I am blessed to have so many beautiful memories. Jane Austen writes in one of her books, "Think only on the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure." I love that. I am blessed to be able to look back and find pleasure in remembering the many blessings God has given me, the wonderful moments. So this morning, before I let myself begin to think on anything difficult, or before i let myself get caught up in anxiety and uncertainty, or weariness, i want to think back on my times of joy, because lately i've come into contact in my work with so many people, just kids who have no happy memories. Sad as that may be, and as much as it causes my heart to ache, It's good to remember the heavenly moments when we can, instead of letting our souls get weighed down in anything else.
I remember all of the truly magical moments of adventure, and beauty spent abroad a few years ago. Even just thinking about sitting on that rocky Mediterranean beach, with a bottle of wine in the middle of the night seems like a dream, and I am in awe of the beauty that I witnessed there. Sitting in a piazza up on a bluff overlooking the city of Florence, with all it's history, spending an hour speaking with a Polish nun about the love and mercy of Christ, kneeling in a place where so many holy men have knelt to venerate a great saint. Walking in places where millions of people have walked, and knowing that the sense of awe I felt was shared with people I would never meet, but who i would forever have a connection with.
All of the silly, but anointed moments in college spent sitting around and talking, singing, sharing our hearts with each other. I look back on all of those people and our times together with such gratitude. Playing and listening to music that meant something to me, and hearing people sing along. Wednesday nights spent in the racquetball court praising God with a group of wonderful, beautiful women. Road trips, and laughing, and crying together with people I never would have known if I hadn't found myself at Benedictine.
Going on a real first date. Finding the simple beauty in holding a hand, in dancing on the side of the road on the back roads outside atchison, and sharing my heart with someone who accepted it for what it was. Jumping into the river, taking the first step in taking the leap of faith that has led us to this point. To a man down on one knee, and a woman saying yes, to whatever might lie ahead. For every hug, and kiss that's marked the times we've gotten to be together in the midst of this year of separation, I thank God.
For good music, and good people. Even when things aren't perfect, and the tiredness sets in, and we wonder how we've gotten here, for all of the moments of clarity and peace and wonder and awe. For unexpected providential conversations, and things that have made me laugh...God I thank you. For giving me a life in which i can look back at the past, and it's remembrance brings me joy. Nothing else matters but those moments. What will it do to look back on the hurt, except to see with a little more clarity the lessons we learned.
How generous our God is that he allows us to take pleasure in small things.
A cup of tea, a good book, support found in an unexpected place, and a flicker of hope for someone who otherwise feels hopeless. A small act of kindness, or my favorite song coming on the radio on my way to work. God thank you.
I've learned that a spirit of thanksgiving gives birth to a spirit of humility. I admit freely to my prideful ways, but pray that taking the time to be thankful, to let myself be in AWE will foster in my heart a sense of docility and humility.
God thank you. For everything.