"My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving." - Colossians 2:6-7 (Msg)
A day and another, turning to months and seasons and years of babies turning into girls and boys, maturing into young men and women. An adolescent I have known as a boy walks past me and I gasp. When will I stop being shocked by this?
Hopefully never. Development is miraculous, and we're not human if we're not changing. This maturation just one of so many gifts that draw awe and thanks. My prayer for you, for me, for all of us - that we would open our hands to the Giver and open our mouths to give thanks.
Every day I count my blessings. Not because I have to or ought to or am begrudgingly obliged. No - and not because some religious teacher said I have to. I count because I breathe, and gratitude is the best coping I know in this world so full of His glory and so full of evil-sorrow. I write them because I don't want to forget, because it's what I do and how I work - in words. I count the gifts because I worship. I worship because the Giver gives gifts, not the least of which His Son hanging on a cross and Resurrected to redeem. If He gave Him, how will He not give me all I need and want? [see Romans 8:32] Indeed He will. Indeed He does. Here are a few of my recent counted gifts. Please feel free to share what you're thankful for, too, Dear Heart. Let us enter His courts with thanksgiving
- K asking me for a meet-up at the park. It's nice to be invited, Lord.
- for seeing my tears and feeling my pain, and the way You calm my fears an fill the holes of my loss. Again today.
- a nice afternoon with A, K, C, and R - new friends
- putting a puzzle together with a 3-year-old
- for providing a way out - the Way of Grace
- for filling me with the trust I need, when I know I need more
- walking at Roaring Run with the family, and talking to each of my children about heaven and eternity. Their intriguing ideas about what paradise will be like
- birds that look like frogs until they fly
- the scent of the the morning dew, the sight of mist rising before the dawning pink, and the voice of a sister - you flood my senses with blessing this morning
- that You call me Your friend, and show me how to be a great friend with a great love for You - by loving others (John 15:9-17)
- a visit with C&T (neighbors), and the privilege to pray healing for each of them, and listen to their testimony of Your goodness
- Sweet Betty, and her simple gratitude for life and her family
- pleasant colleagues at a new workplace
- for L, who checks up on me, and asks about my ministry, caring for me like You do
- encouragement from C to keep walking toward You, and not allow anyone or anything to rob me of the joy it is to serve You
- K sharing her funny, awkward, fun, nervous times of her first week of school. I'm so thankful she still tells me these things. I pray she always will.
- for leading J and I to the same chapter at the same time, and for getting us on the same page - literally - before we pray together
- brisk morning for jogging and connection with You
- Your Word - my delight, that which fills and stabilizes and comforts.
Oh, Lord - how I love You. You give grace, joy, peace, gifts large and small. Every day, every moment, every breath. You are so worthy of my gratitude, for I owe it all to You alone. Would You please take my life, and make it worthy of You call, worthy of Your death and life, worthy of the Name by which I call myself Yours. Every gift is from You, regardless of the appearance or my attitude toward it at the time. I surrender myself to You. May You be praised through my words, deeds, thoughts, and speech. I want nothing more than to please You
Thank You, Jesus.
And you, Dear Reader - for what are you thankful for today?