I am grateful for “just because.”

 

I am grateful for this face. I am grateful that I am her Ama.

Anjalie August 2014

 

I am grateful that I have learned to be grateful, to focus on the beautiful things in my life and to accept those things that are not so lovely but not allow myself to dwell on them.

I am grateful today for this devotion that began my morning. Simple but profound.

I speak to you from deepest heaven. You hear Me in the depths of your being. Deep calls unto deep. You are blessed to hear Me so directly. Never take this privilege for granted. The best response is a heart overflowing with gratitude. I am training you to cultivate a thankful mind-set. This is like building your house on a firm rock, where life’s storms cannot shake you. As you learn these lessons, you are to teach them to others. I will open up the way before you, one step at a time. (Psalm 42:7; 95:1-2; Matthew 7:24-25)

Reading it brought this hymn to my mind. I can hear Elwood, and Roy, and Shirley, and Josephine, and Lowell, and Mom’s strong alto voice. Ahhhhhh, such wonderful memories.

Each step I take, I know that He will guide me;
To higher ground He ever leads me on.
Until someday the last step will be taken.
Each step I take just leads me closer Home.

I have been through a few of life’s storms, as the devotion speaks of, and God has cultivated that thankful mindset in me – by providing people all along the way to walk beside me, to hold my hand, to encourage me to take another step forward and not look back, to bring me back to the realization that I do not need much but can be content with exactly where I am. He is teaching me to let go of my past, to quit trying to please people, to take off the mask and be authentic. He is teaching me to DO love, not just talk about it. He is teaching me to walk in my OWN shoes and not look at anyone else with judgment. I don’t know their journey and if I want people to accept ME, I must accept THEM. That is what Jesus would do.

As this song says, I also say:

When life is not what I thought that it would be
The pain is sometimes more than I can stand
And I have had to learn a lot the hard way
But I’m trusting that my life is in Your hands.

Storms by Shawn McDonald

 

I am grateful for pink roses that were tucked into Sam’s jacket last night as he drove into the garage on the bike. Flowers are best when they are “just because.”

2014-08-08_07-58-28_745 2014-08-08_07-58-11_518

I am grateful that it is not impossible to clean up splatter mess in a microwave.

I am grateful that the nervous feelings, the feelings of dread about school starting again and being a teacher who felt so unprepared, are just memories now. I never once felt adequate as a teacher. However, I am grateful for the other feelings of being excited to see the students again, excited to get back into a routine, excited to start dreaming up another musical. Those are GOOD memories.

I am grateful for Zak today. I am very proud of this guy and privileged to call him my son-in-law. Today is his birthday, and if you know him, you are blessed.

I am grateful to have been able to stay awake last night for the first night of “My Big Family Renovation.”

I am grateful that I have a sister who fights for compassion for children who just want a better life in America. She’s got a heart as big as Dallas.

And I am grateful that I have someone who will listen to me at the end of the day and tells me all about his day, too.

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