Thursday, November 30, 2017

Contagious Joy

Year 5-Day 334: Today...I am grateful choosing joy is contagious. 

This time of year handwashing becomes extra important as winter bugs begin. Just maintaining good habits can help fight the battle to stay well. 

What about that battle to not succumb to the holiday blues? For many it comes from focusing on what they cannot change instead of embracing the precious in the present... not the presents. 

What can we pass along today? Making every effort to choose joy. 

We are near the end of the fifth year of daily gratitude, and of this one truth I am most certain. Gratitude fuels joy. Thankfulness doesn't change God... it touches His heart and may move his hand... but it does not change Him. Gratitude changes us from the inside out. 

Tomorrow is December 1st. Once again, I would challenge anyone dreading the fullness of the season to combat the stress with intentional thanksgiving. How quickly we shift from gratitude to consumerism. Intentional gratitude is an antidote for much of what bogs us down in this busy time ahead. 

Make time to be kind. Tiny unexpected gifts of time to those who are lonely. Pay for the person behind you at McDonald's. Greet delivery drivers or the mailman with a hot cocoa in a disposable cup. Help an older person with Christmas decorations. Clear another's driveway. (Thanks Jim and Chad for the many times you have made our days easier sweeter with your plows... we are grateful) Let the person with a few items go ahead of you in the grocery line... or better yet... the one with fussy children and a cartful of needed items. 

To choose joy... we must slow down and observe all that we have to be thankful for when Thanksgiving is a memory and a full calendar threatens our peace of mind. Make time to spend time focusing on The One who is the source of our joy. When we enter his gates with grateful hearts, strength and joy are there waiting. 

"The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! 
Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling." -1 Chronicles 16:26-27 (NLT)

The holidays are harder for some than others. Some face illness or loss this season for the first time. Others are seasoned veterans of "the hard stuff" but it is still hard. I love this verse that Paul penned in letter to the church at Corinth:

"Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything." -2 Corinthians 2:10 

What spiritual riches can we gift to others in this advent season? Look to the children. Jesus said we must become like them. Look at the manger this season with new eyes and childlike faith. Embrace the wonder. The joy is not in the price of the gift, but the fullness of the love in the heart of the giver. 

"You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”-Acts 20:35a

We can choose joy.

Today...I am grateful choosing joy is contagious. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

50 Degrees in November

Year 5-Day 333: Today...I am grateful for 50 degree days in November.

Truly, what more is there to says about that? The days are shorter, but the warmer temperatures of the past week have been sweet. Today will be a bit cooler, but a warm weekend is ahead taking the 50's into December. 

Christmas lights have popped up all over... because it is warm enough to get out there and embrace the task. The palpable (thanks Roxanne) excitement of Christmas around the corner is building. The lights are twinkling, and we don't feel the rush to get in out of the cold. We can simply enjoy the makeover to the landscape. 

It is a gentle beginning to winter. I am always grateful for gentle beginnings. Even Michigan family is seeing a mild start to their winter. They, too, have seen some warm day in the past weeks. 

November is wrapping up. December is always full. Good weather is a gift and we can all hope for a gently white Christmas ahead. 

You set the boundaries of the earth,  and you made both summer and winter. -Psalm 74:17

Colder days will come, but not this week. He is stretching the boundaries for us to enjoy. 

Today...I am grateful for 50 degree days in November.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Blowing It

Year 5-Day 332: Today...I am grateful "blowing it" does not make us permanent failures. 

"God was a lot more concerned about people who faked it, than blew it. - Bob Goff

This is balm to my soul today. In this season when stress rises, time crunches and everything seems to move fast... sometimes, I blow it. 

Guess what? Failure isn't final. In fact, we can turn our failures into training grounds, if we simply examine and learn from what went wrong. 

Luke 18:9-14 is a quick passage that shows how displeased Jesus was with the arrogant prideful Pharisee who literally prayed, " ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! (vs.11) . Yet, it was the humble, repentant heart of the tax collector that moved the heart of the Saviour. "I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (vs, 14)

Our most precious and powerful gift is choice. To choose Him or refuse Him, is the decision each must make for themselves. Pride gets us in trouble. 

