Tag Archives: gratitude

Intersections

When two opposing lines, a vertical line and a horizontal line, intersect they create a cross – just like the cross our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was crucified on.  On that ancient cross, at that intersection, heaven and earth collided, yet we forget… opposites and intersections are a part of our everyday lives and I think heaven can be found at these intersections.

My friends – seek the intersections, seek the opposites and when you find them fall to your knees in worship, prayer and gratitude as if you were before that very first intersection, the cross carrying our sweet and precious Lord, Jesus.

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
– 
Luke 23:46

Blessed are the eyes that truly see…

On New Year’s Eve we had dinner with our family.  I love going around the table and giving everyone a chance to give thanks for something from the year.

As always when it was my turn, my eyes welled up with tears, my throat became tight and my sweet girls lovingly said, “There she goes again… Mommy’s going to cry.”  We all started laughing and as I was wiping away my tears and getting ready to speak, my sweet husband quietly spoke and said, “Sarah is thankful for the wind as it blows through the trees, a leaf that falls in her path, a bird that soars past our kitchen window, a caterpillar she finds in the backyard… she is thankful for everything.”

Sweet Lord, I love the little reminders You place in our paths.  My sweet love truly sees me more than I realize and in that moment I felt so deeply understood and loved.  Oh my Lord… I am so blessed that he is mine, I am his and we are Yours!

Thank You, thank You, thank You… in every moment and in everything – Thank You sweet Jesus!

You are welcome

Isn’t it interesting that in english the correct response to Thank you is You are welcome?  You are gladly received or willingly permitted, admitted, accepted.  Where did this originate?  Perhaps a language expert could enlighten us on the true historical details of where this response originated from, but what if we let our imaginations roam for a bit?

Perhaps long ago there was a person or a group of people who truly passed on every Thank you they received to God knowing that anything they had done to deserve the gift of gratitude was from God, so in turn their response to Thank you changed from It was nothing or No problem and became You are welcome as an inspired message from God to communicate with others and let them know that they too were welcome in His Kingdom.

As I stretch my imagination to make this up tonight, I hope that my own responses to Thank you in the future will move away from the personally accepting phrases of No problem, It was nothing, and sure, to His inspired message of You are welcome with a prayer that I am nothing more than an instrument of communication.

 

Returning to innocence…

My grandmother is very sick and will probably die soon.  I don’t live in the same city so I haven’t seen her in a while, but my mom and dad continue to share the details of her days.

Her recent memories have begun to fade, while those from long ago remain.  She is again being fed her meals as she was when she was a little baby, and she is filled with the joy and gratitude of a child when each visitor arrives in her room.  As I watch and listen from a distance, it seems as if the layers, the years, the hurt and the pain are being stripped away from my grandmother and she is returning to the innocence of her childhood and the purity of her baptism.

I am again in awe of our Amazing Father in Heaven and His Amazing Plan that we can’t imagine or understand, but sometimes glimpse when the light of understanding hits the veil at just the right angle.

Thank You sweet Lord and please do what You must to strip us clean and bring us all home to You!

Missing You…

My friends, I am not sure why but I have been distracted lately.  Jesus hasn’t been at the forefront of my thoughts, instead I have been busy, running around, and missing Him.  We took a yoga class together last night, and usually when He joins me He is helping me through, but last night in my imagination He was sitting there watching me (smiling, but still just watching).  For some reason I have put Him aside instead of welcoming Him in?

As I miss Him, I am thankful for my previous posts that remind me that He is still here watching and waiting for me to call to Him again.

Please pray for me my friends, as you bask in His loving presence, that the veil covering me will be removed yet again, my eyes will be cleansed yet again, and again I will see only Him everywhere and in everyone!

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done!

A beautiful change

In Mark 11:24 Jesus says

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,  believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

I love this statement in the Bible.  It has been very close to my heart for a long time and it is one of the reasons I so strongly (and selfishly) believed and prayed for My Best Life for so long and this statement again held true when I began believing and praying for Our Best Life.

I am starting to find it very interesting that the more we believe and the more faith we have, the less we ask for in prayer.  Jesus knew about this beautiful change that happens within our hearts when we believe and He buried this wonderful secret deep within His statement for us to find as our faith and belief increase.

Lord please help me to remember every day, every hour, and every minute to believe and to have faith in Your Will so that my prayers of request decrease and my prayers of love, thanksgiving and gratitude increase despite the weather within my life.

Lord thank You for Your Divine Will… it is full of love and goodness for EVERYONE.

Please let this be my prayer…

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, my Love.

Remember our true home!

I am not usually a cynic, but today after spending too much at the grocery I arrived home, checked the mail and found a magazine that had a picture of probably a $5 million dollar home on the front with the article titled, “Love your home!”, and I thought to myself… seriously?  Do the people writing and publishing this magazine really believe that looking at photos of this outrageously extravagant house will help me and others love our homes?  Seriously… do they really believe this?

I took the magazine straight to the recycling box, because I certainly know that looking at it would not help me to love my home, but I have been wondering why it bothered me so much today.  Most days this wouldn’t phase me or bother me, but it did today.

