How did the end of September come so quickly?! I am backed up on blog posts, on work, on cleaning, etc. I finally found my desk last night and at least caught up on work emails. Loulie has been sick all week--high temp on Tuesday, fussy and just not herself. It has made it hard to get things accomplished with her so clingy and miserable but I have to admit it has been nice to have her usually busy body snuggled up and wanting to rest with her mama. That rarely happens anymore so I have made it a point to stop and cherish these fleeting moments.
But with a sick child and lots to do, I was high on stress yesterday and completely overwhelmed. As I was sorting through piles on my desk, I found a list of grace prayers that a precious friend handed me this last week. My eyes immediately fell to the fourth prayers and I thought I would share it with you in case you are having that kind of day.
When life piles up, give thanks...
"When stress mounts, I'll dismount it with gratitude. It's impossible to simultaneously feel stress and gratitude at the same time and I choose to feel thanks at all times!"
-Anne Voskamp, Grace Prayers for Joyful Parenting
I was not prepared to be as unglued by an event as I was the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. I was as overtaken with grief watching the coverage yesterday as I remember being 10 years ago. And as I watched Obama read Psalm 46, it occurred to me that the grief felt and tears shed across America yesterday were a blessing. That many times we grow immune to sadness and pain and especially evil. And the fact that our church was filled to the brim, that people paused everywhere to remember and that tears were still being shed shows me that there is still a hope, a unification and that America's best days don't have to be behind us. I enjoyed reading and hearing about where everyone was that fateful morning but something that I think doesn't get touched on enough is how much that day REALLY changed the way we live.
I remember in the days and weeks following the attack, there was this fog of fear that hovered everywhere--this uncertainty. At 20, staring adulthood in the face, the attacks began a snowball that resulted in a depleted job market, our country at war and month after month of more terrorists threats. This new world was not the most welcoming to someone coming straight out of school with hopes of beginning their career, one day starting a family and seeing a bright American Dream ahead of them. No, what I remember is always being scared. As I've read others' blogs, people have touched on fear of starting a family, fear of traveling, fear of opening a new business, fear of even opening a letter. In the first years of a new millenium, that's what most of us were blanketed in--fear.
But like with every other situation in life, I look at what I am scared of, what may be happening in that moment and realize that there is actually nothing to be scared of because at that moment we are already living through and surviving the thing we feared most. So ten years later after unimaginable horror, it is a blessing and a comfort to see that thought our nation has gone through a tough decade of war and bad job markets and new presidents, that as indiviuals, the fear has subsided--that new businesses were open, that children were born and that even though we remember the sadness of that day, the fear has subsided. And all of that can be attributed to a gracious and merciful father under which our country was founded. That He can take the most painful of situations and use them for good. I remember reading an article in Time several months after the attack that discussed the decrease in divorces, the rise in job satisfaction, an increase in purchases of the Bible, etc. That in the terror of that time, people began to give thanks and appreciate life for each grace filled day. So ten years later, I am thankful that babies have been born, that fear has subsided and I pray that we will never become immune.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you
as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" John 14