How easy it is to want to feel "a little superior" or "better than" someone else? In truth, at any given time, each one of us is only a few bad decisions from being in another's sad, unfortunate shoes. From grace to disgrace can be a pretty quick fall. Thank God his love and mercy is deep and his love is wide. 

Many used by God have histories of "blowing it". Moses, Jonah, David, Peter, Paul, John Mark, Rahab and so many more. How we manage the mess-ups matters. Do we admit our mistakes? Confession isn't just good for the soul, it is accountability. When we acknowledge we messed up, then he can begin a new thing in our lives. 

We can't fake it until we make it. We can blow it and still confidently know it is Jesus who makes all things new.  

Today...I am grateful "blowing it" does not make us permanent failures. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmas Songs

Year 5-Day 331: Today...I am grateful Christmas songs help us be Word dwellers. 

Christmas songs are everywhere. My favorite radio station will be playing them all day until Christmas. New versions of traditional hymns, newer advent songs of praise and even some traditional favorites thrown into the mix. 

Christmas carols and songs help us to inhabit the Christmas spirit and dwell on the deeper meaning of the season. Christmas music helps us to dwell in the Word and the hope of Jesus. 

The word "dwell" as a verb means to live in a specific place or to think, speak or write at length about a topic. 

It is an interesting choice for Colossians 3:16 and the most popular for the majority of the English translations of the Bible... from the KJV to the NIV, ESV, NRSV and more. Keep in mind, Paul it was most likely in prison in Rome when he wrote his letters to the Colossians. His dwelling conditions were not his focus. What was dwelling in their hearts was his concern.

Look at this passage:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. -Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

Or another modern version that translates the idea of dwell as "fill your lives":

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. -Colossians 3:16 (NLT)

We could spend all day just digging into this verse. One way of living this verse during this season is to let the songs of Christmas fill our hearts and homes. Learn more than the first verse of favorite Christmas hymns. "Joy to the World" and "Hark The Herald Angel's Sing" are full of the message of hope born in a manger and destined to die in our place. 

We can flood our hearts and minds with reasons to give thanks this Christmas season when we embrace the songs of Christmas. 

Sing and savor the melodies and the lyrics that unwrap the wonder of it all. 

Today...I am grateful Christmas songs help us be Word dwellers. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Year 5-Day 330: Today...I am grateful for the unshakable. 

Into every life a little rain must fall. Farmers and gardeners know the necessity of the right rain at the right time. I remember Dad saying, "Smell that? That's a money rain." I am sure he heard  the phrase from his dad. A good crop could become magnificent, with the a perfectly timed summer rain. 

Sometimes, the rain comes too hard and too fast... or not at all. How easy it is to let our spirits be shaken and our troubles to weigh us down!

Twila Paris has an old song,"Do I Trust You ".  It was sung at my sister's funeral. There is a phrase, "Shaken down to the cavity in my soul." that I still hold on to for the perfect measurement of sorrow and grief. As deep as our souls, that is the depth pain and sorrow can go. But He never, ever, even once abandons his children. We can reject to the ends of the earth... but when we call out, he finds us there. 

Believers aren't promised an easy path, or even the answers. We are promised, for those who choose Him, that we are a part of an unshakeable kingdom. How awesome is that? Our little lives are "short stories" that he longs to weave into the "bigger picture" of His redeeming love for humans. 

We can be "book smart", know the Bible well and know the right expressions, but in the end... he wants to know if we trust Him and his sovereign ways. Here is a little more of the lyric. 

"I know the answers, I've given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul

I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don't mean much to me
This time there's only one thing I've got to know

Do I trust You, Lord? Does the robin sing?
Do I trust You, Lord? Does it rain in spring?
You can see my heart, You can read my mind
And You got to know I would rather die
Than to lose my faith in the One I love

Do I trust You, Lord? Do I trust You?"

Good lyrics... old and soul seeking, from a broken heart. Do I trust  Him? 

Do I meet and greet Him daily with prayers of thankfulness? Do I worship him with awe and a holy fear? Do I recognize that when I come to Him in prayer, I am standing on holy ground?

