Wednesday, March 2, 2011

is it ever all about now?

bloom book club

Chapter 7: Seeing Through the Glass  of the beautiful book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp is where we gather today.

This chapter is a fully intertwined parenting {mothering} journey that Ann walks through with her son.  It’s morning and one son has thrown the breakfast toast at another in anger and spite.  She {as any mother would be apt to do} has a first reaction of frustration and welling weariness and pain at the familial discord. 

But the process of this interaction with her son is transformed through eucharisteo and a miracle occurs.  One of a boy growing to man opening a heart he wants to harden to a mother who cares and breaks Jesus bread with thanks and asks to see.

“Really?  I lay my head on the table.  Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love?  That Satan’s way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus’ way?  Why else get angry? ~p.126

“I speak the unseen into seeing and I can feel it, this steady breathing in the rhythm of grace—give thanks (in), give thanks (out).  The eyes focus, apertures capturing Beauty in ugliness.  There’s a doxology of praise that splits the domestic dark.  ~p. 128

“This is not about toast.  Is it ever all about now?  His howl fills the face, his and mine.  Heart that once beat under mine, how did we get here?  How did I fail you? ~p. 129-30

“Tell him what eucharisteo is doing. ~p.133

“Can I help you find the laughter again?  I’m looking too… ~p.134

“I’ve already tried giving thanks… 

“And?…

“It’s just so…hard.” 

“Hard.  Yes.  So hard.  ~p. 135

He lifts his head.  He opens his eyes and he looks into me and this heart revives.  My son…he blurs.  There is always a well.  All is well.

“You want to—want to practice eucharisteo with me?…

“Yeah, Mom.”  He smiles slow.  “Yeah…we could practice thanks together.”  ~p. 139

Alleman Family Photo Shoot 174

What hope! That moments that can so often end in frustration and angry words and slamming doors can be transformed and feed starving souls with the healing balm of thanks.  There is hope for you, mama who reads this.  There is hope for me—the mama who is believing that there is another way than the defaults of anger, frustration, spewed words that cut down rather than build up.

Is it a magic pill?  I think we all know better than that.  There is no touching the heart to this chapter and walking away new and in every situation ‘naturally’ thanking when you want to do the opposite.  Ann herself would say that the journey is ever there—always a choice. 

We begin in this moment.  We choose thanks and we fix our eyes on Him—the Giver of All Grace.  The Forever-without-end Miracle.  We look into His eyes and see the infinite ocean waters that hold our deepest hopes and dreams for Life and receive the power to live anew.  This moment.  That is all the Grace that we have…forever promised in our future, redeeming our past, see, taste, touch, know--NOW. only NOW.

Joining friend Erin’s awesome meme Mama’s Heart:

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9 comments:

  1. Thanks for your review of this excerpt! Hope you have a great day!

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  2. Thanks, Abby! This was an incredible reminder for me as we all struggle with the aftermath of Austin's accident. I just got Ann's book last night, and I can't wait to get started.

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  3. oh, abby. God used you today to minister to my heart. I have Ann's book but haven't really gotten very far. But this quote spoke volumes today: “Really? I lay my head on the table. Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan’s way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus’ way? Why else get angry? ~p.126

    Yesterday I got really angry with my kids for being disrespectful. I was consumed by anger. This, yes, this calms my heart.

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  4. oh, abby. God used you today to minister to my heart. I have Ann's book but haven't really gotten very far. But this quote spoke volumes today: “Really? I lay my head on the table. Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan’s way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus’ way? Why else get angry? ~p.126

    Yesterday I got really angry with my kids for being disrespectful. I was consumed by anger. This, yes, this calms my heart.

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  5. It's not about the toast. It never is, but sometimes that's all I see.

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  6. Jen, I am so thankful that He would use me {really, Ann:} to minister to your heart, as you minister to mine and so many--this part is so powerful and is what Jess (and Angie) mention in the video at the Book Club.

    Take your time with Ann's book too--it definitely is good to digest slowly--you can stay on certain things for a long time...xo

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  7. i hope you got my comment...we had no idea...i can only imagine what this has done...not like you didn't have anything before. we will keep praying...and as i tweeted to you--so glad you have Ann's book...definitely a huge treasure.

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  8. Abby, I loved this!! It's never really about the toast, is it? Like Amy said, though, it's usually all I see, too. I read recently somewhere that we shouldn't just be concerned about the sin (though it needs to be addressed) but we need to be more concerned about the heart and the "why".

    Thank goodness there's hope and grace... Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful mama's heart today :) Erin

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  9. Yes - I am digesting it slowly..going at my own pace and not rushing it. I am totally undone when I read it and don't want to rush it.
    I am learning so much. I have put it down for over a week. I stopped right after this chapter. This is SO powerful...I agree. You all minister to me all the time!
    xo

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