Since this is my little space on the webosphere, I reserve the right to change the rules midway through a month. After coming to the unfortunate realization that I have already used most of my “thin place” photographs to illustrate the “31 days of conversation” last month, I simply cannot keep that theme going for the remainder of this month of gratitude. So, I’ve decided to spend the final days of November returning to my trusty friend “abundance” and attempting to focus on the goodness of God found in the simple things of everyday life. Or at least until I change my mind again.
…belly laughs. Or, in Eliza’s case over laughing. Cuz girl does not know how to do something half way.
…the fullness of joy found in the presence of the Almighty.
And wouldn’t you know that God used the first one to remind me of the second.
I’m pretty sure I know where Eliza learned to over laugh. You see, up until a certain birthday in June, this gift of a human being has been the easiest, happiest, most delightful child that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And I say that will all humility since I cannot take credit for her genetic disposition. But then came three and with it the tendency toward tyranny and bouts of bi-polarness. All those highs we had enjoyed for the last two years were now being balanced with extreme lows, otherwise known as unpleasant grumpiness usually predicated by not getting her way. You know, the same reason I get in a bad mood.
In order to survive these cantankerous moments, mama decided to employ the classic “redirect” tactic. Or possibly, my own frustration just came exploding out in the form of hysterical laughter. Fine line between genius and madness, don’t you know. At any rate, when I would feel the toddler emotional barometer begin to drop I would try to do something silly and then commence to laugh, the louder and longer – the better. I am happy to report that my efforts were successful most of the time. Perhaps, too successful…
Because now when the aforementioned child has been naughty and senses trouble coming, she immediately loses herself in uncontrollable guffaws. And it would seem the frequency of this cycle has now developed into her new expression of joy. Over laughing. All the live long day. And it is contagious, let me tell ya.
And then just the other day, God brought this gem into my life through an Instagram friend. After one day of reading the Truth about giving thanks, I realized that I have been spending too much time focused on what is missing in my life and the things that are not going my way. In other words, my spirit has been caught up in a fit of toddler moodiness. And like a gentle, adoring Father, God is using this study and this book to redirect my attention to the awe-inspiring wonder of Him. I can feel Him lift my pouting chin so that I can look Him full in the face and see the laughter & love dancing in His eyes as He looks back at me. And we over laugh. Together. And my heart is filled with joy and gratitude. Nothing has changed. Except me. Thanks to being with & focusing on Him.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11, ESV).
“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
“Real pleasure, the only kind that satisfies the human soul and, at the same time, transforms a man into a marvelously decent person, is the sheer pleasure of living for the glory of God. It’s what each of us was designed to do. As the eagle finds pleasure through the heights, so a person finds pleasure in knowing God and doing God’s will. There is no choice to be made between the pursuit of true pleasure and obedience to a holy God. They are one path” (Sam Storms, Pleasures Evermore).
And I was made for belly laughs with the Father. And so were you…