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire. -Hebrews 12:28-29

Do I offer up my life as an offering that my Lord can set of fire and consume for his glory? 
Not always. My own agendas get in the way. Like the Burger King "hold the pickle, hold the lettuce" jingle, I like to have it my way. 

At times, it takes an incident of earthquake proportions to get my head bowed and my eyes seeking his face. In grasping to understand the unshakable kingdom as it relates to us as individuals, I always think of this amazing passage from Elisabeth Elliot's "Through Gates of Splendor": It was from her husband Jim's journals that she read after he died. 
"May the Lord teach us what it means to live in terms of the end.” “He makes His ministers a flame of fire.  Am I ignitable?  God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame.  But flame is transient, often short-lived.  Canst thou bear this, my soul – short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him.  ‘Make me Thy Fuel, Flame of God.’”
"God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee.  Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine.  I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.” -Jim Elliot
Who was Jim Elliot?
Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully and Roger Youderian took the gospel to the jungles of Ecuador, to share the Good News with native Huaorani (Waodani)  people.Their love for Christ fueled their quest. They flew together in a bush plane and stood together unshaken to face the native's spears that would end their lives. 

On January 8, 1956, ten Huaorani warriors, killed Jim Elliot and his four companions. The men were armed, but did not take aim against the Huaorani. For Jim, it is almost as if he had already reconciled with God that his life might be cut short for the gospel. He was willing to die that others might have new life. But the story does not end there. 

Jim's wife, Elisabeth and Nate Saint's sister, Rachel,  returned to the jungles, to carry on the mission they started with their husbands. They eventually made peaceful contact. They told the natives of a loving God who hears their prayers and sent his son to die so they might live.  

In June 1965,  Nate Saint's son, Steve or "Babae", as he was called by the tribe, was baptized in the Curaray River by Kimo and Dyuwi, two of his father's killers who had since converted to Christianity. Great but the story doesn't end there.  

Steve Saint brings the "unshakable kingdom" into focus with his reflection on his Dad's sacrifice: “I would rather have a dad who died serving Christ than one who had no knowledge of Christ.”  The evidence is clearly displayed when Steve wraps his arms around the aging warrior who was a party in his father's death and affectionately refers to him as "Grandfather". 

Long post... but "unshakble" is tough to put into words. 

Earworm would like to suggest everyone listen to Ryan Stevenson's "The Gospel"

To the captive, it looks like freedom
To the orphan, it feels like home
To the skeptic, it might sound crazy
To believe in a God who loves
In a world, where our hearts are breaking
And we're lost in the mess we've made
Like a blinding light, in the dead of night
It's the Gospel
The Gospel that makes a way
It's the Gospel that makes a way

Yes. His is an unshakable kingdom. 

Today...I am grateful for the unshakable.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Extra Day

Year 5-Day 329: Today...I am grateful "the extra day" between the holiday and the weekend. 

I have seen the quote, "I really need a day between Saturday and Sunday.". This image hits the mark better for me. I love the feeling of a completed work week, but a "Bridgeday" before the weekend would be wonderful to finish the "need to be done" tasks, that are not work related. 

Yesterday... the Friday after Thanksgiving... felt like the extra day between the holiday and the weekend. Some use it for Christmas shopping. Some use it for travel. Others, use it to take a deep breath and recover. I prefer the take a breath option best, although we did need the travel time. 

Extra time to not move so fast in the morning. Extra time to hang out with loved ones. For those fortunate enough to take the day off work... it is one of the best days of the year. If you love the crowds, chase them. If you hate the crowds, stay home with a cup of something warm. 

This weekend is for many the "more time" and often the "unscheduled time", if we protect the day. Christmas trees will go up. Pumpkins (unless you live in Morton, IL) get put away. Lights begin to twinkle in neighborhoods. Some early shoppers may get  their gifts wrapped. 

The day after Thanksgiving feels a little like moving incognito. People don't know if you are working or not working. Are you home or away? On that "extra day" you can be anywhere you feel the need to be. 

