Tag Archives: gratitude

We Survived!

interruptThis week, some of us experienced our first teary-Kindergarten-first-day (maybe their tears, maybe yours.)  Some of us experienced Senior-year-last-first day and then there are a whole bunch of us that fall somewhere in between or outside of those back-to-school lines.  But, we all survived the first week!  Ok, so I will concede that while our actual survival was never in question the upheaval of a sudden schedule to conform to after 3 months of “free-styling it” can be a little rough on even the best of us.

Back to school is always a transition, and the calendar can become a to-do list nightmare, not to mention the very real reminder of the passing of time.  Navigating these waters can be tricky and today I want to offer some encouragement from Mary Ann Morgan.

When we moved to our little farm 15 years ago, I was a busy homeschool mom with three children under my wings.

My life was wonderfully hectic. Katie was twelve, Annie was ten, and Johnny was seven. I was happy as the nucleus of our home, with life swirling round and round about me.

Then, one by one, my birdies did what I had been teaching them to do all along.

They flew away. 

I felt lost, and not just a little. I could not find my bearings.

I was trying to find my place in this world again.

When we see calendars not so much as rows of boxes of things we have to do — but as boxes that we get to unwrap —  the present moment always becomes a gift.

The idea that I could continually unwrap gifts (that otherwise felt fleeting) just by writing them down and giving thanks for them was transformational for me.

I am grateful for:

glistening water from the garden hose,
summer lights hanging dreamily from a tree,
blue porches and red swings, ripe tomatoes on the sill, children snuggling chickens,
a butterfly warming her wings among Black-Eyed Susans,
fuzzy bumble bees satiated and sleepy,
summer puddles where heaven meets earth.

And on and on it goes.

I could feel my heart shifting from a sense of emptiness into a deep gratitude. The places I felt were barren were actually brimming with life.

It didn’t come overnight, but it did come with practice and the more I practiced the more I benefited.

I sometimes find myself held captive by grief and anxiety as I navigate the waters of these awkward transitions. Counting graces always helps me to find my way home into worship. Once I can get onto the path of worship, my feet will carry me into the arms of God

I may not always know my place in this world. Things are ever changing.

But in counting gifts I can always find my place in God.  

In His heart.

He alone holds me as He continues to enfold me in His love.

Enjoy your weekend! May your heart be filled with gratitude and the beauty in the everyday gifts as we roll on into this next school year.  May you find yourself enfolded in His love.

He chose me…

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5)
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Ok, confession time again. I am going to let you all in on a little secret. I am a closet Veggie Tales movie watcher. They are so entertaining with catchy little songs and teach practical Bible truths in a fresh way. I often find myself chuckling out loud. If you have never watched one I invite you to check them out. Although they are made for kids they are quite clever. So the other day I got to have my niece and nephew (4 & 2) over to “play” and we pulled out the Veggie Tales Tuba Warrior, a story about Gideon, and while I was sitting playing dolls and cars on the basement floor watching the movie I was struck by a prayer from Gideon. This was Gideon’s prayer, just before going into battle.

“Hey God, it’s me. You and I both know I can’t do this on my own, but you can, and that’s good enough for me. I pray you’ll be with us tonight and your will be done. That’s it I guess. Oh, one more thing. You could have chosen anyone but you choose me. Thanks. Amen”

A simple little prayer offered up by a cucumber resonated so deeply that I found myself days later still thinking about it. This little clip made me realize how thankful I am that God chose me. He chose my path, He chose my struggles, He chose my disease, specifically for me. All of these things have shaped and molded me into the person I am today. He has realigned my will, my thoughts, and my desires, all the while holding my heart in his hand to keep it from breaking in to an irreparable mess. It sounds crazy even to my own ears, thankful for a disease?! But the changes that God has engineered through it, in myself and in my family, are something to be thankful for.

God, you could have chosen anyone, but you chose me. Thank you!
Today, I pray that you can live in gratitude as well. No matter what your circumstances.

PS – In case your curiosity has gotten the best of you and you want to see the clip of Veggie Tales with Gideon’s prayer here it is. It is about 7 min long and comes from the end of the movie. There is also a great exchange between Gideon and an angel about how hard it can be to trust God
sometimes when what He is asking us to do doesn’t make sense. Like I said, they are full of great truths!