Saturday, February 29, 2020

Cities on a Hill

Year 8-Day 60: Today, I am grateful for the city on a hill.

There is something majestic about a city on a hill. It stands out on the landscape and all eyes look to it. They are often found above great seas. The house on the rock stands firm, right?

A city on a hill looks like diamonds at night as it sparkles. A little bit of light is all it takes to break through the darkness and light the way. For the weary traveler, there is hope restored. It is alway darkest before the dawn.

I love the reminder to look up and not give up.

Today, I am grateful for the city on a hill.

Friday, February 28, 2020

No hurries, No worries

Year 8-Day 58: Today, I am grateful or no hurries and no worries.

I am prone to worrying. It is not something I am proud of. It is a daily battle

We can choose to turn our worries over in faith and leave them at the feet of the Savior.

I loved this turtle because he reminded me of a trip to Canton one day on the Roadkill Highway (Route 24 ). The deer did not make it. The raccoons did not make it across the road to the other side.  The squirrels were too many to count.

Then, there was a turtle.

My heart raced with concern for  the little guy. He simply  and slowly made his way across the highway. Guess what... he made it! No hurries and no  worries.

“Who of you by worry can add an hour to your life or a cubit to your height?”

A good lesson for me to witness.

Today, I am grateful for no hurries and no worries.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Love Is Patient

Year 8-Day 57: Today, I am grateful love is patient.

All of us need someone to bestow patience on us when we are not at our best. We all get tired, hungry, frustrated and mad. It comes with being human.

I am so grateful for those who extend extra grace. Especially, when I deserve it the least.

Today, I am grateful love is patient.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

We Grow At Different Rates

Year 8-Day 56: Today, I am grateful we all grow at different rates. 

The the flowers or vegetables in a garden, we all grow and mature at different rates. Think how sad it would be if all of the flowers in the garden bloomed at once. What it all of the vegetables were ready at the same time? The abundance would likely result in waste. 

In God's plan, nothing is wasted. We learn new things at every twist and turn of the road. Each unique journey matters to the Father, just as one little plant matters to the gardener. Time and TLC make all the difference. 

" I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."-1 Corinthians 3:6-7

We can be prepared and make good choices, but God gives the growth. 

Today, I am grateful we all grow at different rates. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Year 8-Day 55: Today, I am grateful for t-shirts.

Today, I was reminded of the comfort and joy a t-shirt brings. Not always a fashion hit, Marlon Brando and James Dean influenced the younger generation into wearing the simple but fashionable shirt. 

A t-shirt is the perfect attire for weekend wear or under a dress shirt. I really enjoy a t-shirt dress. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
T-shirts make a great nightshirt, too.

One hundred present cotton t-shirts are my favorites, although there are a few blends that are supper soft, too. 

T-shirts are typically very affordable. It makes them easy to share. I am reminded of this verse:

"John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”-Luke 3:11

Sharing and caring... that is our calling. 

Today, I am grateful for t-shirts.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Power That Saves

Year 8-Day 55: Today, I am grateful for the power that saves.

We all have moments when we need a rescue. 

My heart always to my stomach when I see emergency vehicles. I try to pray for whoever in the vehicles is "having a bad day." In time, help will arrive and hope is restored. 

A quick slam on the brakes and our seat-belt acts as a rescuer. Even when we set out with great caution, things can still happen. We are grateful for shields and the power that saves. 

Another example comes from the dentist office when a vest is worn to protect us from radiation. Police wear vests that protect them from bullets. 

This Psalm reminds us that we have a God who acts as our shield and protector. He is the power that saves.

"I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety." -Psalm 18:2  

We don't have to fret. We simply need to trust in The One who saves.

Today, I am grateful for the power that saves.

Sunday, February 23, 2020


Year 8-Day 54: Today, I am grateful for basil.
Basil is one of my favorite herbs in the garden. I  love the fragrance, the taste and the many ways it can be used in cuisine.

