Friday, 17 January 2014

Shaky Eucharisteo

This morning, I was involved in a minor accident.  It involved one of my imagined fears: two people changing lanes at the same time into the same lane.  I left bits of my driver's side headlight strewn across three lanes of traffic.  It was minor.  No injuries.  So why have I been shaking all day?  Like physically shaking.  And crying anytime I have to talk to anyone.

As soon as I got home after the accident, I needed sugar.  Hot chocolate.  Then I went to my lifelong default: hiding from what scares me in the pages of a novel.  It hasn't worked.  It doesn't help that the novel I picked is a bit ridiculous, so it's hard to get lost in it.  I expected myself to calm down as the hours went by, but instead I find myself even more on edge.

Why?  Why can't I handle a little fender-bender?  Am I not mature enough?  Why did the very idea of going to file the police report make me cry?  Why do I nearly hyperventilate when thinking of the driving and changing lanes?  I should be able to handle this!  Car accidents happen.  I've known that all my life, since my dad acquired serious brain injuries from two accidents before I was born.

The accident happened just before 10:00 this morning.  Once the other driver and I exchanged info, and we both pulled away, I parked in a nearby parking lot to try to calm down and to call my husband.  On my way to park, the reminder alarm on my iPod went off.  I knew what it said before looking at it:


I've been reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.

Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. "How," Ann wondered, "do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long, and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?" In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God''s gifts.It's only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we've always wanted—a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved—by God.
So "eucharisteo", the Greek word for giving thanks, is my daily reminder to look out for the little gifts each day brings.  Little things like my daughter's bubbly and unashamed laugh, and my son's warm morning hugs.  I've been counting my own one thousand gifts.

God's timing is interesting.  That my little reminder, set weeks ago for the arbitrary time of 10:00 AM, would go off right after the shock of the accident cannot be coincidence.  Right away, in the midst of my tears and stress and shakiness, I began thinking about the little gifts around this accident.

16. No injuries
17. A friend with a shoulder to cry on.
18. iPod reminders at exactly the right time.
19. A calm and gentle husband.
20. Distracting questions from a little boy: "Do we eat fish teeth?"
21. A nice stranger.
While I'm still shaky, and planning to dive back into my ridiculous novel for a while, I am keeping a sharper eye out for those hidden little gifts to be grateful for.  Like,
22. Not having to drive again 'til Monday...I hope

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