Eyes wide open

Limbs weary, I dragged myself out of bed this morning. My alarm went off twice. I clutched it to my chest thinking that maybe, somehow, that act of holding it close would urge my body from it's slumber position. It didn't happen. I eventually opened my eyes and lay there seeing, not moving. Thinking confused thoughts that were leading down the path to worry. Eventually, a whole hour later, I pulled the blanket back, my body now exposed to the cool morning air, and dragged myself up. I could barely even look at my husband's smiling face as I walked down the stairs, with the feelings of physical vulnerability and emotional vulnerability causing me to make shields all around me, even from the ones that love me. 
Finding my quiet corner I drew another blanket up over my legs and began the morning routine. It's a rhythm I've come to love, that time with just me and God but this morning the weight of worries started to press down on me and my fragmented thoughts led to fractured prayers. I found my frail heart hoping that the God of love still hears and enjoys broken and weak prayer, because that's exactly what it was - broken and weak. My heart felt so dull, so far from delighting in His love, so preoccupied. I quickly moved on, hoping to find some distraction through the screen of my computer - distraction from the pain of my own weakness, my own feelings of failure, my own confusion and fear. Scrolling down through the myriad of people's updates I see it:

"Thanks is the highest form of thought — because this is always the right order of things: 
Us laid low. Before God on High." - Ann Voskamp

I paused. I remembered. I prayed for eyes to see and ears to hear. I looked and saw the apples hanging round and firm on the branches. I saw the leaves of the grapevine blowing gently in the morning breeze, the light catching and illuminating them like shining palms lifted to heaven. I heard the gentle footsteps of my husband as he protects the quiet space he knows I need. I am reminded of God's care for me here, now, today and I am grateful. 
I want thankfulness to become a part of me, like my arm or my hand, but it's like an accessory that I put on and off and barely notice that it's not on until my heart starts to flail around in worry. I want thankfulness to grow in me like a vital organ that I can't do without. Habitual praise can seem so trite at times and yet it has the power to overthrow strongholds in the mind. 
For the first time this morning I feel like my eyes are finally open, wide open, and I see. The retina holds an image and my heart and mind translate through the lens of love. It's what I'm living for, to see His hands holding me, loving me, showing kindness to me in this sin-scarred and pain-filled world. 
I have been laid low, God is on high and joy is mine.

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