When the "time crunch" of this Christmas season begins to get the best of me, I still have choices.  I don't want to miss a moment with family... or the meaning of the manger.  I am comforted to know that Jesus felt the pressure of much to do and not enough time before the cross. He was fully human and fully God. I don't really understand it, but I wonder at it all. Especially in this holiday season.

Here is a passage from the no nonsense Mark's gospel. His eyes on Jesus. It expresses that Jesus felt the pressure of time, too His response was to prioritize: 

Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant. -Mark 9:30-32

They were traveling through Jesus home... through Galilee... but he wanted to pass through unnoticed. He knew he had a limited amount of time. He knew that the disciples would be left to show and share the gospel of love, mercy, redemption and hope when he returned to heaven. He had more to teach them. They didn't understand. 

What he did tell them, they could not fully understand. Still, he carved out time to be with them in fellowship and teachable moments. 

Today... the day after the "extra day"... savor the extended weekend. Make time for what is important. Let go of what isn't. Prioritize the precious, priceless and the practical over the pushiness of perfection. 

Today...I am grateful "the extra day" between the holiday and the weekend. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Having Fun=Making Memories

Year 5-Day 328: Today...I am grateful for all the memories made by having fun. 

This quote is full of truth. 

"We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun."

Our babies are now all young adults. They are grown. Last night, when the extended family was gone and we were down to just our immediate family, our grown up kids decided to play a cooperative game. It required their phones... but the game was full of interaction. 

While we sat relaxing, watching a movie. The "kids" were in the theater room playing Space Team. Occasionally, we would hear someone shout "asteroid". The rest of what they were calling out was unclear at times. Still, we could hear the laughter, camaraderie  and the fun. 

Cousins and friends... they are both. What a gift it is to be together. We are so grateful they have relationship. We are blessed that two hours is not too far to travel. We smile to think of the years they have ahead of them to be cousins and friends. 

I had to laugh when Matt looked up and said, "I think they were quieter when they were little." We laughed because no one of us thought they were too loud. We savored the sound. 

Psalm 126 is a Psalm of ascent for Pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. It is a song of a dream come true and giving thanks to God for his goodness and glorious ways. It speaks of being so happy the laughter joyfully bubbles. 

"We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”-Psalm 126:2

Hearing the laughter of our adult children is just as sweet as the giggles when they were wee ones. I am so grateful that having fun together is a great way to build memories. 

Today...I am grateful for all the memories made by having fun. 

Thanksgiving Day

Year 5-Day 327: Today...I am grateful for a great day with family.
I love Thanksgiving. It is good to sit in fellowship with love ones. Time passes so quickly, that each year the gathering seems more precious.
My favorite quote was from my dear Uncle Larry. “This is the best day of the year!” I agree. It is pretty special. So rich in all the good things.
Treasure the moment before it is a memory.
I’ll grateful for a great day with family.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Year 5-Day 326: Today...I am grateful for stoplights. 

Today, we pray for traveling mercies for family and friends... and perhaps for ourselves, too. Many will take the road to meet up and celebrate this wonderful day of Thanksgiving that is swiftly approaching.  

Garrett Morgan invented the three position stoplight after witnessing a carriage accident in Cleveland, OH where he lived. A light from red to green was not enough time for the age of cars. In 1923, he created a new kind of traffic signal, one with a warning light to alert drivers that they would need to stop.  Morgan quickly acquired patents for his traffic signal—the ancestor of the modern three-way traffic light—in the United States, Britain and Canada, but eventually sold the rights to General Electric for $40,000.

He is worth a longer story.. but time is short. Maybe we will revisit him. I am grateful for his hard work and imagination. 

Yes, we will face some stoplights today... if out and about, but they will keep us safe. The waiting position is not wasted... it is for our safety. Or, in the love of my life's case it means hurry faster before it turns red. 

We put a lot of trust in stoplights to keep us safe. 

When stopped at a light and frustrated because it seems slow... take a minute to pray. The constant communication is good for the soul and the relationship. Perhaps a red light will become prayer trigger for someone special. 

