"And life is beautiful in spite of all its sorrow and care. I seem to realize the truth of this afresh every day and to see its beauty more clearly. There is so much in the world for us all, if we only have the eyes to see it and the heart to love it and the hand to gather it to ourselves--so much in men and women, so much in art and literature, so much everywhere in the narrowest, most circumscribed life--so much to enjoy and delight in and be thankful for."--L.M Montgomery
My days when I manage to not be totally self-absorbed, I feel the vibrancy of this quote. I agree with Maud (Lucy Maud Montgomery's preferred name...and yes, we are on a first-name basis:) ) and her passionate view of the human experience. Yes, I know. It isn't always sunshine and rainbows. So did she. So do you, I would hazard to guess. And so does God. But there is still a powerful undercurrent of beauty in life, and the wisest people allow themselves to be swept away.
But I am not one of the wise and I am beginning to understand this is an essential step part in having a merry heart. A joyful and thankful heart is in its very nature merry. It's hard to admit, shameful really, but I am not a joyful or thankful person. In spite of all I've been given I seem to be hardwired to radiate a signal of negativity. I am grateful to God but I don't show it. I complain. I whine. I criticize. I complain some more. Whenever I read about the Ancient Israelites my ears burn because they're talking about me. I'm just as bad as they were.
I've seen miracles--in ordinary days and in extraordinary moments--and yet lose my joy at the first twinge of irritation. I suppose it was one thing to be negative before falling in love with Him, but to stay this way? True love inspires change. And a life which reflects God's grace requires change. A shift from self to Savior.
And this change requires commitment. My word again. A commitment to gratitude which will bear the fruit of joy and...merriness. My merry heart.
Ann Voskamp has inspired me, and countless others, to notice God's gifts and be grateful. She's written a book I intend to purchase and read which covers this idea (and so much more from what I can tell from reviews). And on her blog there is an invitation to join her. I put the button on my blog to show my commitment to this new lifestyle of gratitude and joy.
So here I go. I'm jumping in to be swept away in that undercurrent of beauty which is God's awesome love.
The start of my gift list...hoping to reach 1000 by the first day of Summer?
1. Getting up a half hour before the alarm to start my day with Him
2. Having a few spare mintures to just scratch Bode's tummy
3. Being greeted with a thousand slobbery kisses from Shiloh and Bode
4. My husband's smiling eyes even when he's had a hard day
5. A sunset with clouds that make the sky look like an ocean. I. Love. That.
6. Quiet moments at work making Valentine's crafts with a kindergartner.
7. Felix's (our kitty) fascination with water & watching him drink from the tap.
8. A string of really good songs on the radio.
9. That tingly feeling of knowing you've found Him again, or been found by Him again.
10. Being a little lamb held in His arms.