I’ve blogged before about how much I love Angie Smith’s blog, Bring the Rain. Her honest, humble and humorous (hey HEY! Alliteration! (Dork)) thoughts on God have influenced my own stuttering blurt-outs so much.
Angie started writing from a place of deep grief; the death of near newborn daughter, Audrey. You can read her story here. To see her praising God despite what she’s gone through… well it reddens my cheeks in embarrassment over my own cheap whining and complaining.
Over the years of checking in, I’ve watched as Angie has poured her story into a well-received book, a column at (in)courage (a collection of thoughtful, female writers) and perhaps my favourite thing… Bloom, her book club, which has now joined forces with (in)courage.
Every month, she encourages readers to get stuck into good (read: not boring!) Christian books. And even though she’s been doing it for a while, I’ve never been tempted to jump in… until this month.
See, there’s been a lot of static on the line between me and Heaven. Every time I pick up the phone, I can’t seem to hear Him. I would get frustrated, knowing that it had to do with me, that I shouldn’t need to have a supernatural experience every single time I pray, that I had to walk by faith, not by sight (or hearing)… that I was being needy.
But I also knew there was another reason I probably wasn’t hearing from him. So I’ll sheepishly admit that I was worried that I was turning into one of “those” people who harp on and on about God, often to weary ears that eventually tune out. Were people tiring of reading about Him when all they wanted was a recipe, a cooking tip or a peek into the life of a new Food Network host? Should I cool it?
In realising that I was (gasp) ashamed of my relationship with Him, another wave of shame would wash over me.
This book came at just the right moment.
It’s Ann Voskamp’s “1000 Gifts”. From the first page, I was struck through the heart by her writing; it’s beautiful, literary, the work of a poet. Then, I was struck by her own heartbreak, roiling her at such a young age. I don’t want to ruin it for you. You can read an excerpt from the first chapter here.
Ann writes about fully living your life, enjoying, exploring the heights and depths of God’s grace, despite the sting of monotony or tragedy. It’s a dare. And I’m totally stepping up to it.
Ann uncovers the power of gratitude — something we take for granted these days. Not that we don’t know that we should be grateful, but I don’t think we understand its power, that it’s the key to living a truly joyful life. She begins writing a list of little things, little reminders of God’s love for her, of His fingerprint on every single aspect of our lives.
Inspired, I took a few photos the other morning of things I’m grateful for.
The echo of a rainbow in my red onion…
New shoots unfurling on the curry leaf plant…
The morning light in our bedroom…
Those are just a few small things I’m grateful for at the moment. If you have a blog, do the same thing, and I’ll put ‘em up in another post!
(Small geek note: a little while ago, I emailed Angie, just to tell her how much I love her writing, how much she’s inspired me… and not only did she write me back, she knew who I was! WOOHOO! I’m so excited!! That’s been one of myriad cool things about this job — getting in contact with people who I admire and finding out that they’ve been watching me show. BEYOND cool. Oh, and yes I’m grateful for that. Yes ma’am.)