Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gratitude...Learning Love

Today I finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I was reveling in how the Holy Spirit leads as and God links the message at the church we went to on Sunday, not our usual church, but one we were trying out... and the Fireproof Couples Study that we're going through again (with a different couple)... and Ann's blog, A Holy Experience, and her wonderful book.  I was reminded of how wonderfully God linked together my reading of The King Will Make A Way with the Ladies Bible Study that I was in to show me the simple truth, that I should have already known, that what God really wants from all of us in for us to know Him...he wants a relationship with us, and the truth I realized again today, that He will make a way.  I thought for so long that the point was that Christ died to that we might live with Him when we end this life on earth, and certainly He is with us all the time, He lives in us, but I didn't really understand how that worked... God living in us.  The beginning is our accepting the relationship, communion, if you will.

I knew that there was the great mystery, the relationship between a husband and wife that is the example on earth that we can see with these human eyes of ours to show the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church.  Then Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts clues me in to the gratitude and blessing that is the opening, blossoming, and understanding that relationship.  The church we went to showed me the history and the betrothal and wedding traditions that Jesus used to show us, His disciples, His students, His Love, how he was pledging His self to us.

And I felt like the light bulb finally turned on, I understood how this relationship, the oneness worked.  I didn't just want to understand how to be one.  I wanted the experience, the feeling... how Ann described the culmination of her own understanding in the last chapter of One Thousand Gifts.

I was driving the family home tonight, listening to my mix cd of Contemporary Christian music made up of downloads from my itunes gift card gift from Mother's Day.  Ellie keeps me up on new Christian songs and artists by watching the music videos on JCTV (when I wasn't much younger than her, I discovered new Christian artists the same way, but I had to stay up extra late on the weekends to catch them on our local station that aired Christian programing).  One of the songs that she tuned me into was The Invasion by Trip Lee.  So, I added that song to my downloads about a week ago. 

Thomas listens to Christian music on the radio, and introduced me to the two songs before that The Invasion on the cd, and I was thinking about the words as we listened to the songs:  Closer by Shawn McDonald "I just want to be closer to you.  I just want to be closer.  I am yours. You can have all of me, anything, everything..."

and More Like Falling In Love by Jason Gray "It's gotta be more like falling in love, than something to believe in, more like losing my heart than giving my allegiance... it's like I'm falling in love"... and I so wanted that... like I said, that feeling of closeness, oneness, falling in love.  I wanted to be able to bless God with my thankfulness.  More Like Falling In Love  reminded me of the quote on my refrigerator, "Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair." G.K. Chesteron. 

Then I listened to The Invasion as much of the song went by, because I don't know the song well enough to rap along with the lyrics, but part of the song is sung (not rapped) and I sing along with the woman singer, Jai, "I give my gratitude, Jesus.  You died to make all things new-yeah.  My knight in armour, when our world in falling.  Your love's never failing.  I find safety in your arms."  I meant every word, and I felt that feeling I was asking for.  Oh, we just have to ask.  As Thomas says, "We have a rich Daddy, who wants to bless us with gifts... and we only have to ask."

I'm still reveling in all of this... gift.  I just had to write it all down... and share.

I'm pretty sure I'll share more on One Thousand Gifts.... I wrote pages in my notebook today while the kids were at Vacation Bible School.

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