In which there are thank you’s to God 478-493

by Craig on August 8, 2011

#478 … that You teach me that everything is “good” because everything, if I turn it to You, makes me more like You.

#479 … for this fleecy fabric, so soft and inviting, and how you can write on it by moving your fingers against the grain – then erase it with one swipe of the hand.

#480 … for that quiet breeze that comes from nowhere and goes where it wills, that precious reflection of the Spirit of God, who fills everything, and lives in me.

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#481 … for the encouragement of others, when you can’t put that next step in front of the last one – wind beneath wings

#482 … for the way Laska the love kitty will look for me when he can’t see me, and jump up with a happy trill, and that earthshaking purr

#483 …for days that simmer slowly, where moments don’t escape notice, where I let life simmer – and I absorb the minutes as I meet them.

#484 … for days where I engage in the time as it passes, and  I live in the present, even, steady, unwavering,  in the now.

#485 … for days when I choose to live peaceful and serene – whether surrounded by chaos or clarity – amid turmoil or calm.

#486 …for moms who love, the more of them I know, the more in awe I stand.

#487 …and for moms period, the moms who try hard, you make everything work, you are the center, you are the heart.

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#488 …and for my mom, God, she was incredible, hope she’s not giving you a hard time about tracking mud on her floors.

#489 …for sunrises that signal a new day, new hope, new chances, new beginnings. Sunrises are just sunsets in reverse – but somehow they’re more than that. .

#490 …for poetry, where each word means something, and if you blink you miss a nuance that brings everything together.

#491 …for faith having a handmaiden named doubt. It is the role of a handmaiden to serve and assist. She stands by, at a distance, to encourage and champion the cause of the maiden.

#492 …that I was once well acquainted with the handmaiden, and have left her behind, for the maiden alone.

#493 … for the inspiration I receive from truly astonishing bloggers, that fills my heart, and head, and sometimes spills over to my written words.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn August 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

Dear Craig,

My favorites: 483, 484, 485 because they are my focus and why I named this year the Year of Now when Ann asked us to name the year way back in January. You were one of the first to comment on my choice and, today, your list articulates anew for me just what “now” means. These three are like breaths of fresh air (480 and 481) after a joyful yet very tiring weekend of moments rushing by and wanting to savor each one.

Also, loving that you’ve left the handmaiden behind,
Dawn

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I remember that word of the year – it was “now” – am I correct. I remember reading that post. You were one of the first I began practicing my word of the year with “connect” – it makes me smile. and the handmaiden – she’s long gone. I still have the negative voices that have me doubting myself – but I don’t doubt God, for one minute, for anything, and there was a time when I doubted God all the time, about almost everything. God bless and keep you Dawn – and thank you as always.

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Andrea Dawn August 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

Another great list, Craig . . . I too, love the “for the days” entries. I also really love #480, the quiet breeze and the picture of the momma with daughter laying head in lap, just being in the moment (at least that’s my interpretation). I remember times like that with my daughter, dear to my heart.

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Andrea Dawnon, thank you – I heart these lists. I’m so grateful Ann Voskamp got me started writing them. and I’ve said this before – I’ll say it here again now – I didn’t used to know this, but over this last year, while blogging in this community, and meeting mamas who love so magnificently, I have come to believe that the love of a mother is the closest thing we have on this planet to the love of God. I remember laying my head on my mom’s lap too. I think everyone who had a mom who loved them can remember moments like that. I remember moments like that with God too – proof of the point. Thank you Andrea Dawn, thank you, and God bless and keep you.

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shannon August 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

love it! 491 and 492 will have me thinking all day. :)

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Shannon, my faith would not be what it is now if my doubt was not what it was then – and if God hadn’t met my every doubt with an answer. You may notice that in my subject “cloud” – doubt has a prominent space. This was from a statement in a Jewish prayer book – and it changed so much for me. “Doubt is the handmaiden of truth, the touchstone of faith.” It led me to the knowledge that doubt is okay – as long as it’s challenged – and that we should doubt our doubts instead of our faith, and believe our faith, instead of doubting it. I’m a big believer in doubt – doubt that is challenged. Thank you Shannon, thank you, and God bless you.

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Kris August 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

Craig, As always, a beautiful list of blessings. I like 489 and 490 a lot. I always love the freshness and 2nd chancesthat some with a new day… sunrise. A gift each day we get to take it in.

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Kris, thank YOU, as always. I really have been struck lately how similar the dawn and sunset are – yet – how different they are. God bless you Kris! Always alleluia!

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Christina August 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

Yes to 481–couldn’t live without it. Wish I could be more like 486. But He knew I couldn’t so He lived the life I couldn’t. The love I have is because He first lived me. Great list as always!

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

a little honesty, and transparency here – Christina. I’ve lived most of my life without much of this – encouragement mostly had to come from myself – and I never quite learned the trick. So much so that now when I’m encouraged by others – I tend to doubt it. It’s a part of my “love war” on the negative voices. I’m learning. And thank you for your kind words – being as nice as you have been – that helps me to learn to accept nice words from good people. You ARE an encouragement. Thank you – and as always God bless you.