Basil is best friends with tomatoes. It is a key ingredient in pesto. Salads with basil don't last long at any gathering. Chase and Emma make a Caprese Salad that has become their signature dish at any family gathering. It is basil, tomatoes, bacon and fresh mozzarella with a balsamic vinaigrette. What's not to love about that? 

With the hope of spring, as I have seen two robins dancing around the backyard this week... my mind begins to wander to the things of spring. 

God gave us plants for healing. Two verses that seem to back that statement up.

"And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” -Ezekiel 47:12

"It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations." -Revelation 22:2 

I am sure basil is no exception. Good made plant and trees and called them good. Basil has been found helpful for many generations. Adding it to our diet is surely a good thing. 

I gravitate toward herb scented items to make our home smell good. Tuscan Herb is one of our family favorites.

Add a little basil to something new and enjoy. 

Today, I am grateful for basil.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Forever Is Composed of Nows

Year 8-Day 53: Today, I am grateful forever is composed of "nows". 

We had the joy of celebrating a new marriage today. Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Wesley Crandall. Taylor made a beautiful bride and Wesley's love for her was tangible. A wedding is a fun way to start a marriage. 

Do we take the time to embrace the "now"? It is so easy to focus on the future and things to come, but the truth is... right now is today's gift. How will we spend it? 

"Forever is composed of nows." -Emily Dickinson

That is a great line. How will we spend the now that is this day? To live each day to the fullest is a beautiful way to honor the Father. 

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."-Matthew 6:34

Yes, it really is a waste of this day to obsess about the future. We can step into this day with an open heart and an open mind. 

Today, I am grateful forever is composed of "nows". 

Friday, February 21, 2020

We Can Be Free

Year 8-Day 52: Today, I am grateful we can be free. 

This image caught my eye. This sweet little bird is feeling the weight of the spool of thread. It is tying her down so she can't fly. The thread is pretty and would look lovely in her nest, but instead gathering what she needs... she seems intent on taking it all. She will wear herself out, and never get the spool into the air or in her nest. 

How many times am I like the bird in this picture? 2017 was the year I focused on the word "enough". It was a great year of learning with the constant reminder to be grateful for the times we have exactly what we need. No more... but no less. To learn contentment is a beautiful lesson that sometimes needs to be re-learned. 

There is a unique freedom in being able to not attach to the stuff of this world. It is fleeting. It wears out. It becomes "old stuff" rather quickly. How much energy and time is wasted on old stuff? 

"Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away." -1 Corinthians 7:31 (NLT)

"The Message" version says it well:

"I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out." 1 Corinthians 7:30-32 (MSG)

Following "The Way" can free us from the weight of the world and its stuff. Jesus did not condemn the rich man for what he owned. It was the man's inability to let stuff go that got in his way of following Jesus. We are to use things and love people, not love things and use people. 

Keep it simple. Set stuff free. Embrace the freedom. 

Today, I am grateful we can be free. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Tender Hearts

Year 8-Day 51: Today, I am grateful for hearts that remain tender. 

This world can be an ugly place. Evil is real. Sorrow, disappointments and struggles are a part of our days here. A tender heart can get wounded. Some try to avoid the hurt and fail to open their hearts. I guess I believe that love is worth the risk. 

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." -Charles Dickens

The days Dickens lived in and wrote about were not easy times. The world could be a harsh, cold and cruel. Are things really that different today?  His encouragement to keep a tender heart reminds us that love is worth the risk. 

Technology advances and the planet seems to spin a little faster, but the truth is... humans don't change that much. We are at our best when we choose love, patience and gentleness.

In the end, love is stronger than hate. Love always wins. If love hasn't won... it isn't the end. 

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.-1 Corinthians 13:13

Today, I am grateful for hearts that remain tender. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Chicken Noodle Soup

Year 8-Day 50: Today, I am grateful for chicken noodle soup. 

It is an American staple. Campbell's makes a quick version most of us ate as children and some keep it in our pantries as adults. It is said to have healing qualities. It is a comfort food for many. Chicken noodle soup warms us, body and soul. 

