Thursday, December 15, 2011

Praise

This morning's lectionary reading is one of my favorites, from Isaiah 54. I was composing a posting about it in my head when the thought occurred that I might have done so already, and sure enough, I have, here. It was at this time, last year.

I was grateful to read the scripture passages this morning because I didn't sleep well last night; I awoke many times and had a nightmare. I have variations of the same nightmare for no apparent reason, and have done for years. Probably (because I have lived through a real-life version of the dream) it is still seeping slowly out of my subconscious, but to be honest, I really don't know much about dream analysis, so I am just guessing. It always leaves me a little rattled. So to find the assurance and reminder of God's devoted love, upon awakening, is a gift.

More and more, I find myself wanting to share my gratitude to God, and to praise Him. I feel deeply blessed, in spite of the hardships that have come into my life over 52 years. Waking up and spending time reading about His love and His work throughout history, in and through the lives of those who acknowledge and love Him, is a great luxury and a huge part of my equilibrium. And so is being part of a family, and having meaningful work, friends, shelter, enough to eat, and time to enjoy all of those. Yes, I am blessed, and I wish/pray that everyone on earth would be blessed with these gifts, too.

No one's life is perfect. Even those who appear to "have it all," are human, and have issues in their lives about which we know NOTHING. I don't want to "have it all." I want to live in a way that is worthy of God's gift to me of this life, and of these people who He has given to walk with me.

Yesterday, I completed (what I hope is) the last round of proofreading on my book. I received an encouraging phone call from a friend, for which I am truly thankful, wrapped Christmas gifts and cooked. After Gregg came home, we went to a party. We had intended to leave the party and take the Argosy Christmas Cruise, which is great fun, but rather than board the ship (as we've done in the past), we changed our plans, went to the party and stayed. Our hosts live on the bay where the ship was sailing, so after a hearty pot-luck dinner (we brought Chicken Tikka Masala with peas and potatoes), we all gathered at the beach around a big bonfire and watched the ship sail in front of us. Our local high school's choir was on board, and their Christmas concert was projected through loud-speakers. The ship was brilliantly lit, and its reflection on the water - as well as the pure young voices floating over it - were a little bit of heaven on earth.
David and me, about to board the Argosy Christmas Ship, December 2007
David will be coming home tonight, after taking his last exam of the semester. We can't wait to see him and spend the Christmas and New Year's holidays with him!

I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
 I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name. -
Psalm 30
 

Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
- Isaiah 54

5 comments:

Kay said...

You have such interesting things all around you. The boat on the water is so pretty. But I'm sure the prettiest sight of the season will be David walking in the door. Enjoy your time with him. : )

Elizabeth said...

Your gratitude and faith is infectious in the best of ways. Thank you for sharing it with us, for inspiring me to be a better, more mindful person. The image of that boat on the water with the clear Christmas voices is one I won't forget!

Maggie May said...

No one's life is perfect. Even those who appear to "have it all," are human, and have issues in their lives about which we know NOTHING. I don't want to "have it all." I want to live in a way that is worthy of God's gift to me of this life, and of these people who He has given to walk with me.

I'm putting this quote on my FB. Thank you Karen.

Karen said...

I too loved that line, "I don't want to have it all." I so agree, and yet remembered that 30 years ago I wanted to have it all. I guess that's one of the joys of aging--seeing through the shallow and meaningless to the real. I have been sleeping badly, having anxiety at night, and know it's a grief reaction surfacing with the holidays. Praying my way through it, and will pray for you and your dream, as well. Beautiful Psalm to end the year. We are loved and safe in His hands, despite all.
Blessings, soul sister.
Love, Karen

Leslie said...

Glad you had a great time at the holiday potluck! Sounds like the best of both worlds, you got to spend time with friends AND enjoy the Argosy Christmas boat. No doubt Paul will post more pics soon. Can't wait to see them. Yum! Tikka Masala is one of my favorites. BTW, I too had a wonderful and much needed conversation with a dear friend yesterday. It's amazing how a quick chat can lift one's spirts :) Enjoy your time with the two men in your life. <3