May 6, 2009

Gratitude

First let me just point out how much I love Nichole Nordeman, and how much I love this song:

Gratitude
by Nichole Nordeman

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

(Chorus)

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

(Chorus)

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .

(Chorus)

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

Beautiful. And a compelling reminder of how we should be thankful no matter the circumstance, because Jesus is always there. He will carry us through and use those difficult times to grow us and teach us and mold us into better people.

A series of interesting events took place today. The past few weeks have been very difficult, very stressful, really quite overwhelming for me due to circumstances completely beyond my control. I've been crying out to God "why?" what is the purpose of this? And yet, as I sit here typing this out, God has been revealing to me with gentle nudges the lessons He has been teaching me all along. The purpose of this part of His plan and how it relates to ME!

I won't reveal all of it, perhaps due to my own pride... something else I probably should work on in my life, but let's just leave it at- I have control issues (something I already knew reared it's head in several areas of my life, but didn't really think about how my need to be in control affected my relationship with God), and I learned quite a good lesson in humility and laziness as well.

So I've been struggling with this stress and depression the last couple of weeks and today I just had reached the end of my tether. So Eric urged me to get out of the house for a bit. I took the girls to a park while Eric stayed home with Alex and I sat at a bench and did some Bible reading while the girls played. Reading scripture always helps to ease my pain and today was no exception. So after I prayed I went off to play with the girls, enjoying the park and the time with them. I left feeling renewed (though a bit angry at the fact that someone stole Jenna's reindeer Webkinz, Sarah) and came home to find a message from Stacey reminding me that today marks 6 years since we heard the news of Aunt Carla's cancer. It's a date that I can never remember but a day that I remember quite well.

I reflected on this moment in my life with sadness and was trying to think of something to say to Stacey but my words always seem inadequate so I moved on, hoping to think of something to say later. Then I went into Alex's room to look for a teether amidst the still unpacked boxes piled in his closet. It was here that I found the DVD of Aunt Carla's memorial service. 'How fitting' I thought to myself and I went into the living room to watch it right away.

Several thoughts came to me as I was watching:

- with time the hurt has healed... a bit. Of course it still makes my heart ache to think about her untimely death, the children she left behind, the memories I have of her... so many memories, wonderful, beautiful memories. And I miss her. But yes, time has healed some of the pain and I found I was able to watch some parts with smiles where before I was in sobbing tears (the tears were still there, perched on my eyelashes, but not quite as many fell this time).

- It definitely felt like God purposefully put this DVD back into my life at this moment (it's been missing for some time) to remind me of the life I so desperately want to lead and how He works in ways that we cannot understand, but He knows what He is doing and we can take comfort in that even when it feels like there is no hope at all. Now, the trials I'm facing right now come nowhere near the trials that cancer brings, both to the victim and their family, but it is a trial, nonetheless, and it has been tough and sometimes seems hopeless, so this brought a lot of comfort to me.

- I was, once again, reminded of how amazing my family is. Hearing the words of my Uncle Pat, the beautiful voices of my Aunt Kathi and my cousins, remembering what a remarkable woman of God my Aunt Carla was, the slide show I know my mom agonized over, wanting it to be perfect, the talent of my family, the love in my family, the spirit of my family, the FAITH of my family. I come from good people. I love my family so very much. I love all of them, the ones I see everyday and those I haven't seen in years. My connection to these people is important to me. I cherish it and I'm so thankful to our amazing God for letting me be a part of it.

- Anna pretty much has the voice of an angel. I love that girls voice. It brings me joy and I can only imagine how much more joy it brought her mom. Just had to say that :)

- I have a responsibility and it is important. My job, here on earth, is important. Sometimes I forget this. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing so much more. And, yes, sometimes I can do more. Somedays I neglect the housework, somedays I don't spend as much time with my kids as I could/should, and I know that I can work harder to be a better wife and mother and servant of the Lord, but I am learning that that is good enough. That is what I meant to do. I have agonized over what my "calling" is in life. When my Uncle Pat has told me so many times, here on this blog, that maybe my calling is what I'm doing. What I am doing is important and wonderful and can bring glory to God and be a blessing to my family. I'm not saying that pursuing other interests is unacceptable, I'm just saying that I am learning to be okay with where I am right now and stop worrying that it's not good enough.

So I'm going to try, very hard, to not worry so much about our current circumstances but trust that God knows what He's doing. I've already learned so much about myself because of this situation and I'm open to learning more, even if it hurts.

If you stuck with me through all this, thanks :) much love to you!

8 comments:

  1. the mom who loves youMay 6, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Oh, Ash! This totally made me cry! I definitely feel your pain. Watching Carla's memorial service definitely helps put things into perspective. I miss her terribly every day, and have certainly thought about her a lot today.
    You're a wonderful daughter, mother, sister, wife, and friend.
    I love you!

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  2. so it's kinda funny (not so much haha) that this is the first time i've ever seen your blog- i think- thanks ash. i love you. -stacey

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  3. Ash! I am totally choreographing to this song this year. My kids are doing it in their recital next month. Absolutely love the song

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  4. that's awesome! it's seriously one of my very faves. i'm sure your dance will be beautiful!

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  5. seems like everyone's missing mom a little extra lately. i hope whatever has you out of sorts subsides and you can find yourself some happy time again. keep listening to nichole. she always knows what to say! love you.

    oh, and thanks for saying i sing like an angel :)

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  6. scotts song has made it impossible for me to forget that date.

    "may 6, it was a tuesday afternoon"

    i love you ashley :) happy mother's DAY!!!

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  7. love you ashley and i think about you guys much more than you probably know.

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