I am grateful to have learned a very valuable lesson about treating parents with respect and honor, about appreciating time spent while there is still time. So many that I love are dealing with the heartache of their children making choices to sever ties, to distance themselves from their parents and extended family, treating them with either polite detachment, or even worse, with obvious disrespect… and my heart hurts for them all. I am grateful to have had the time to spend with my Mom, to see the fragile person she was and get a glimpse of the brokenness in her life that made her even more beautiful as she aged. I am grateful to have the time now to spend with my Dad and get to know him and share life with him – those times will become more and more precious as we age. I am so sad to see children who say they love God and are followers of Jesus treat their parents and families with distance, silence, and a lack of respect, not caring to take an interest in their lives, only concerned about their own. I am grateful to have two parents who are/were far from perfect but taught me to love unconditionally and accept one another, regardless of behavior/beliefs/status, who taught me that family is important and should be a priority. I am grateful that I learned early on that making those visits to see grandparents is important in the life of a child. I am grateful that through the heartache of so many loved ones all around me right now, I am learning for myself how important it is to be a good example and share love, share Christ’s love, because people watch how we treat our loved ones.
I am grateful for a beautiful, challenging Easter message about Mary Magdalene, the tragedy of the past week, and this scripture…
New Living Translation (NLT)
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
…and for a variety of music to listen to during the services.
Easter Song – Keith Green
I am grateful that my Dad drives, doesn’t mind making the trip to Kansas City, and chose to spend Easter with us this year. It was such an enjoyable weekend, and I love spending time with him.
I am grateful for time spent with Angela and Rachel.
I am grateful for the privilege of playing for Abbie, Heather, and Tara at their middle school vocal contest on Saturday morning.
I am grateful for a picture of Anjalie on her dedication day yesterday.
I am grateful for pictures of Parker/Reilly this morning in my inbox.
I am grateful for memories of Easter egg hunts with my girls and with Parker. Some of my favorite memories ever are of creating Easter baskets for the girls and putting them at the foot of their beds on Saturday nights after they were fast asleep, and then hearing them wake up in the morning and discover their baskets, complete with whispers and giggles. Oh, to experience that sound again…
I am grateful that my church has a sunrise service, even if it is indoors. We got to watch the sun rise on our way, so early in the morning. I am glad that Sam is an early riser and doesn’t mind beginning the day this way, rather than sleeping in.
I am grateful for a wonderful Saturday afternoon attending a Royals game with family.
I am grateful for peanuts in the shell.
I am grateful for pictures of the two Ferguson graduates, Adam and Jarod, and for a graduation announcement poem from their parents, straight out of the “Grace’s Guide to Writing a Family Poem” book.
I am grateful for time spent working in the yard, pulling weeds. It’s good therapy.
I am grateful for a long walk that resulted in some sore muscles this morning.
I am grateful for Pink Lady apples. And for an abundance of blessings falling from the trees all around me.
I am grateful for a very pleasant drive, looking at trees and houses on Saturday evening with Sam and Dad.
I am grateful for a freshly painted, very sunny yellow room, and grateful for Orlando, the fastest room painter ever.
I am grateful for un-manicured fingers that show evidence of hard work. They’re not pretty, but they aren’t afraid of getting dirty, either.
I am grateful for the smell of Mexican food that wafts through the air, almost as good as tasting the food.
I am grateful for the taste of fresh pineapple.
I am grateful that Sam’s Club had big boxes of watermelons in April, and grateful that we decided to chance it and get one – it was so good.
I am grateful for relaxing conversation on the patio during lunch yesterday. A warm breeze and the music of birds added a beautiful touch to the Easter afternoon.
I am grateful for the smell of flowering trees.
I am grateful for friendly people to sit by at the Royals game.
I am grateful for a new mixer. Thank you, Sam.
And I am grateful for friends and family who share their heartaches with me. It’s true that we go through our own heartaches in life so that we are able to listen and support others in their time of heartache. I want to be a good listener.