When it’s a challenge

I’m brushing my teeth and stewing in discontent and frustration. Blemishes from too much chocolate and too much stress pockmark my reflection. Harsher blemishes from sarcasm and the three-ring circus we call “middle school” pockmark my soul.

In the midst of my grumbling scrubbing, a still, small whisper breaks through my revere.

“What about giving thanks? What value does your resolution of thanksgiving hold when you only express gratitude on good days, when your students behave, for a convenient while, or when you feel like it? What about now? What about when you stare at your flat stomach, wishing it was heavy with child? What about when you just want to fix “it,” take a magic pill and make the trials go away? What about then? What about tonight, Lauren? Will you thank Me now?”

I hang my head. Breathe a sigh of resignation. Make a choice. I must. My spirit craves thanksgiving when everything else within me fixates on complaints. Having experienced just enough joy and contentment in the past few weeks to wet my thirst, I am desperate for the living water of praise. Flowers have begun to grow out of the fissures of my heart, fed by the rivulets of acceptance and surrender. How can I let them wither now?

And . . . so . . . I praise. Out loud. Letting my mind remember what my heart has known. Inaudibly. Singing a song of submission only Heaven understands.

It’s the harmony of . . .

Lotion that smells like cucumbers

    A floor heater perched right next to my bed

          A student that is brave enough to question whether or not God exists

                Fresh, warm bagels with strawberry and honey-nut smears             

                          New mercies every morning

                                  “And so He gives His Beloved sleep”

Good night, Dear Ones. Good night.

*”Hold On” artwork from the portfolio http://kellyraeroberts.blogspot.com/. Check out this artist’s work for a glimpse of my some of my favorite pieces. More to come soon.

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