(Sometimes) "it's my own face that obscures the face of God. How can I help this son of mine see when I can't see? The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach, because who can bring peace unless they've held their own peace? Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child - yet how do I admit that people made in the Image can make me blind to God? ... How do I have the holy vision in this mess? How do I see grace, give thanks, find joy in this sin-stinking place?" - Ann Voscamp, pg 124 - A Thousand Gifts -
I do like the practicality of things. I like to know what I will "do" with information if that makes sense. First and foremost when I started this book, HIS WORDS stood out to me more than anything...how much we as His children have much to be thankful for and that we SHOULD be thankful. To come before Him with these praises and thanksgivings...not keep silent about them - that was very, very, very clear. Secondly, I started wondering just how it would impact my life. So...I started being intentional about giving thanks - writing down gifts in my journal, speaking them out loud, making sure to have Ryleigh start noticing things with me, etc.
I soon realized that this spirit of thankfulness was in and of it self a gift. I found myself being much slower to discipline in anger and faster to find the gifts in the situation. A mess on the floor? I stopped to be thankful for a curious child who loves to help. A disrespectful way of saying something? I stopped to be thankful for a chid whose vocabulary grows daily and uses her mouth often to sing praises to Him. Now, this doesn't mean that discipline goes out the window and there's still a big difference in a mess (childishness) and being disrespectful (sinfulness). However, it does give me that brief second I need to remember the difference between the two (childishness & sinfulness) and to remind myself that I want to raise Ryleigh to honor & glorify the Lord - not myself. It gives me pause to take a deep breath and find life giving words instead of ones that tear down & destroy.
My prayer is that this isn't a "phase" I'm going through because I read some popular book but rather an inward life change because I know the Author of the Book.
"May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord." Psalms 104:34