There is no one recipe in our house, although my family loves the version I make with Mrs. Reemes noodles and a rotisserie chicken. The more noodles the better. 

When your body starts to ache and you don't know what to make for dinner...chicken noodle soup is always a good choice. Some of the ingredients have been shown to be effective in the battle against' winter illnesses.

Soup is usually easy to prepare and feeds a crowd. It makes it popular with all ages. I was reminded of these words spoken by Jesus. 

 "For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home." -Matthew 25:35

Soup is a way to extend a welcome to another person. Hospitality is important. Keeping it simple is a good approach. 

Today, I am grateful for chicken noodle soup. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Make A Run For It

Year 8-Day 49: Today, I am grateful we can "make a run for it". 

Those who know me best know that I have two opposite sides to my personality. I can be obsessive about trying to get things just right.... or I can be more creative and make it up as I go. I like the more creative side better... and those around me probably do, too. 

It is okay to make plans and have expectations. In fact, a plan is a wonderful way to start any day. I think the reason "Let It Go" was such a big hit was partially because we all need to hear that message some days. 

Let go of your expectations of how things should be and go with what you've got. In other words, "Make a run for it!"

"If I waited until I had all my ducks in a row, I'd never get across the street. Sometimes you just have to gather up what you've got and make a run for it." - Judge Lynn Toler

It creates an image in your mind, right? It makes me laugh. Some days, it feels like we spend all day lining up the ducks, only to find that before we finish, several have wandered off. 

We are not called to perfection. We are instructed to be persistent on the journey. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." -Hebrews 12:1

Since our God is a big picture God and we are a part of his story, we must remember that the race each of us runs in unique and full of plot twists. Things might not be going as we planned, but that doesn't mean we should give up. We are called to submit to His plan with a simple, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done." 

When the Holy Spirit whispers, "It is time to move.", there is only one thing to do... make a run for it. Don't worry. He's got our backs. 

Today, I am grateful we can "make a run for it".

Monday, February 17, 2020

Don't think too hard

Year 8-Day 48: Today, I am grateful for the reminder to not think too hard. 

Mama Ina Mae always says you must "Learn something new every day". I am in awe of my mother more and more every day. She is a wise woman with knowledge as well as wisdom. 

Mama graduated from high school and married my dad when she was 18. Dad was almost 10 years older. She was an accomplished musician - which impressed Dad. He had no musical talent... except the man could dance. 

Mama worked hard as a student and somethings... like math... were really hard for her. Reading didn't come easy for her either, but she kept at it. She was diligent in her efforts to learn more and to do well. She always said she enjoyed school, but it was hard for her. 

To this day, she is not a speed reader, but what she reads... she remembers. She has a great grasp of the Bible, sewing tricks, canning and knows how to make a meal stretch. Her turkeys were always perfect. Her pies were completely from scratch. She made it all look easy. 

When I think about my ordinary days, I wonder if sometimes I don't fall into the trap of thinking too hard. It leads to worry and can create anxiety. Pooh's comment is comical, but there is some truth to the statement. This was my verse for the day. It is not the verse I came to find... it is a better choice. (HE wins again!)

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." -Romans 8:35,37

Why do I worry and fret when the "overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us when we were a mess. He still steps into our messes and offers peace and hope. Mustard seed faith keeps popping up everywhere today, so I must still need to pray on it more. 

Today, I am grateful for the reminder to not think too hard. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mustard Seed Faith

Year 8-Day 47: Today, I am grateful for mustard seed faith.

Some days, we need to remember the power of mustard seed faith. Nothing is impossible.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” -Matthew 17:20  

Tiny as that seed might be, it holds a world of potential within the hard shell. We an embrace new adventures. 

Whatever ahead seems too big or too much, we know we can trust Him to never fail us.  

Today, I am grateful for mustard seed faith.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Warm Sweaters

Year 8-Day 46: Today, I am grateful for warm sweaters.