This a great verse for traveling, for time with family and any morning of the year. 

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,   for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalm 143:8

Be safe if you travel this weekend. Be grateful. Count your blessings... even the stoplights that slow you down. God may be protecting you with that little inconvenience.  

Today...I am grateful for stoplights. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Turkey Roaster

Year 5-Day 325: Today...I am grateful for the turkey roaster. 

Nothing says Thanksgiving like Pumpkin Pie and Turkey. The trouble is oven space. Not to mention all of the other things that need to be baked.

At Matt and Jennifer's, we have the blessing of a double oven, but with the size of our family... we do two turkeys and a ham (the Hanson cousins always do the ham). Oven space for casseroles and timing everything for "hot and ready" is the challenge of the meal. 

Thank goodness for the Turkey roaster. They have been around for years to lend extra "oven space". I grew up with them. It is was one of those items that is kept close at hand, although rarely used. Randy and I purchased one for our first turkey. It will be used this weekend. Sometimes, I think I should use it more. They have liners to make cleanup easier in these modern times.  

Roasters are old fashioned appliances that have stood the test of time. Sure, you can deep fry, smoke or grill the traditional fowl of the day... but for us... there is nothing like a good, old-fashioned roasted turkey. (Okay... one might get smoked, because my brother Matt likes to play with his smoker) We will see what the day brings. 

We look forward to the holiday meal with family and friends. It is my favorite because so many are able to be there. No gifts to wrap and get right. Just time with loved ones from far and near. 

It is a good thing to give thanks for the feast. Let us celebrate the wonderful inventions that make it easier for cooks everywhere. That the mind of man could come up with such magnificent ideas and bring them to life is a beautiful reflection of our creative God who made us in His image. 

This passage from Psalms seems perfect for today:

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. -Psalm 107:8-9

It is good to give thanks in all things. Even the small things, like a kitchen appliance used once or twice a year. 

Today...I am grateful for the turkey roaster. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Prayer Triggers

Year 5-Day 324: Today...I am grateful for prayer triggers.

(Thanks Stacy for this gratitude idea. I adore you.)

A few years ago, I stood in ugly conviction of the well meant but inaccurate rote response that we often make. "I'll be praying for your." or "You're in my prayers." How many times did I say it and not do it?

Unintentional as it may be, it was untruthful. I like offering prayers for others, but if I can't remember there is a need, how can I pray. For me, this was before the modern idea of a "War Room". I do like the post it note option for prayer journals, too. Or, a note in my Bible.

For me.. the best solution has been "Prayer Triggers".

What is a prayer trigger? I assign items or even colors that call my heart to pray for someone or something specific. For example, pink things can be a reminder to pray for the many battling breast cancer. For a friend and her son, it is a carousel horse and lemonade. For another, "mermaid" is the trigger.

For a niece and nephew praying for adoption, it is a picture of a precious soul that needs a safe forever home. A prayer trigger can be anything we assign. No rules.

One of my sweet sisters in Christ, Nola, still gets junk mail at our office. She once taught in our building. Every time I throw a piece of junk mail away with her name on it... I whisper a prayer for her and give thanks fro her life and light. She is an encourager in my world.
Prayers don't have to be long. In fact, I find that in these times, they are more of a constant conversation to the Lord, allowing his spirit to lead. It is better to do this than fret and worry.

We can't fill our minds with anxiety when we are giving thanks. We can't think two things at once.

Never stop praying. -1 Thessalonians 5:17

"Pray without ceasing is another translation." 

I find that the time spent in prayer keeps me focused on what is important. When I get wrapped up in what is irritating or frustrating, I an not bringing Him glory. I have so much room for improvement. 

I love the rest of this passage. It is  instructional. Perhaps, it is a good verse for a week we are heading into all kinds of family situations. 

"Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." -1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

Relationships can be challenging. Mixed personalities. But all are children of the Living God who calls us to be his children. 

I love Thanksgiving! It is the gratitude holiday that is full of family and friends. What is not to love? I love that my brother and sister-in-law offer their home to host with great hospitality. I look forward to kitchen time with my girls...nieces and now a daughter of my own. Fellowship with family and friends who are like family. It is good to catch up. It is good to hear details about the lives of loved one's. Many who have been prayed for over the year. It is a reminder of his faithfulness. 

