Posted by: bandaidchild | February 12, 2011

Bloated With Thanks.

You know when all the tryptophan hits your system, the belly expands to suggest you’re in your third trimester, and your eyelids get droopy?

Ah, Thanksgiving bloating.

I’m not sure who has been praying for me, but I have felt such joy lately. The past several weeks, I have been filled with so much joy that I can only attest to the Lord.

I feel bloated with thanks.

And it feels awesome. This joy has manifested into praying for people more, taking more risks ( my One Word for the year: tenacity), and looking for ways to serve others.

my joy has conveyed trust in Jesus.

The only difference between Thanksgiving bloating and my preverbial bloating is that it’s not uncomfortable, and I don’t want to take a nap to relieve the pressure, or get popped like Violet who turns into a Blueberry in Willa Wonka.

When I first went to South Africa, anytime I had a moment of downtime, on the bus, or during our “scheduled” quiet time, I started compiling a “thankfulness” list. Once I returned home, I’d jot something down when I thought of it; after hanging out with a friend, at bedtime, at school. It became the longest consecutive list I’ve ever written. If you go into my room in Glen Allen, Virginia, pass my bed and duck down you’ll see my old Bible. It was the first Bible I actually read out of, took places, wrote notes in the margins at youth group–grew to know who Jesus was. In between His Words, you’ll find papers of blue ink with my scribbles of things I’m thankful for. They’re all written on hospital paper, some big hospital that gave away free notepads that my Mom scored I suppose. On the list there were blue pens, of course… A warm bed, making snow angels with my best friend, pickles, crayons, doctors who do brain surgery, the kindness of strangers, my youth group, Pastor Dave, Trevor, Molly, Lilia, Anna, Dana, Katie, Kaelee, The Nauthinator.

When I went to college, I got a big kid Bible with smart commentary in it, and then again when I went to South Africa for a year I was gifted with a Bible that I LOVE and still use, and will probably never retire because it holds so much sweetness.

But, my thankfulness piles remain in between the thin pages of my adolescent Bible. And, I didn’t stop being thankful, but, I haven’t thought much about it until the last two weeks. So I’ve decided to start writing again. I don’t have any more of that sweet hospital stationary, but I can manage to find some plain old paper I’ll bet.

Part of me hopes that my grandkids find these pages and it only reinforces the joy of the Lord that sprouted out of me when I lived my life.

I am so looking forward to sharing life with my folks. I’m excited to volunteer at the clinic with my Mom, and perhaps be on the same volunteer rescue squad as my Dad if he decides to go back to school and get re-licensed as an EMT. To cook for my parents, to talk about our days together, to laugh at the quirkiness of the squirrels outside, to coo at my kitten when she snuggles or bats around a packing peanut. To have real, deep conversations, to struggle through the messiness that is…. me, and all that I’m bringing to the house, and to feel raw love, and to exchange it.

I am so thankful I have parents who love me, support me, cheer me on but never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to (except maybe dressing me in green jumpers for band concerts). I am equally thankful for the extra set of parents I was gifted when I came to college, and whose marriage continues to inspire me, impress me, humble me, and realize that there are men out there who are still looking to serve Jesus with their hearts, are hard workers, and will love a woman….all at the same time!

This trifecta is not commonplace, and I am so so so so lucky to see it lived out by wise folks right here, as well as my own parents. Thank you.

I love sighing in the breath-of-fresh-air-sort of way.

Bradley Hathaway wrote this about joy:

“On Being Joyful And Content”

I'm ecstatic!

and my thoughts

Yet centered around one center


In plush ripe tones,
joy is rushing through my bones!

If joy were a color,
it would be purple pastel pretty

Like old women and young children
both wear on easter

Smiling while having deviled eggs
and drinking kool-aid

Chasing blown bubbles
in the backyard

The young ones' distracting hats
fly off...

And the old ones laugh
a contagious laughter
that is to be shared
by everyone there

The sun
shines down upon them
as all of their physical imperfections

and inside,
I feel like this;
and I look outside my window
and imagine the
future purple pastel pretty
moments of joy
that I will one day have with my wife.
My Children.
My friends.
My family.

I really look forward to those moments.
But I am thankful for the one
that I am having right now.
this morning.

On my couch.

Overwhelmed by Joy.




  1. My heart instantly swelled when I read this. Becca, you have been on this difficult road for a long time now. And for you to feel and acknowledge that you’re overwhelmed by His joy is huge. That speaks so much and so deeply about your journey, your heart, and the ways His grace has broken through it all. And that is nothing short of amazing. And beautiful. And throw-my-hands-in-the-air worthy.

    God is good. And He redeems all things. He redeems even this.

  2. Your words, your swelling joy – is contagious!!! I’ve (somewhat) recently started growing my gratitude list in the back of my journal. As pages fill I’m humbled, quieted by His gifts.

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