Knitting sweaters is an art that has been around for many years. If one could get buy or spin fiber threads, warm winter clothing could be created. Sweaters, hats, socks, scarves and gloves. They are all fine and beautiful creations, but there is something about a warm sweater that makes a soul curl up and relax. 

A cardigan is more of a fashion piece. It can be put on when chilled and removed if it gets too hot. The big, cozy sweater is different from the cardigan. It is more of a hug than an item of clothing. 

Some prefer wool, but I am allergic to some wool fibers. So, for me... the cotton threads are the best. I am reminded of the passage from Proverbs 31.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." -Proverbs 31:25

To be clothed with strength and dignity is much more than a sweater, but having the right clothes for the season helps us to laugh without fear of the future. 

In the absence of what we need, our God will provide. Still, I think there are clear instructions in the Bible about preparing well and not being lazy. The slothful will go hungry and they may end up with less than the appropriate dress if they do not prepare wisely. 

When chilled to the bone, there is nothing like being enveloped by an over-sized, cozy sweater. If you find yourself chilled today, put one on. Grab a hot cup of coffee, tea or cocoa and enjoy a peaceful winter moment. 

Today, I am grateful for warm sweaters.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Marked by Love

Year 8-Day 45: Today, I am grateful to be marked by love.

Happy Valentines Day!

This precious calf was born a couple days ago in nearby Princeville.  The perfect heart on his side made the name Cupid a perfect choice.  It as if he was marked by love.

It made me pause to ponder the many ways we express we love... and show we are loved in return. We where rings, change our last names and send handwritten notes. Each of these examples is a form of being marked by love.

My mind went to a man, a mission, a cross and a pair of nail scarred hands and feet. He was ultimately marked by His love for us, through the ultimate sacrifice. His blood ran red, like the roses we use to represent true love. Love changes everything. Then and now.

Today, I am grateful to be marked by love ❤️.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bed Warmers

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 44: Today, I am grateful for bed warmers.

The temperatures are dipping below zero tonight. I am so grateful for my bed warming mattress pad. 

There are other ways to warm a bed. The image is of an old fashioned bed warmer from the 1700's and 1800's. On the coldest nights in modern times, we still have many more creature comforts available than our grandparents and great-grandparents. 

The most historic way of keeping warm is still popular today. "If two people lay close together, the keep each other warm."  Add a fur baby...or two... to the sleeping arrangements and things get really cozy. This scripture fits perfectly:

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? -Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

The days will get warmer soon enough, but until they do, I will enjoy the luxury of my heated mattress pad. 

Today, I am grateful for bed warmers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Milk & Honey Oatmeal Soap

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 43: Today, I am grateful for milk and honey oatmeal soap.

This is one of my favorite ways to start the day. I have some "Spinster Sisters" oatmeal soap that I purchase at Lulu's here on our little village's main street. It is absolutely one of those items that is not "necessary", but it is wonderful. 

I have sensitive skin. Combined that with winter dryness, there are days the itching can drive a person crazy. Oatmeal, Milk and Honey soap to the rescue. The Spinster Sisters soap has the best scent. It cleans without drying. 

There are so many verses in the Bible that refer to the promised land as being a land flowing with milk and honey. They are obviously a good combination. 

"So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders.  He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey!" -Deuteronomy 26:8-9

As the winter winds blow, there is rest and healing. There are healing soaps that delight the senses. 

Today, I am grateful for milk and honey oatmeal soap.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Thomas Edison

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 42: Today, I am grateful for Thomas Edison.

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio; the seventh and last child of Samuel and Nancy Edison. 

He was self educated. He is responsible for the first industrial research lab. He is credited with inventing the phonograph and a long, lasting practical light bulb. We benefit yet today from some of his inventions. 

I love the optimism of Thomas Edison. These quotes reflect it: 

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." and "There's a better way to do it - find it." 

I like his approach. It recognizes that success isn't as much good fortune as it is hard work. He, also, recognizes there may be a better way yet undiscovered.

