It was a particular joy to be able to read Voskamp's novel with others and get the chance to discuss its contents, chapter by chapter, as we dove into her personal journey of spiritual transformation. We witnessed her once tormented life resurrected into a living testament of hope and joy. It is a journey which has helped spark countless others to re evaluate the way in which they perceive the reality that rests poised to take form and be recognized in their everyday ordinary moments. There were a couple of articles that were conceived by my reading this book, you can find the first one here: http://ascendingthehills.blogspot.com/2011/05/gratitudes-greatest-gifts.html and the second one here: http://ascendingthehills.blogspot.com/2011/05/dare-to-live-fullyann-voskamp.html
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It wasn't too long ago that Irene swept through our state, leaving in her wake a twisted trail of fallen trees, powerlines and inward groanings, and sometimes very loud outward ones, from those of us who found our daily routines severely interrupted by the lack of running water and electricity.
I found myself trying to find the silver lining amidst the gloom that constantly threatened to spoil our moods much like the food in our refridgerator had. It had been cut off from the source that maintained its freshness and lost its initial appeal, in the end turning toxic. When we allow ourselves to be cut off from joy, negativity threatens to sink into our subconsciouses, spoiling our perceptions and altering them. Clouded perceptions doused with negativity hinder us from seeing the blessings that abound in each given moment and oftentimes turn our moods toxic to ourselves and to others. It is then, much like with the rotten food in our refridgerator, a purging needs to take place.
What blessings and gifts might be conceived and encountered in the wake of a source so turbulent and unpredictable as a hurricane? Read the blessings and gifts I experienced and I'd love to have you share those of your own which you've encountered in moments where, if we allowed, we'd only see the the negative but instead we chose to see the imprints of God's handiwork and presence rythmitically injecting itself into the reality and fiber of our lives in moments so seemingly bare.
* flames of candles flickering, their warm glow scattering darkness
* more silence, less sound, as tv remains off
* tiny hands wielding flashlights, imaginary worlds of shadows dancing on walls
* bedtime stories read outside on picnic blanket stretched out wide
* getting over my fear of cooking on the grill, cheese melting on bread
* a child's simple delight of eating literal "grilled cheese"
* laptop closed causing more books to open
* writing by candlelight
* lulled to sleep by the sounds of nature
* early darkness gathering us together as a family, technology no longer dispersing
* extra days off for my husband, more time to make memories
* a windy walk down sidewalks, tiny hands clasped in mine, eyes wide with wonder
What are some gifts/blessings that you have encountered during times of natural disasters or other events that might, at first glance, be seen only in the negative? I'd love to hear them!
Thank you for sharing!