Tuesday, August 7, 2012

eucharisteo always precedes the miracle

When I sit down and think about it, I am an ungrateful person. 

I sit in traffic in my car and I think angry thoughts about the person driving like an idiot in front of me. (In my defense, Los Angeles is full of idiotic drivers......and I happen to be one....UGH the lack of fairness in road rage).

I walk around at work or I go for a run and I am filled with jealousy when I pass a beautiful woman. I look at her and compare and immediately put myself down.

I sit in my apartment and I wish I lived in a nicer one.

I wish I looked different,

I wish I was funnier

and smarter

and prettier

and richer

and more successful

and all of this leads to nowhere. 

It's so "in" right now to be sarcastic, bitter, "above it all." Sometimes I don't care. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with such gratitude for the breath in my lungs and my life that everything just fits perfectly together in a sense of wonderment. 

You might be reading this and thinking "Ew, Nina, ya cheesy girl ya freakin' cheesehead." But I don't care. My birthday was two days ago and as I woke up I was so thankful for another year in my life. It can be so overwhelming living far from home and living in a city like Los Angeles. Sometimes in the middle of my day I have this moment where I pull back and think, "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING."

Why did I turn down graduate school?

Why am I living so far from so many people I love?

Why am I pursuing such an unstable career?

It is so easy to sit back and glamorize a different life, a life of security and comfort and all that stuff that is so appealing. But all I could think about this birthday was how unbelievably grateful I am.

Somehow, miraculously, God led me to Los Angeles and He led me to certain people who have blessed me beyond belief here. On my birthday as I sat around a dinner table filled with women who have been so wonderful to me, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed! As I served at church in the morning I thought about Reality LA. I thought about when Chanelle and I first moved here and we knew NO ONE and we sat in the back of the church just praying praying praying for direction. For guidance. For an apartment, for a car, for jobs. We had nothing but a suitcase each, God and each other. 

And then it's like, I got to celebrate my 23rd birthday here. WHAT?! WHY? How awesome is THAT?!!! I am just so grateful and Lord, I never want to stop being grateful.

I am reading this book called, "One Thousand Gifts." It is a book that has encouraged my mom and sisters a lot. In it the author talks about how the "eucharisteo always precedes the miracle." When I first heard this I had no idea what it even meant, and then I kept reading. And it made sense.

Giving thanks is what we constantly need to do. I don't give thanks ENOUGH. I think I am constantly entitled to happiness and success and health but I am not entitled to anything in this world. This world isn't even forever, so why do I stress about everything all the time? I need to get on my knees and PRAISE HIM. Praise and give thanks because what else can I do, really? How beautiful of a life it is to just live and love? The way Christ loves us. That is it, really. 

So this birthday and this day and tomorrow and forever I am thankful. 

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