It reminds me that there are times a new way is made that is better than the old, to accomplish the same thing. Jesus came to make a new way... a better way. The old way was no longer the requirement.  

This scripture fit perfectly for today:

"Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God." -Hebrews 7:22 

A better way, indeed. Light, life and so much more. When I look at a light bulb, I need to remember finding a better way often unfolds later in the story. 

Today, I am grateful for Thomas Edison.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Complete Rest

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 41: Today, I am grateful for complete rest. 

There are times we simply need to step out of the "rat race" and take a complete rest. We go too fast at times and our bodies eventually cry out for complete rest. When that happens, we have to listen to what our bodies need. 

The Bible speaks of "the Sabbath". It is a day of rest and restoration... and worship. 

“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live." -Levitcus 23:3

I like that is it says, "It must be observed where you live." Not just in lip-service, but where you really live. 

When burning the candle at both ends, don't forget to listen to your body when it cries out for a rest. 

Today, I am grateful for complete rest. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Good Overcomes Evil

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 39: Today, I am grateful good still overcomes evil. 

The Bible is an ancient text, yet these words still ring true. 

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."-Romans 12:21

Just as light... even the smallest spark... dispels darkness, good overcomes evil. Persistence is key. We, in our our power, are not good, but His goodness flows through his children. His blood covered us and we are adopted with a full inheritance of hope. Children of light still fight battles and evil is real. We are instructed to press on and trust the hand of a sovereign God. 

Some days don't make sense. Some weeks and years seem full of trouble. To  borrow a phrase from pop culture, "It ain't over until it's over." And... spoiler alert... we know who wins in the end. That gives us reason to celebrate. 

While we walk this path, we are called to "do good". We can make a difference when we choose to love and share the message of the gospel. Defeat is not our destiny. We are called by His name and according to His purpose. We are more than conquerors. 

"No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." -Romans 8:37

Today, I am grateful good still overcomes evil. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Live in the Light

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 38: Today, I am grateful for light.

This year, I have chosen light as my one little word to focus, to ponder and to pray. Light can break through darkness and our burdens are lightened when we give the to Jesus. Light is going to be a word full of learning, I am sure. 

There are so many times it appears life is "unfair". I don't know where humans ever developed the notion that life should or would be fair. We can seek justice, act justly and strive to do the right thing... but this world is fallen and full of sin, so life isn't fair sometimes. 

What is even more amazing to me is that a God who is righteous and just would pursue a relationship with his created ones, longing for us to love him back. We are sinners by birth, but He wants to pour light into our darkness, revealing our hidden sins and freeing us of our guilt. He wants us to live in the light. 

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. -Mark 5:43-45

Unforgiveness and hate are troubled loads to carry. When we pray for our enemies, we it changes us. Perhaps it doesn't happen in an instant, but in time we are set free. Our hearts become lighter and the days look brighter. 

Today, I am grateful for light. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Black & White Images

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 38: Today, I am grateful for black and white pictures. 

I have always been a fan of black and white pictures. They have a timeless quality to them that color pictures never achieve. The colors in many older pictures fade and change over time. The early color film pictures leave us wondering what they looked like when they were new. The old black and white images have an air of flawlessness. 

There was an senior gentleman who took pictures at the children's daycare. Spaulding Slevin was a gem. Some said he could barely see, but he took the best pictures. He stamped, "No God no peace;know God know peace." on the back of each board mounted black and white image. We still have his pictures on the wall downstairs. The black and white images still look good after all of these years. 

Black and white is clean. It works in fashion and decor, too. I was just looking at some classic Hollywood images from the days before color. The skin looks flawless and Photoshop did not exist. 

So much of this world operates in "the gray" areas. In simpler times, things were more "black and white"... or at least they appeared to be. In truth, there have always been instances where we have to look beyond the letter of the law and act with compassion. 

Jesus healed a man's hand on the Sabbath. He stood up for the woman about to be stoned for adultery by challenging her accusers with these words,“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust."-John 8:7-8  The accusers slipped away quietly. The case was suddenly not as "black and white". 

