Monday, November 8, 2010

Giving Thanks for Abundance and Desiring Simplicity

This week has been a bit of a stunner.

A very wonderful, life-long family friend is in the full throes of losing a 5 year battle with metastatic breast cancer. It is in one sense devastating to watch from 2,000 miles away as the family loses their mother and yet encouraging to see community gather around them and lift them up to help bear their burdens. As I pray for this family--for the mom who at one point changed my diapers--I pray for peace, comfort, and the outpouring of God's love through the church family that surrounds them.

I am reminded that my job isn't just that. The hours I spend on the computer, filing papers, writing updates, or working on a manual, it all matters. At times the drug development world seems to be barricaded with infinitely thick cement walls, but I pray that doors will appear in those walls because these therapies will make a difference.

I am still in amazement after watching the True Religion video on Bri's website. There is an orphanage down the street from my house that I drive past multiple times each week. And I forget it's there. Yesterday I talked with a mom who told me that when she adopted her son from Russia, he had spent the first 8 months of his life in his crib. My daughter spent those months in loving arms. It brings tears and a broken heart and a pleading, what can I do?

I saw that video the day before my trip with a couple friends to Cincinnati. We drove over an hour to go to Trader Joe's--a grocery store.  I can't say that my heart wasn't being pulled by the fact that I am among the privileged who can do something like that while there are millions without any access to even the simplest of foods.

During this time of Thanksgiving, time to focus on all we have, my heart is tugging, pulling, crying out for less. As I cleaned my frig last night, I realized that I need less on my grocery list. As I work on Della's quilt, I realize I need less fabric. As I struggle to read my Bible, pray, and meditate, I know I need less distractions.

What I need more of is family. Heavenly Father. Time to sit and play with my baby. Reading. Time to sip a cup of tea. My friends. even Silence and Solitude.

This week I give thanks in my state of confliction.  I give thanks for both abundance and simplicity. For peace and restlessness. 

holy experience

11. A long car ride with good friends
12. Working on a friend's sewing project without the nagging that I should be doing something else
13. The upcoming Advent Season
14. Accessibility to good foods full of health, nutrition, and even flavor
15. Community--the Family of God in action loving one another
16. The shrieks and squeals of a baby learning to talk
17. Laundry--folded and its rightful place
18. A husband who reminds me of the burdens I do not need to bear
19. And those I do
20. Prayer. Meditation. Guidance. All found in the still moments my soul yearns for.



  1. I too struggle with the plethora of stuff I have and the more I am still able to get. It's a balance I haven't quite found yet without jumping to one extreme, but--yes--humbling to know that I really do have so much even when I feel "poor."

    Hearing about the boy in the crib reminded me of when the Moore's brought their sons home from Russia, Maria said the boys hid food for months before they realized they were going to be fed at the next meal. So sad.

  2. Love this post. A good reminder for me....

  3. my heart goes out to your friends and their family. so much aching.

    thank you for the reminder to seek LESS (and of course more/better.) turning the computer off.

    grace and peace

  4. Just came to you through Ann Voskamp (thanks to her for letting us link up on her amazing site!) because your middle name is Irene. My daughter, Amelia Irene, is my special needs daughter (unexpectedly after 3 years of healthy life) so I had to come visit. I'll be back - love your style and your story. Thanks for writing!

    Gen Thul @ Turquoise Gates

  5. I am so sorry for what you're going through :-(


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