Thursday, September 11, 2008

safe place

It seems that there is a sub-conscious theme of thankfulness in a lot of what I write here. I guess I don't feel as motivated to write about the personal failures, the lost temper, the worry over money, the harsh tone of voice, the fear, and pride,the ugly things, that I wish I could purge forever from my soul, and replace with truth and justice, and love to where it just pours out of me. Surely those things are there, with nagging questions I can not answer and sorrows just beneath the surface. What I write here, are mostly things I never want to forget, the things I am so deeply and overwhelmingly thankful for. I think almost everyday something stops me in my tracks, and takes my breath away with joy-love-gratitude or some equivalent to complete contentedness.
The other day I walked through the perfect morning light with Naya strapped to my back, making sweet little humming noises while Juden and Ella tumbled excitedly down the path filling their treasure baskets with leaves and acorns and wild flowers. And it hit me then. The way the sun fell soft on their faces, the wonder, the green aliveness, and it made me pause, to tuck it away somewhere inside me.

The other day Juden, who is becoming very tender-hearted, in an innocent voice asked me, "Why can't we see God?" and then he said that he would like to.
There it was again, that same feeling.
And then this morning I knelt beside a white-haired woman in her nineties who was not in good shape, and seemed quite incapable of even sitting up. I said "hello there, how are you?" To which she responded with a look of complete sincerity, "just wonderful." For her, years of laughter and family, health and adventure were days long gone. Yet, was there something inside her that made her not just okay, but wonderful despite a body that had all but given out on her, in a place surrounded by strangers? How I want to cultivate that kind of inner peace and joy, by God's grace that enables me to be thankful even in hard things, even in my twilight. I wonder why it seems that often the people that have suffered hard things are the same ones with a spirit of gratefulness.

I know this is a rambly post; I guess I'm in a rambly mood. I must also mention how thankful I am for my husband, with whom I am so smitten. It was a good design, this whole partnering thing. I don't know how I'd do it without him. Last weekend Josh and I went mountain biking. Did you catch that I said Josh and I, meaning not the helmets galore, sippy cups and trailers and baby seats, a-circus-is-coming-your-way kind of biking. This was the light, free, I-can-go-as-fast-as-I-like-down- rocky-narrow-trails kind of biking. Needless to say,this kind of biking doesn't happen too often for me anymore. Josh on the other hand who does not have a ton of height but has what I call power-house legs, rides a whole lot. After we did the trail my out-of-shape self was panting up a steep road and suddenly I felt Josh's hand, firm on my back, powering me up that hill and uttering words of encouragement the whole way. It is not the first time that he's done that. We love to ride together but I am just not as adept of a bicycler. I can't help but smile when I feel that hand reminding me of his strength and how I love to lean on him. I have never had much confidence and Josh seemed to get an extra dose. The hand on my back felt like such a tangible reminder of his voice over the years, saying,"sing, write, create, love, let it shine." The gentle ways his love has helped me see myself through God's eyes, and that my worth comes from Christ alone, nothing else. Anyway we reached the top and collapsed in a sweaty heap, chests heaving and staring at the clouds above the strangely vacant mountain. And there it was again, a moment that makes you stop breathless, and tuck it away in that safe place.