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Glenna August 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

My favorite this week is 478, 480, and 489. and for the mothers ..yes I say we that have had GODLY mothers are truly blessed and I am so thankful that GOD allowed me to have the best mother ever !!!!
Love your post

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Glenna, my mom didn’t accept Our Lord’s Grace until just before death – but she was full of love. Loving moms are irreplaceable. It makes me smile to know that you had such a good mom. Thank you,, thank you – and God bless and keep you.

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Kara August 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Craig,

I see, in my mind’s eye, the fleecy fabric…. it makes me smile. Oh, the little things.
And poetry…. don’t blink! So true. In poetry are gifts almost imperceptible, yes?

Ah, and the maiden and her handmaiden. How I am well acquainted with both. What a beautiful and perceptive understanding you have of these two and their unique relationship to each other.
What I see here is no clanging symbol, no, but love. What a big heart you have!

Blessings,
Kara

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Kara, first of all – I HEART FLEECY STUFF. And about poetry – I’ve said this maybe a million times – almost said it today in my thank you list – except that didn’t sound too thankful – so I didn’t. But now that you mentioned poetry – it has to come out. Poems. Hate Me. I’m really nice to them – I work really hard at them – and when they’re finished they don’t turn out half bad – but they takes so much out of me. Prose flows right off my fingertips – poetry is just mean to me. Just sayin :) Kara, I want to thank you for your truly gracious words, I try not to clang – thank you for saying that I don’t. Blessings to you too Kara!

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Debbie August 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Your whole list of thank you’s was like a poem to me today. He has me in a humble place right now . . .and I’ve missed being here, like this, before Him. Your post enhances this time all the more.
God bless you and your thankful heart. So glad to be back and able to read your blog again!

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Debbie, don’t think for 1 min. that you have not been missed. I missed having you here! I just didn’t want to be all complain-y about it. If Our Lord has you and a humble place – to me that sounds like – well – a “challenging” place. So know that I have prayed for you already – and I will again. And if you’re not in a “challenging” place – I’m sure the prayer won’t hurt anyway :-) God bless and keep you Debbie!

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Martha Orlando August 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I felt, Craig, as I read this that I was the one being lifted up on the strong, silent wings of eagles, soaring through God’s blessed creation with a heart bursting with thankfulness. Thank YOU for this marvelous inspiration!

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Craig August 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Thank you lists do that to me too – whether I’m writing them – or reading them. I truly appreciate your gracious words – thank you more than I can say. And God bless and keep you and all of yours Martha.

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marlece August 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Craig, I loved when you talked about your mom giving a hard time for dirty floors…..and in the same breath you praised her how awesome she is. I was just blahing at my kids about this and that and dirty floors, putting shoes away, etc……so this gives me hope that a mom like this is looked upon incredible….hahahaha!

You inspire Mr. Craig!

Marlece

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Craig August 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

Marlece, my mom was forever running around saying, “if everybody would just pick up after themselves!” We all mocked her for it (5 kids) – and none of us picked up after ourselves. And as adults – with or without children – we all realize how true her words were – I can’t believe we made her do EVERYTHING. But then, it gave her an excuse to rummage through our bedrooms at will if we didn’t keep them clean :-) eventually your kids will understand. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face – I always remember my mom with a smile – and God bless and keep you Marlece.

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Debra August 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Beautiful words of gratitude. I heart them all. I love a grateful heart. Period.

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Craig August 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

Debra, thank you for your always gracious words – I heart them! And of course, I heart that you used heart as a verb – and look! As a noun too :) God bless you Debra!

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A. August 9, 2011 at 6:55 am

Craig, as I began reading your list I thought, ‘that’s my favorite…no that one, well, I guess that one …’ as I came to each and realized that something peaceful and calming and solid and sure-like the mother in that perfect picture you found-permeated your list today, and i love it. The ‘ooooh shiny’ of the fleece made me smile. :)

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Craig August 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

Fleece! Ooooooh shiny!!!

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Kelly August 9, 2011 at 6:55 am

really great list this week, Craig, and I believe it’s because you were really living this week! Way to stay engaged! I can testify to the fact that my lists can be surface-y or deep- depending solely on how engaged I’ve been. If I have really entered in, have taken time to breathe, and worship and play- my list is all about Him. And when I have been too busy- it’s about pretty flowers and a good cup of coffee. Glad you entered in this week. It has challenged me.

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Craig August 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

you are so right Kelly. The more we take the time to actually be “in” the moments as they pass – and the more we see God in Every. Little. Thing. The more we see – the more we know – the more we love. If I have fully entered into the moments my lists are like this – when I don’t fully enter the moments they tend towards theology. Both have their use – just like pretty flowers – and a good cup of coffee – but some come more from the heart. I’m nodding my head as I write this – and I’m smiling – thank you. God bless you and keep you Kelly!

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