I am grateful that God didn’t give up on me, that He didn’t decide that because I wasn’t perfect I should be thrown out, that He understood my hurt and pain, that when others couldn’t or didn’t forgive, He did. I am grateful that He cared not only about their story, their hurt, and their pain, but He also cared about MY story, MY hurt, MY pain. That I mattered, too. I am grateful that He placed people in my life to be Jesus to me, to hold my hand through the flood. I am grateful for second chances, for my Jesus who chooses to associate with sinners, for new beginnings, for beauty from ashes, for grace to forgive and let go of my past, and for the realization that things won’t be the same and grateful for hope that they can and will be better.
I am grateful for a poignant message on Sunday with the reminder that God had to tell Noah to “get out of the ark” when Noah and family found themselves landing on Mount Ararat in a new place that was unfamiliar and possibly scary. Sometimes, even though that miserable place feels comfortable and safe, because it is familiar and what we know, we need that push to “get out of the ark” and take that risk, because God is right here with us, and even in the “in-between” times when we are on the water and do not hear His voice or see where He is leading, He is working on our behalf, and He is preparing the way for our next adventure. Our job is to trust and get out of the boat.
I am grateful to have had the privilege of sitting in my church with my daughter and son-in-law seated next to us. What an extra special blessing that was on Sunday to experience while this hymn was sung:
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
I am grateful to have been scolded by my boss this morning. I needed that figurative slap on the wrist and his insightful wisdom.
Which also reminds me that I am so grateful for simple wisdom from my Dad last night, when he said, “That’s all that was needed at this point in time.”
I am grateful that I only have one more class before I will be introduced to my CASA kid. It’s almost time…
I am grateful for good manners from the smallest of children. Andrae is only two years old, but he was the sweetest little guy when he quietly told Sam on Saturday evening, “You have a nice house.” And he and Anissa never had to be reminded to say “Thank you.” They have been taught well.
I am grateful for the genuine love of a little girl – for the feel of her hand in mine, for the sweet words heard over and over again, “I want you to sit by ME, Ama.”
I am grateful for leftovers that tasted so wonderful when I got home from class last night. Thank you for having dinner ready, Sam. And thank you for time spent without the distraction of the TV so that we could just visit while eating a late meal together.
I am grateful for a clean car – it feels so good when the car is clean on the inside and outside.
I am grateful to know the power of a sincere and heartfelt “thank you,” as well as the sting of insincerity and ingratitude, and I am grateful that my parents taught me how powerful those words can be.
I am grateful the kids had a safe trip home and Dwight and family made it safely to Mexico.
I am grateful for a quiet evening to have s’mores on the patio with Mandrae, Karissa, and the grandchildren.
I am grateful for the opportunity to make breakfast for the kids as three little faces watched me and kept me company while they sat around the island in the kitchen.
I am grateful for Lisa and wish she were going to be on the choir trip this year.
I am grateful for small handprints on the glasstop tables and the patio door. Sorry, Windex. You won’t be needed while this Ama hangs on to the memories.
I am grateful for a kids menu from Jack Stack that is colored from corner to corner in green and orange, complete with these instructions from Anissa: “Hang this on your ‘frigerator, Ama!”
I am grateful for Sam who has such a big heart and was so excited to have little ones come and visit that he went out and bought a tree swing, mowed the yard and had it looking beautiful, and then worked so hard to get the swing hung in the extremely tall tree before they all arrived on Saturday afternoon.
I am grateful for sweet little phrases that come from the mouths of children: “Ama, I wanna swing in circles, not stripes!” (Picture Anissa sitting in the swing that hangs in the tree from a single rope, easily adaptable for swinging in big circles or the common back-and-forth motion, now known as “stripes.”) Or Andrae’s eyes focused, forehead scrunched, just after having successfully hit the ball with the bright blue plastic bat, and out of his silly mouth, he said, “Good shot!” or “Nice pitch!” or, when he struck out, “Bad pitch!”
I am grateful that my Texas grandchildren like to sing.
And I am grateful for giggles in the darkness of the evening, as Annistan struggled to wind down for the bedtime story and Anjalie decided it was time to play and treat Ama to that priceless sound of a baby’s laughter.