Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Stacked branches

Today has been hard graft. I don't seem to have done much, and have achieved even less. I'm three weeks into life with a broken arm, after falling like a felled tree on hard tarmac while visiting family back in the UK. Sure, it's only a temporary thing but it is pretty darned inconvenient. It’s also kept me from sleeping, which explains why I’m sitting here writing the wrong side of midnight, but maybe that’s not been such a bad thing after all, I haven’t written or posted on my blog or on my Facebook pages for quite a while.

We are supposed to be getting ready for a hard winter here in the French Jura mountains, so I've been stamping on sticks for days now, slowly breaking up the big heap of fallen branches that I collected through the spring and summer as kindling for our wood burning stove. Thankfully I wore my heaviest walking boots to protect my feet. Even so, I was glad to come to the end of the pile before the growing twinges in my foot turned into anything more serious.

Now all these sticks and twigs and bits of broken branch are neatly stacked in bags and boxes and bins at the far end of our barn, so yes, thankfully I have achieved something after all, even though my good arm is also complaining of being overworked, and another tendinitis threatens.

There are seasons in life when it takes all our energy just to live. Times when our stubbornly independent necks must bow as we admit we need help: help hauling in the pumpkins from the garden, help chopping up the squash to make a soup, even help holding the pan to scrape the last of the soup into the bowls for our lunch.

So I'm thankful that my husband cut short his own trip to come home with me, and is here looking after me. I'm thankful that, even though I can't drive down into the valley and get to the shops, I have a freezer stocked with meals made with my home grown veg, and for the most part ready to thaw, heat and eat. I'm thankful too for dear neighbours who offer help; thankful for my computer to keep me linked to the world out there; thankful that today I gained my thousandth Twitter follower; thankful that my daughter is coping with the ups and downs of motherhood as her baby comes up to four weeks old.

Most of all I'm thankful for God's seemingly limitless patience with me. He knows all my weaknesses. I guess he smiles as he watches me slowly and reluctantly admit to them myself. How liberating it is, to let go of doing things in my own strength, to trust in Him, knowing that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Thank you, Jesus.

Bins, boxes and bags