We choose.

Tuesday July 26, 2011We choose.

My sons’ favorite preschool teacher believed in empowering children, even at a tender age. She instilled responsibility ever-so-gently by giving them the power to choose.

Of course, she strongly suggested the right choice as she reminded the children, “We choose to obey.” (There was the day one of my boys calmly replied, “I choose to disobey.” I was mortified; you can read about my recovery here.)

Giving children the opportunity to choose seems a small thing, but not an insignificant one. It illustrates a truth that runs throughout our lives.

I’m not saying we have power over everything that happens; far from it. But with each joy or pain that befalls us, we have the ability to choose.

I’m just now reading One Thousand Gifts. Yes, I know. I’m a bit late to the party. But it's summer, and I have time to linger, to relish.

The first chapter is called “An Emptier, Fuller Life.” I do love a paradox. Putting those two words next to each other (emptier, fuller) just intrigues me.

Ann Voskamp relates how she chose to say no to God in the face of pain and loss. My subconscious is saying, “Well, I haven’t had that experience,” and then she writes, “If I’m ruthlessly honest, I may have said yes to God, yes to Christianty, but really, I have lived the no.” She speaks having a loss of central vision, of hungering for filling in a world that is starved. I can’t argue there.

We choose—to live in a world that lacks His power, to live the no or we choose see Him in the holes and have communion there.

I choose the holes. Won’t you peek through with me and sit at His feet?

Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria. Click on over and come along with us!



Laura, I am reading and rereading this book, I like it so much. My daughters are enjoying it too.


Deidra said...

I thought I was the last one to read Ann's book!

Diane said...

I haven't even heard of 1000 gifts..... Uh oh, really behind the times here. :O)

Unknown said...

Ann gave the keynote speech on Saturday at She Speaks. I have the book, but haven't read it, but her passion for gratitude really grabbed me.

Laura said...

"I choose to disobey". Oh, that's rich. We never know, do we (grin). Those boys.

I'm so glad you are reading Ann's book! Maybe you will catch up with me, as I am moving slow too. Summer is good for that. But I am so behind on everything. But...I think life is fuller for the slow savor.

Happy summer, Laura!

Amy Sullivan said...

Ohhhh, just heard Ann talk about this Saturday!

I'm so bad at seeing the joy through the pain. When there is pain, I question and wonder and try to fix, but joy, nope I struggle to see.

Erin said...

Still haven't gotten to this book, but oh, how I want to!

"I choose to disobey"...oh my...well, at least he was honest...?

Jennifer @ JenniferDukesLee.com said...

I, too, have lived the no. (More often than I care to admit). I am grateful for a God who walks beside me anyway, helping me live out the yesses in places I never dreamed I could or would!

Enjoy Ann's book, Laura.

Pamela said...

I'll never be satisfied again to live in the world of no -- a world without God's power. I love your words "we choose to see Him in the holes and have communion there" -- that's my choice!

Susan DiMickele said...

Welcome to the party (the joy and pain party, that is!). And your not late. I read it too fast and gave away my copy. And now I want it back!

Shelly said...

I just started Ann's book, too. :) And started counting my gifts...we are making it a family event with each one of us having our own notebook. I'm excited for the journey ahead :)

Thank you for sharing...I love this last statement: "We choose—to live in a world that lacks His power, to live the no or we choose see Him in the holes and have communion there."

I'm choosing with you.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I just finished One Thousand Gifts. Honestly, I think it helped make a difficult summer bearable. Ann's words jumped off the page and into my heart. What a blessing it has been. I will definitely be re-reading it. I found the book club at Incourage to be such an insight into the book with the video of Ann speaking about each chapter. If you haven't already, check it out. Each video is only about 10 minutes long. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

I heard Ann speak at a conference this weekend and her words were haunting. Finding the thankfulness is a discipline I'm working on. It's so easy to walk by them every day and not really appreciate the gifts God hands us. Thanks for sharing your gift of words. :)

Anonymous said...

I am at the end of Ann's book, and took my time reading it. Keeping a gratitude journal is helping my mind stay focused on the positive, the many gifts He does indeed gift that I would otherwise miss. It's still not always easy to fully embrace the "yes's" in hard times, but a learning process and a pressing forward and upward.

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