Monday, January 24, 2011

The Winter of Discontent Back to that discussion of joy…better yet – the living out of joy. I have a confession to make, I haven’t been very joyful lately – can you tell by the last few posts? And yet here I am in the year of joy and with it being so fresh and new and all I haven’t quite slipped it out of its pretty, iridescent wrapping and really embraced this shiny, new thing. It’s kind of like when I buy journals or new books and *gasp* don’t crack them open. (Check out one of my original posts from the archives on Journals.) I’ve come to realize that I’m in the Winter of Discontent. Yes, I capitalized it to emphasize how much it is affecting me. It has dawned on me that this Winter of Discontent started last year, but it had its beginning long before that…in a showering of seeds that hadn’t quite sprouted until a year ago. You see, I was on that mama high – nearing the end of my leave time after Abby was born. I had about a month to go and the thought of going back made me reel. After every child I wanted to find a way to stay home with them, but it wasn’t to be. But here I was child #3 in my arms and the thought of going back again, for a 3rd time was more than I could bear. We had been praying and pinching pennies, but it wasn’t enough. It was wintry and bitterly cold that January – much like it is now. I stared out into the snow everyday praying for a miracle. I went back and the return was less than smooth for many reasons – a lot of the problems of my own doing, some not. The Winter of Discontent was in full swing. The last big snowstorm of the year happened my first day back to work. I cried. Spring came and now a full year has passed and these scenes, images, repeating themes haunt me. This Winter of Discontent – it never fully went away. But I’m reading a new book and I hope all of you will consider reading it too – One Thousand Gifts. The author, Ann Voskamp is an awesome blogger that I have had the pleasure to read over the last 5 years. In the first couple of chapters she rips my heart wide open and I realized that gratitude – being thankful for where you are right now is what gets me to joy. And even though I have posted that joy flows into those other things, a thankless heart has nowhere to go. So I’m making lists – much like she did – starting small…learning to be thankful / content in all situations. It’s in these things we don’t understand – the supernatural power of gratitude – where I believe the true miracle lies. I look forward to spring and the true end of this Winter of Discontent. I know that I will find that joy stirring up inside me, melting the snow of this thankless heart.

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