How to Find Your Perfect Weight

I don’t think of it then, when I raise my  hands up in what isn’t —  well, precisely, praise.

More this throwing lift of lament and exhausted surrender and end-of-the-day fatigue.

And I can’t say that it occurred to me then — that it really could be that we were born with two hands because we never stop weighing the good against the bad, today against yesterday, and that I’m weighing everything all the time.

But I do know that the piles and the weeds and the to-do lists and the messiness of living — it can weigh right heavy and I feel it in the shoulders, the back, the heart.

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It comes only after the weekly ceremony of looking for beauty to fill the vases, the crocks that have become furniture, permanent furniture, since spring and the peonies.

Before, when a child brought in a fistful of Queen Anne’s lace, summer’s scattered doilies, it was only then I’d simply slip a vase off the shelf.

Or when boys raced in with first profusion of wild daffodils from the ditches….

Or when he’d stop the tractor at the edge of the sideroad on the way home from the other farms, right there by the neighbor’s, and Farmer Husband would fill his arms with tiger lilies growing free under the maples, him feeling no shame in greased and manly hands picking the slender stems, carry flowers home for his bride.

I’d just get a vase down then.

Have beauty.
Must get a vessel.

 

But when Farmer gave me the crocks, eventually set of four, all thrift store finds, the world spun.

Now I had vases that became furniture, that always remained out: one on the dining room table, one before the sink, one by the hearth, one in the study —  permanent fixtures in a house wired for glory.

Have vessel.
Now must find beauty.

Empty containers can makes us seekers, hunters of glory.

I need to find grace-beauty to fill the emptiness.

Never anything purchased with paper or change… only that which can be bought with attention.

A wildflower from the roadside, a branch from the woods, grasses growing long in the ditches. And when in bloom in the garden, zinnias, a happy round face from the sunflower patch, a flowering chive or two.

“Can I gather the flowers this week?” a son asks after the weekly cleaning, hand on the back doorknob, scissors in hand.

“Can I go too?” She’s already flash of blond light across kitchen.

We’ve become this motley tribe of beauty hunters.

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So, it’s when I have a vase in my hand and those black-eyed susans are long-necked and lovely, —  that I just plunk the bouquet of flowers directly down on the scale.

It’s when the levered beam falls with a clunk.

It’s only then, when the beam in my own eye falls away, then that I see clear what all saints must already know…

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For those who can see, the world’s beauty outweighs its burdens, its grace greater than its grime.

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There is always this: pots and pans and peels. I forget to put a load of laundry in before we sit down to the dinner. I haven’t taken in the load out on the line. I have to gather strewn books and take out the recycling and find a hoe for that garden.

What will I look for, to outweigh everything? Who will I look to, to outweigh everything?

And in the midst, my gratitude journal lies open.

It used to be, that I used to do generic thanks: mumble a bit of thanks before the sleep, give thanks before the meal.

Have grace.

Sorta, (now and then), must give thanks.

But when gratitude journals became my permanent life furniture, white spaces opened wide, empty pages like cups to heaven, waiting to be filled with the color of His graces… my universe shifted.

What will I look for, to outweigh everything?

Who will I look to, to outweigh everything?

Have space to give thanks, space to chronicle a thousand gifts.
Now must find grace.

I become a seeker, a looker. A God hunter — making this a daily ceremony, the gathering of grace, joy to fill the emptiness, Father-glory that never fades.

And when I look out at sunflowers, with all those sprouting weeds at their feet, and I can tell just by the way they’re nodding their crowning heads — the way all these flowers agree, agree.

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They agree with the scale, and here with these people in the midst of our piles —

When I go looking for glimpses of Him, when I seek to fill the empty places with more of Him  who is beauty, my equilibrium recalibrates to find its center in the Judge who became grace to bestow grace and I can rightly read the scale, feel it inside, and know it’s true:

If you can really seethe weight of Glory always tips the scales for joy.

I think of this, the next time I raise my hands in happy thanks…

How light I feel — this perfect weight.

 

 

 

#2475 … the crazy, happy grace of having Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 and her friend Leah here at the farm this weekend

#2476 … chopping rhubarb

#2477 … an iris in a vase at the mudroom sink —  ah, the happiness that even a mud sink can be graced with a bit of beauty

#2478 … never tiring of the happy swash of the washing machine

#2479… this simmering away for an easy, hearty Sunday night dinner

#2480… pulling weeds

#2481… dirt under fingernails

#2482… giving the gift of a clean house to family

#2483… turning pages of Renee’s book — A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of God’’s Promises — and feeling it beginning — this God-fidence that changes everything…

#2485… squeezing hands in prayer with soul sisters in Christ

#2486… planting the last 100 acres of beans (grace! sun! dry dirt! Farmer smiling! just plant around the remaining wet holes!)

#2487.. week #11 on the New York Times — laid low and made very small before a very big God and this transforming thing He’s doing with One Thousand Gifts in the hearts of His people

#2488… the weight of His glory always making us the perfect weight

 

current gratitude list: post, an editing from archives as we enjoy the happy grace of guests  this weekend

#2474… -#2488 of hunting for  the grace of God in the Moment….  more of the One Thousand Gifts that never end…

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Related Resources:
God in the Moment Day Calendar : quotes from One Thousand Gifts: making everyday a holy experience @DaySpring
Free Printable: June’s Gratitude Calendar
Free Printable: 7 Gifts Good & Perfect : A Weekly Gratitude booklet (find folding instructions for booklet here)
And from the archives: How to {help} Raise Grateful Kids : A Primer for the Summer
june gratitude list

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Today, if you’d like to share your own marking towards One Thousand Gifts of thanks, of making your life about thanks to God — (please, jump in!) — just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.


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