Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Reflections | 5 comments

Night light

 

I'm in the midst of a frustrating, overwhelming, never ending house project. Early this spring, we'll be moving to the other end of town and I've got clutter out the wazoo that needs to be sorted through. Monday, I tackled the girls' room, filling garbage bags with dried out markers, torn Polly Pocket dresses, dead flowers, candy wrappers (hmmmmm). I donated another bag to our resale shop bulging with outgrown clothes, stuffed animals and various other odds and ends prompting more than a few "We have too much sttttuuuuuufffff!" outbursts from yours truly.

 

Currently, I'm avoiding the boys' room, the attic, the basement (ohhhh, good grief, the scary basement) and the kitchen. It gets to me, you know? The hugeness of an undertaking that must be slowly chipped away at. There's no shortcut for this, I just  have to dig down deep and jump in somewhere, avoiding as much as possible thinking ahead about the tasks still in front of me. And this applies to parenting, faith, depression, illness, etc. – any and everything that can't be "solved" or completed with the flip of a switch or the click of a mouse. Blinders and gratitude: that's my game plan today. No dwelling outside of the present, no gawking at the length of the road stretched ahead of me winding over mountains, through deep valleys, and on out of sight. One minute, one room, one prayer for strength at a time.

 

I want you to try something with me: Pause a second. Take a deep breath.  What are you thankful for? Are you stumped? I understand. I have days like that too. When my gratitude is elusive I pull out my Akathist of Thanksgiving and recite the praises contained within it with whatever scant belief I can muster, allowing them to wash over my fears, anger, confusion, laziness, shame like a mystical balm. 

 

Glory to Thee for calling me into being
Glory to Thee, showing me the beauty of the universe
Glory to Thee, spreading out before me heaven and earth
Like the pages in a book of eternal wisdom
Glory to Thee for Thine eternity in this fleeting world
Glory to Thee for Thy mercies, seen and unseen
Glory to Thee through every sigh of my sorrow
Glory to Thee for every step of my life's journey
For every moment of glory
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age

 

Nothing outwardly changes when I do this. The physical mess remains and the uncertainties remain uncertain. Mysteriously, however, I am lifted above them. I become anchored to a peace born out of a remembrance of Christ's ever, ever, ever present mercy, and His divine and perfect Will. 

 

Glory to Thee, ceaselessly watching over me
Glory to Thee for the encounters Thou dost arrange for me
Glory to Thee for the love of parents, for the faithfulness of friends
Glory to Thee for the humbleness of the animals which serve me
Glory to Thee for the unforgettable moments of life
Glory to Thee for the heart's innocent joy
Glory to Thee for the joy of living
Moving and being able to return Thy love
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age


My soul stops flailing like its drowning when I grab hold of the life boat that is gratitude to God for even the hard parts of living. 

 

Glory to Thee, the highest peak of men's dreaming
Glory to Thee for our unquenchable thirst for communion with God
Glory to Thee, making us dissatisfied with earthly things
Glory to Thee, turning on us Thine healing rays
Glory to Thee, subduing the power of the spirits of darkness
And dooming to death every evil
Glory to Thee for the signs of Thy presence
For the joy of hearing Thy voice and living in Thy love
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age

 

This is my place: planted firmly in the "now" – in the stillness of wholly depending on Christ for illogical tranquility despite the turbulence breathing always down my neck. 

 

Glory to Thee, transfiguring our lives with deeds of love
Glory to Thee, making wonderfully Sweet the keeping of Thy commandments
Glory to Thee, making Thyself known where man shows mercy on his neighbour
Glory to Thee, sending us failure and misfortune that we may understand the sorrows of others
Glory to Thee, rewarding us so well for the good we do
Glory to Thee, welcoming the impulse of our heart's love
Glory to Thee, raising to the heights of heaven every act of love in earth and sky
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age

 

This is my vocation: To throw myself competely, humbly, prayerfully, as an offering of Thanksgiving to God, into even the most unglamorous of jobs, the most draining of interactions. 

 

Glory to Thee for every happening
Every condition Thy providence has put me in
Glory to Thee for what Thou speakest to me in my heart
Glory to Thee for what Thou revealest to me, asleep or awake
Glory to Thee for scattering our vain imaginations
Glory to Thee for raising us from the slough of our passions through suffering
Glory to Thee for curing our pride of heart by humiliation
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age

 

This is my reality: Christ is Risen, death has been vanquished! None of my suffering, my setbacks, my challenges, my multiple screw-ups, my disappointments are meaningless or necessarily growth stunting. Love, thanksgiving and humility can 100% of the time flip despair on its head. I am adored as I am. I am saved from despondancy, discontentment and excessive worry by loving others and returning over and over again, until this chapter of my existance is over, to gratitude when I start going under.

 

I think I'm ready now to head upstairs with a trash bag and vacuum – ready to pace myself. 

 

I will sing praises to my God while I have being.