that God surrounds me with, did my attitude change. As I dusted the coffee table in the family room I went to my knees, bowed my head and started listing God‘s gifts:

* for a husband who not only loves and supports me but is willing to share in the daily chores of our home
* for the energy to do the work that needs to get done
* for food that fills our cupboards and refrigerator
* for the water filling the washer and the humming of a dryer
* for God’s words that flowed from my pen to the paper
* for a sermon that is written, typed and ready to be given
* for the grace that God gives freely

As the gifts started to flow from my mouth I felt the peace of God’s presence envelope me and joy began to fill my heart.

But as quickly as peace and joy came in the afternoon, stress of reality arrived that evening. Our son who is 17 and who recently purchased his first vehicle, decided to come home after curfew. As the minutes ticked by, my disappointment and anger grew. “God give me strength, keep me calm and let me handle this with grace.” When he finally got home and we had a “discussion“, I settled back in bed but found myself tossing and turning. Tonight of all nights I needed to get a good nights sleep. How was I going to be able to preach if I was yawning through it? I prayed to God, “Where is the gift in this Lord?” Once again I started counting:

* for a son who is home and in his bed
* for my husbands hand rubbing my back
* for clean sheets and a pillow to lay my head on
* for our home and the family that has lived and breathed life into it

God’s grace was given, God’s grace was received and God’s joy filled my spirit. Sleep returned and dreams were dreamt. Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle.


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