A thankful heart and a Mexican beach

'Mexican beach' photo (c) 2010, drtreypennington - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Today has been nutso-crazy, and tomorrow and Thursday will be much more of the same. I’m trying to cram the million ordinary things I do with my week into three days because Thursday morning I’m boarding a plane and heading for a beach with three girlfriends, and we’re going to celebrate having all survived our thirtieth birthdays.

Of course, this assumes that the major snowstorm we’re supposed to get on the East Coast Wednesday night into Thursday morning doesn’t ground my plane.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now, writing and reading, as has become my Tuesday custom.  My professor friend sits across from me preparing lectures for her classes, and interrupting every so often to deliver some tidbit about the Habsburgs I probably won’t remember by the time we get up from the table.

I tell her that I think this is the most ridiculous I have ever been, as I rant about the weather I can’t control and the shampoo I still need to buy, and she just looks at me. Twenty years of knowing me communicating in the slightest raise of an eyebrow that this is, in fact, not the most ridiculous I have ever been.

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I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts today.  As I read, I think about the six other women who are reading the same book, stealing moments to get one chapter in this week, and I can’t wait to see them tonight to talk about the ways that God is using Ann’s words to meet with us, to help us feel not quite so alone in the world.

Today, this:

All those years thinking I was saved and had yes to my God, but was really living the no. Was it because I had never fully experienced the whole of my salvation? Had never lived out the fullest expression of my salvation in Christ? Because I wasn’t taking everything in my life and returning to Jesus, falling at His feet and thanking Him. I sit still, blinded. This is why I sat all those years in church but my soul holes had never fully healed.

All those years in church and my soul holes had never fully healed – this makes sense to me.

I think I’ve spent much of my life, the last couple of years in particular, wanting to blame it on the Church, or a church, but….this is on me.

I’ve missed the part of really and truly being thankful.

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Today might be the most ridiculous I’ve ever been; or it might not. It might blizzard on Wednesday; or it might not. I might make my flight on Thursday; or I might not.  I might cross all of my week’s to-dos off my list before I leave; or I might not.

Whatever happens, here in this moment, in this coffee shop, I choose to be grateful. And I choose to find joy.

I have books to read that remind me of who God is, penned by authors who are willing to be vulnerable as they share their stories.  I have women to meet with every week to talk about these books, an odd sisterhood that eats and prays and laughs together.  I have friends who know me well, who can still me with a look, and who like having me on vacations. I have parents who are willing to drive me to the airport 2 hours away so that I can go de-stress on a Mexican beach for a week with my friends. And I have a guy who’s going to miss me when I’m gone.

The point, I think, is that there is much to be thankful for.

And perhaps today, with all of its ridiculous that will bleed into tomorrow and Thursday, I needed to be reminded of that.

Because when I get to that Mexican beach and I’m laughing with my girlfriends, I’m not going to care how I got there or if I have my shampoo. I’m just going to be really thankful to be there.

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