The Tides are here again, they ebb and flow, but they are back and bringing with a flood of sadness and a yearning that longs for more. Not more things. As Ann Voskamp shared today with her readers, "We don't need more things, we need more meaning". No, this wanting of more brings with it a deep ache....in the heart. We long with intensity to hold our family close. There is a grieving that comes in with the Tides~ for that which we do not have, that which we miss.
None of our children, in-loves, or precious grandchildren live where we call home. They are scattered near and far, lives full. Unlike many of our neighbors, family, or friends, we cannot jump into the car to take in a sports event or concert. We do not gather for Sunday dinner or birthday celebrations. Our relationships are mainly nurtured via text, email, phone calls, or a rare "FaceTime" event on iPad.
Our loving five families are all working at good jobs, active in community and school, have great friends and four of five are very involved in their churches. And in all but one family the grand kids have other grandparents who are able to spend a great deal of time with them. Having that comfortable interaction that comes with the familiar. The "extra" is found in the ordinary, as Ann Voskamp says.
Our lives have changed a great deal lately, with the return of our health now making it possible for us to visit our family more. Not weekly, not monthly, but being able to travel has made it possible for our once or twice a year in person connections to increase. We are grateful. Yet the Tides still come and we struggle with staying joyful in the loss of what we desire for what is real. At times we are challenged to find the "extra" in the ordinary
What really stops the flow of sadness and brings the extra into the ordinary is counting it all joy. Looking back and remembering......looking ahead and planning.....centering on the now.....and counting the many blessings with gratitude.
Giving thanks that our children are so blessed with full, healthy, vibrant lives....loving spouses, beautiful children, good jobs and nice homes. We count it all joy that they have a strong relationship with Jesus, their family, grandparents that are familiar, and good friends. Full lives.
We count it all joy that technology, whether a phone or an iPad, makes it possible for us to connect with loved ones. And as I look over at my husband of nearly 46 years sitting in his favorite chair, I count it all joy that we have a deep and loving relationship with each other, a strong relationship with God, our health returned, and a future that raises up the opportunities for the extra in the ordinary. Counting it all joy. And with the counting the Tides of grief will ebb....and joy will replace the sadness.
I am linking up with Ann today....