God hears our prayers, but we have to remember to pray them. 

Today...I am grateful for prayer triggers.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thankful = Happy

Year 5-Day 323: Today...I am grateful that happy cannot be captured through stuff. 

Today, I am going to retell a story from 2014. It is one that is dear to my heart, and to the heartbeat of what it means to be thankful and grateful. As we approach Thanksgiving, it is worth retelling. 

The story is not mine, but my friend Glen's. The told it in Sunday school class. Glen Belsley shared about a trip he and his wife,Elaine, took to Australia. He brought back a beautiful observation of the Aborigine people. Glen told this story:

"While  we were traveling on wheels through the less populated native places in Australia. We would see and observe the local natives on the side of the road. They all carried something, or so it seemed. Then the tour guide asked- 'See what they are carrying? Those are all the belongings they have. It is all of their worldly possessions.'  

A hush fell over the group of predominantly Northern Europeans. Then the guide said the most unforgettable, insightful thing. He said: 'Oh, don't feel sorry for them. They are HAPPIER than most of you!' "

That statement grabbed me and has haunted me. There is something to ponder. Glen is a wonderful storyteller, but it is the message in his story that is as fresh today as it was when he told it. 

It is not happy people who are thankful. It is THANKFUL PEOPLE who are happy. 

Dr. David Kale taught me the word "Cultural Myopia" - our tunnel vision and limitations of seeing only through the eyes of our own culture. Glen brought it to light again with his story. There are people who are truly happy, if they simply have enough. 

Enough is my "one little word" to be prayerful about this year.

Enough food. Enough clothing. Enough fresh water. Enough people to love. Enough help when I need it. Enough opportunity to serve. Enough clothing. Enough heat. Contentment with our circumstances - whatever they may be. Not easy with Black Friday ads already drowning us. 

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19

This scripture from Luke comes to mind. We get so caught up in others opinions and ideas about what we need to do or not do. Seeking him first... with a grateful heart... and joy and peace fills our cup. 

And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. -Luke 12:29-31

I am grateful that I have enough! So much more than I need or can carry. I have enough to share. 

Today...I am grateful that happy cannot be captured through stuff. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fresh Paint

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 321: Today, I am grateful for fresh paint.

One of the things I love most about my Randy... he doesn't get to worked up about stuff. Over the summer, I "broke the house". I wanted to whitewash our 1970's stone fireplace. He let me have my way. Epic Pinterest fail. Today, he fixed it with a coat of fresh paint. 

I can't share a picture... as it isn't dry enough to put everything back. This image from Pinterest gives the idea. 

 When I finish this post, we will sit back and marvel at the clean slate feel of new paint. We think we will enjoy the new look on the old stone. Soon... we will add the Christmas garlands and decorations. I know it will pop with holiday joy when we are done. The fresh paint creates a new backdrop and stage. 

They will continue to tease me about "breaking the house", but I know it is in love. We've made some memories along the way. The fresh paint is a new beginning. 

Fresh paint is the homeowners quick fix to prepare for a sale, or as a way of making a new home your own. In the scheme of home maintenance, it is relatively inexpensive giving a big bang for the buck. The great thing about paint... you can always paint again if you don't like the results. 

The whitewashing attempt was not my first fail... and it won't be my last. I am grateful we finally found a solution. I find it makes me think of the Psalm David wrote after his epic fail with Bathsheba and Uriah. The weight of his sin was too much. This verse comes from that passage:

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. -Psalm 51:7

God granted him forgiveness, as David's heart was sincere. He still faced some dire consequences. He was forgiven, but sometimes there is no "undo" button. David learns so much from that troubling time and his relationship grew with the Lord. He sought out God in prayer daily. 

Every time we confess our sins and ask forgiveness, he hears our prayers. Every time we are overwhelmed... he is present. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Not even for a moment. He is our fresh paint. His blood washes away our sins. 

Today, I am grateful for fresh paint.