Maybe my annoyance with this magazine is because, as scary as it is to say or to type, in a way it reminds me of my own expensive home, of my own excess, of my own greed, and of my own issues with envy?  Maybe for a moment I forgot about my true home?

Lord please be with me and remove envy from my heart and replace it with Your generosity and gratitude because I long to always love the home You have given to me while I am here, but most of all I long to always remember that You are my true home.

Please help me, I can’t do it without You, my Love.

Regrets…

Some believe that Jesus told Judas Iscariot to betray him.

In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus said, “But you will exceed all of them.  For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”

If this is the case, then Judas acted out of obedience and faith in Jesus and he was given the strength to follow through with Jesus’ request.  Imagine for a moment being Judas once things had been set in motion and he was outside the loving gaze and light of Jesus.  Imagine the torture and suffering he put himself through questioning his actions, wondering if he had acted within the will of God or made a mistake.  Imagine the tortured thoughts he experienced as he second guessed his actions under the criticism and hatred of those who had once called him brother, his fellow disciples.

It is so hard to keep our hearts and our heads clear and open to God’s message, and then once we are bogged down with fear of a mistake or acting selfishly rather than within His will, we pull yet further away from Him and our faith is so quickly drained from us.

I think it is in these moments of fear that we have to breath deep, and know our faith is being tested.  The moment our faith begins draining from us, is moment that we must hold tight to it and thank God for our current suffering, questioning and lack of confidence in our actions or words.  We must continue to reflect even more on His perfect plan and remember that sometimes acting within His will might not be comfortable.  If we have stepped off the path, there is a lesson within each step and we must remember that He loves us so much that He will not let us stray far before He begins nudging us back on track.

I said something a few days ago that I so deeply regret, that I can now actually appreciate why some people take a vow of silence.  I am not sure if I was on track or off track with what I said, but even through my regret I am trying very hard to be thankful for experiencing these feelings of regret, for the increase in my desire to be pleasing to God (through silence if necessary) and for yet another opportunity to empathize with Judas.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for everything.

The Lord is God

My husband and I went to Ethiopia about 10 years ago with Habitat for Humanity.  We were there for three weeks and we helped begin 8 houses in Jimma.  By the end of our stay the foundations had been dug and laid, and the walls of each home were about waist high.

We went because we wanted to help, but was the primary objective really for us to come and help carry bricks or did I miss a deeper lesson?

Looking back I am a little sad to see how much I failed to really see during our visit, but I am thankful for my memory which isn’t always the best, but usually holds onto the things that don’t seem important at the time, but later prove to be quite relevant and important.

The other day one of our Ethiopian Habitat leaders came to mind, Elias.  I haven’t thought about him in a long time, but I was so happy to remember him. Thinking of him made me smile!

He was with us throughout our entire stay in Ethiopia.  He met our group in Addis Ababa, traveled with us to Jimma, worked along side our group everyday and then saw us all the way back to the international airport in Addis Ababa at the end of our visit.

He was a quiet and thoughtful man.  He was born and raised in Ethiopia and had the opportunity to study engineering abroad.  After his studies he returned home.  I remember he told us how he loved Harrison Ford movies and I remember him eating traditional Ethiopian food at every meal, even at breakfast.  I am not sure why this surprised me at the time considering that we were in Ethiopia, but for some reason it did and every morning I was shocked once again to see him eating injera with wat for breakfast.

Most of all though, I remember watching him bow his head and pray before every meal.  I noticed it and I registered it enough to remember, but the beauty of his gratitude didn’t truly touch me at the time.  I can’t even recall if I had the consideration to bow my head and give him a moment of silence at each meal… I hope that I did, but I can’t say for cetain.

The name Elias means The Lord is God.  I think my friend’s name was well chosen and for the short time I spent with him, he truly lived it’s meaning every day.

I pray for a heart full of gratitude like my friend Elias, and I am so thankful that 10 years later, his message of thanksgiving and love for our Lord, God, is finally getting through to me.

Be Thou Our Vision

Have you seen or heard this quote?

The way people treat you is a statement about who they are as a human being.  It’s not a statement about you.

I saw this about a week ago and it didn’t sit right with me.

Have you ever been mean to someone or snapped at someone?  I know I have done this.  I have done it to strangers on the street as well as the ones I love the most.  I know this isn’t right, and I am not condoning my actions but I am questioning whether these actions should stamp me as a mean or angry human being?

These moments of anger thrown at another are usually tied back to something else that is bothering me, something that is making me unhappy, uncomfortable.  These moments usually mean I have had a rough moment, day, week or month.  When I do this it means I have a lot of other things to work on personally, but I don’t think these moments should label me or anyone else as a certain type human being.

On the flip side, have you ever woken up so joyful and full of thanksgiving and gratitude that you smiled and showed extra kindness to everyone you met that day?  I have had days like this too, and these are great days, but do these actions label me as a wonderful and kind human being?  How could they when I have also had days full of anger and impatience with everyone?

I think these actions, regardless of which side, should label me as a human being having a certain type of moment, not as a certain type of human being.

I think changing a few words in this quote would promote a lot more empathy and compassion.

The way people treat you is a statement about what they are going through.  It’s not a statement about you.

Jesus please help us to remember that it is rarely about us and please help us to see others through Your eyes… Be Thou Our Vision!