Monday, October 8, 2012

Blessings and Books

It's Thanksgiving Monday, and I don't know if I've ever been more thankful for a grey and cloudcast day because, Hallelujah!, there are Heavensent puddles dotting the driveway. I just pray the rain keeps on coming. There is a peaceful silence in a morning such as this and I feel compelled to sit a little longer, breathe a little deeper and enjoy the moment. It seems fitting to have come across this quote today:
 “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
As soon as the stillness of fall arrives I love to delve into my passion of reading. I am so thankful for the gift of the written word. It changes the world, changes lives, changes the soul. I've been reading for several weeks now when I have spare time; whether it's time of devotion, a recipe book, doing homework in my Bible study book, a series of non-fiction or keeping up with my favorite blogs. I admit sometimes I get caught up in reading so much that my work slacks a little, the clean laundry stays kind of wrinkly and I only respond to the kids after several repeated questions. Sometimes I've used reading as an escape to find a fictional world different than my reality. Many times I read with a searching heart and it's amazing how so often I come across exactly what I need to hear, whether it something I need to change within myself, words that heal a wound and phrases that give new perspective. There is a miracle in picking up something to read without realizing when you start how much the words will apply uniquely to oneself and the moment you're in. Of course we found those miracles in many different sources, through music, relationships,nature,  pictures and so on. These gifts of teaching lead us to a better understanding and passion for our broken world. We are led through the mess to a path of thankfulness. I found some of that teaching through a novel I read this weekend. It's a powerful story that affects all of ones emotions, convictions and stirs the heart. A soul wrenching story about a young girls journey and the choices she makes to rise above the despair. I couldn't put it down and can't quit thinking about the character Millie Reynolds in the book "Into the Free" written by Julie Cantrell. Even if reading isn't your thing I would urge anyone to seek out this book. I will eagerly await a sequal and maybe reread this one.
Leaving you with a portion of the Author's words:
I am here. I am here for a reason. for something more than to just breathe, blink, swallow. I am worthy of happiness and love. Worthy of a good life filled with good people who love me in return.....I turn again to the words on the wall just as morning breaks through and beams of sunlight reach the wooden cross. It may make take a long time, but somehow I believe that the broken pieces of me will come back together. Someone, somewhere, is on my side.
Through this story I was reminded that Thanksgiving is not a day or a turkey dinner. It's looking back on our journey and finding blessings through the joys and pains of our life, through the times that led us away from Jesus and the times that we joined Him in his Grace again. That though we have control over our choices we are predestined to intersect with God's plan to bless us and when we search closely we can see clearly how much Thanks we have to offer back.
Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving. -W.T. Purkiser

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