Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am so, so grateful...

                                   -Ann Voskamp

Today is Thanksgiving day, and I have been up
early, fireplace on, hot coffee in hand, and my
prayer list and journal on my lap. Daisy, our sweet
"visiting pooch," has snuggled up next to me for
extra warmth. Winter is hitting Spokane. No snow
yet, but cold temps chill you to the bone. 

Since my "word" for 2016 is "light," turning that gas fireplace on feels like a sacred ritual of sorts. It's a choice to see the light and feel the warmth that is right there, waiting for me. 


Thoughts swirl through my head as I look at the blessed names on my prayer list. These people are my "lovies" and my "dearies," precious folks I love with all my heart.

Bert, my beloved husband, is always at the top of my list. Since I can look back in my prayer journal and see prayers that were  prayed, and prayers that were answered, I feel a deep wave of gratitude to God for His goodness and His mercy.

I feel Gratitude for the grace He gives me every day. And my gratitude spills over when I realize that God  has answered my prayer. Bert is still here, with me, sharing life together. He is still my love and best friend.

"Thank you, Lord, for helping to heal Bert's heart.
Thank you that Bert is still here, loving life and sharing his love with others."

I am so, so grateful!

Other names and faces jump out at me from my prayer list. Family, adult children, all of my dearie grands. Oh how they bring so much JOY into our lives. I focus on each one, the prayers flowing aloud from my lips... 

"Please God, help heal her heart." 
"Please Lord, help her to be less stressed." 
"Please God, help him to know You." 

Their faces flash before me as I say their names aloud. Tears flow as I can feel the deep and abiding love I have for each of them. They are my heart, these dear ones. What a gift they each are to me.

I am so, so grateful!

Also on my prayer list are all of my dear friends, knowing and sharing for years and years, and newer friends in person and blog friends too. How close they all are to my heart! How they encourage me along the way with their love and their prayers. How they lift me up when I am so weary and how they remind me of God's love and grace. I say each name and ask God to bless them and heal them.

"Please God, stay close to her so she can feel your presence."
"Thank you, God, that she is here to celebrate another Thanksgiving."
"Thank you, Lord, that she prays for me and for my family." 
"Thank you, God, for her constant emails and comments of encouragement."
"Thank you, Lord, for his humor and all the laughing we do together."

I am so, so grateful!

On my list I see the names of my students, my church family, folks I intersect with as I get my coffee or get my groceries. Dear neighbors who care and look out for us. As I see each name I pray for them and thank God that these folks are in my life. What JOY they bring!

"Thank you God for bringing Your love and light with the gift of these amazing friends."

I am so, so grateful!

Also on my prayer lists are the hurts and challenges
that have helped me to dig deep and rely on God.
They have all taught me invaluable lessons.
Strange gifts, but gifts never the less.

"Thank you, God, for every hard challenge that has taught me to rely on You!"

Even though the words stick in my throat, I am so, so grateful for what each hurt has taught me.

What I know for sure, on this Thanksgiving Day, 
is what Ann Voskamp says:

   "Gratitude is not only a response to God
   in good times, it is ultimately the very will 
   of God in hard times. Gratitude is not only
   a celebration when good things happen,
   it's a declaration that God is good, no matter
   what happens."

Amen and Amen!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
May God bless you and keep you
and hold you in the palm of His almighty hand!

1 comment:

Jackie said...

You are a blessing.
Thank you for your encouragement, prayers, and friendship from across the miles.

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