A Thousand Gifts

ann

this desert around me is dry.

it’s been dry for months. I’ve tried to step out, but the heat burns. and I thirst, but I can’t find anything to drink.

this has been the last five months or so. if you’ve followed me, you know that I’ve struggled with the words to say in this place – this sanctuary of quiet and peace and rest. words have always come easy to me, but lately, I can’t even find them on a map, let alone get to them.

it’s as if God has been silent. I see Him working in my life and sure, there are many things that I can look at and say, “that is the Lord’s hand working on my behalf, I am sure of it.” but in terms of what is happening in my heart, words evade me.

I think that I’ve been searching in all the wrong places. I have filled my days with plans of the future, relationships of the now, and grasped tightly to the days of college. (which is no surprise, we all know I loveeee college). I’ve made time + sacrificed time for all the things other than the One that gave me that time.

I’m reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and it is wrecking me, to say the least. it’s a book that explores the ability to live your fullest life through embracing gratitude and joy. I recommend it is an understatement.

anyway. I think that it has pulled me out of the desert, or at least begun to. it has started to drag this little heart to the well of the Lord, where I find something to drink. I’m all for being dramatic, so I’ll go ahead and say it – it has saved me.

really, I wanted to come here to tell you a handful of things – 1. maybe now you can welcome back normal Brenna? I don’t wanna speak too soon, but my heart feels better and more right, 2. advertise for Ann because she’s incredible and I’ve learned more than a lot of lessons from sitting under her scribblings of life, and 3. to offer some things that have helped me along the way –

1. waking up at 7.30. there are few things that compare to the sunshine shining in the window, the sound of birds chirping, the calm that seems to have enveloped the world (or at least, my sliver of the world in small town Anderson). nothing compares. set your alarm for 7.25 to turn the coffee on, doze until 7.28 (really), grab a book, a bible, and a pen, and rest. this rest is worth it.

2. no social media from 10-10. none after 10 pm and none before 10 am. those are sort of self explanatory, but I sleep better (and longer) and wake less anxious, annoyed, and over the day before it has really begun. with that, I’m usually in bed by 10.30 or so and up daily by 7.30. it. rocks.

3. stop rushing. time is not meant to be wasted, but had. take time, be time, and chill out. life is not meant to be raced through, but to be enjoyed. remember to enjoy.

4. count your blessings. literally, name them, list them, number them. these are the ways that the Lord shows His love to you and He desperately wants you to know it. He is very much worth it.

5. to find God, you have to try. waiting for Him to do something big or to show up sometime is ineffective and not what we are called to. He says that if we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him (deuteronomy 4.29). never for a second get to thinking that He is not worth it.

I say all of these things and really chant them to myself. I repeat them and remind myself of them because I, evidenced by this last season, need them as much as the next guy.

they say that anything worth having takes work. I side with that. I think that the Lord is worth working for and joy is worth working for.

so (dare I say it?) onward we go [that old mantra that has gotten me through many a’day]. marching towards freedom and joy and gratitude. because before the miracle, He broke the bread and gave thanks. gratitude always precedes the miracle. here’s to miracles here and now and today because I Am is present here.

onward we go.

lacing my fingers through yours,

b.

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