Once upon a time is now.

It’s hard to start the week on a Monday morning when the air is cool, the sun is saying “Good morning!,” the weekend was filled with grace and much joy, and peace has settled and made its home in my heart.

It’s hard to start the week on a Monday morning when all I really want to do is sit out on the patio with a new book wearing comfortable, soft clothing and enjoy the company of singing birds.

It’s hard to start the week on a Monday morning when my head is full of lists to accomplish, of wishes that would love to be fulfilled, of parties to plan, of chapters to write.

It’s hard to start the week on a Monday morning when reminiscing is higher on my priorities than research.

Once upon a time, beginning a new week and Mondays were hard for different reasons.

God is never less than generous, even when we are less than grateful. – John Blanchard

But it’s easy to begin my week with gratitude for the autumn air that is cool, the sun saying “Good morning!,” the weekend that was filled with grace and much joy, and for the peace that has settled and made its home in my heart.

It’s easy to begin my week with gratitude for the beauty of an inviting patio and the rejoicing and praise of the birds singing.

It’s easy to begin my week with gratitude for lists to accomplish, wishes that are waiting to be fulfilled, parties to plan, and chapters to write.

It’s easy to begin my week with gratitude of the wonderful memories of which to reminisce and current research to fill my days.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude with the experience of having breakfast yesterday with a Nonny and her granddaughter – at first strangers outside of a restaurant, but soon breakfast friends, better known as Liz and Jaelyn.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude because of the teaching we received yesterday morning about the early days of Paul’s ministry. It is a blessing to have a pastor who takes such care to make sure the congregation hears the teaching and can begin a new week with a challenge from the message.  My challenges for the week:

  1. Realize that even as Paul spent 14 years in the wilderness, pondering and reflecting and learning in silence, GOD STILL WORKS IN THE WILDERNESS TIMES OF OUR LIVES.
  2. Barnabas was an encourager and I need to be an encourager to others, and even as Barnabas took a backseat to Paul, I can do the same.
  3. This little light of mine is gonna shine, even if it is in my little tiny corner of this world.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude from the experience of dinner with new friends on Saturday evening, lots of laughter and fun, and the best barbecue in the world.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude because of a conversation with Rick, the Home Depot guy, who shared a slice of his life with us in the aisle and didn’t hide his tears.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude because my best friend takes the time to walk with me to Einstein’s for a bagel on a Saturday morning. MAKES the time. Swelling, it is.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude from an evening spent with new friends on a Friday evening at the dinner table, sharing our life stories, our families, our love of church, and our love of books.

My heart is swelling full with gratitude for progress usually taken for granted, for time to accomplish the mundane things now crossed off my list: laundry and ironing done, picture frame fixed, cookies baked, garage organized and looking awesome thanks to Sam, thank you notes written, summer reunion email sent and hotels contacted, piano lesson recorded and sent, and more.

Once upon a time is now. Now is when my heart swells with gratitude. Now is when I fill and feel my week with praise. Now is when I appreciate and look for all that I should be grateful. Now is when I let my light shine, even in my tiny little corner.

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