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Blessings Named, Thanksgiving Continued

Challenge completed, mission accomplished. Oh, and it felt glorious. Yet, I find myself wanting more, which in this case is a beautiful thing.

 Back in the spring, I wrote about accepting the challenge of listing 1,000 things I am thankful for, from the book “One Thousand Gifts,” written by Ann Voskamp. (See my older post, “Inspiration”).  I told of the transformation that was taking place in my heart as I allowed my days to be penetrated by God’s incredible, ever-present grace, joy and peace that comes through persistent thanksgiving. Eucharisteo.

I reached number 1,000. My entry was “I’m His. Holy, beautiful, and loved.” I am beyond ecstatic to be able to write those words. Not long ago, I could not have written them, let alone believed them. What I believed in my heart about myself would rip it out if I heard my precious daughter saying about herself: “UGLY, UNWORTHY, FAT, INADEQUATE, NEVER ENOUGH, TOO MUCH.” It played over and over in my mind. On page 205 in Voskamp’s book, she says “The only thing to rip out the tape echoing of self-rejection is the song of his serenade.”

 What joy fills my heart, when I stop to listen to God’s constant love song to my heart. When I stop and let him serenade me.  And now I long for more. MORE!  I want to remain in this dance hall of life, with my Father holding me in His arms, singing love melodies that fill me up to overflowing.

1001. I am alive. The kids are alive. The car is dead.

1002. Barrett

1003. Brody

1004. Gantry

1005. Goose down snowflakes falling in early October.

1006. The finally feeling that God is all I need.

1007. Crunching leaves and trees that seem to glow.

It becomes my choice to remain in the dance, keeping my eyes and ears open to receive his offering to me. His music plays for me constantly, and only when I choose to tune my life to it will I stay in the state of eucharisteo. That blessed, thankful state.

My heart is so full right now. I am learning to see myself only through God’s eyes. The tape of self-rejection that played; it really was what I believed. But deep down, I know it was what I thought others must think of me. I am learning; allowing God to penetrate my heart with his song. It has been a slow, gentle, sometimes gut-wrenching process. I wouldn’t choose to believe.

 But in the crash of 3 cars, my heart split open wide. Not breaking, but opening to receive his message. That he loves me, just as I am today. He takes care of me; the kids and I were safe and unharmed, and I had word less than 24 hours after totaling my car that I would be getting another. I am beautiful, holy and loved. HIS.

So my journey, my dance continues. I don’t want to ever stop. Maybe someday I can hit a million things listed on paper; that would mean I would be aware of millions more things I am thankful for. I am wearing a God-made iPod that plays his constant music, and he taught me to dance. Psalm 108:1 says “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.”

1008. Barrett and Brody raising their hands to worship the Lord.

1009. Gantry dancing to worship music.

1010. Friends

1011. Giggles

1012. For this very day.

Thousands of blessings,

Erika

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About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: I hear her story… | Refusing to Tiptoe

  2. Erika, thank you so very much for sharing your strength, faith, trust, determination and attitude of gratitude with the world. It is wonderful seeing you unfold and learn to love yourself as the beautiful girl and woman you have always been, but didn’t realize it. As you package your journey in your writing and gratitude list and then share the journey with others on your blog (and in person) it is truly serving as a way for God to package his message and give it out so other people can identify with what you say, relate to your pain, unhappiness, growth and then your seeing the clouds break open and the sun shine brightly, as you felt when you wrote this blog. Thank you for your tremendous determination and willingness to listen to the voice speaking within you, to follow the guidance, and to tell others about it. Your sharing your gift with others is truly a blessing to the world.
    I am proud beyond words to be your mother.
    Momma Manga

    Reply
  3. Pingback: The practice of thanks living | Refusing to Tiptoe

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