If only life were as uncomplicated as a good black and white image. Then again, in the messy places is often where we learn the most about His unfailing love, mercy, grace and faithfulness. Get the picture?

Today, I am grateful for black and white pictures.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The People Who Make Me Laugh

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 37: Today, I am grateful for the people who make me laugh.

"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills."-Audrey Hepburn

What a great quote from a unique actress. There was something special about Audrey Hepburn. She was more likely to set a trend than follow one. She was really before my time, but her style, quotes and attitude are timeless. 

I love that she recognizes the value of people who bring humor to the world. Laughter helps us breathe deeply. It reduces stress. It is makes us feel renewed. 

Sarah spoke these words when she discovered she was pregnant as a mature woman: 

And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. -Genesis 21:6

When life gets a little crazy... we can choose laughter. 

Today, I am grateful for the people who make me laugh.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Window Defrosters

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 36: Today, I am grateful for window defrosters.

German engineer, Heinz Kunert, studied philosophy, physics and psychology at University of Bonn. Kunert invented the first electric defogger/defroster for automobiles in the 1960's. Imagine our cars without them? We could not see clearly without them on many days. 

When we start our cars and brush off the snow, by the time we are ready to drive away, the defrosters take care of much of the ice and snow. It is a simple thing we take for granted. Seeing clearly makes driving safer for everyone. 

I imagine there was a time that window defrosters in cars seemed more miraculous. Now, they are standard equipment in most vehicles. We don't think about it much, until it isn't working. 

I thought of Jesus healing the blind man in Mark 8:

Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?” The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”  Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. -Mark 8:23-25

Jesus did not fully heal him in an instant. He started by healing him half way. Why? We know His power was not limited. Many Biblical scholars have contemplated the answer. We may not know this side of heaven, but I think it made more of an impact on the man because he went from full darkness to being able to make out shapes... and then he had perfect vision. I suspect the man never forgot the minutes of limited, unclear vision. It made him more grateful for the full healing. 

I've never been blind, but I have had my car windows defog and defrost slowly. Seeing a little is nice, but clear vision is a blessing. 

Today, I am grateful for window defrosters.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Wounded Hearts Heal

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 35: Today, I am grateful wounded hearts heal.

In this month of focusing on love and valentines, it is good to remember there are broken hearts all around us. There are lonely people in crowded places and every commercial painfully points to romance until February 14th passes. 

Valentines are sweet, but even sweeter is taking the time to look for those who need a little love poured out on them this season. 

This passage is perfect for today: 

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. -Psalm 147:3 

Bandaging the wounds and healing the brokenness is one of His specialties. David wrote of God's healing power in this Psalm. We do not need to feel alone or excluded. His love is enough. 

In the lonely seasons, we learn to trust his heart. It doesn't always make sense, but time reveals His plan was better all along. He never stops longing for us to return to Him with our broken hearts in hand. He understands the wounds of love rejected. He only has to look at his nail-scarred hands. We can trust him with our brokenness, too. 

Today, I am grateful wounded hearts heal.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Working Toilets

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 34: Today, I am grateful for working toilets.

We had a plumber come through at work today. It dawned on me that working toilets are something to be grateful for every day. We don't think about them much until they are broken or one is not available. 

It is the most basic of human needs. We take a working bathroom for granted until it is not working. 

The day has been long... so keeping it simple. 

Today, I am grateful for working toilets.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Phil Casts No Shadow

Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 33: Today, I am grateful Punxatawny Phil did not cast a shadow... so spring will come early.  

It is a quirky tradition in the USA. Who lets a Groundhog dictate whether spring will come early our late? It is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Traditions are good, even if they are not 100% accurate. 

The scriptures are, are always truthful. 

This verse came to mind:

"Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." -James 1:17

Our God never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He is always good. Seasons come and go, the the word of the Lord lasts forever.

Today, I am grateful Punxatawny Phil did not cast a shadow... so the prediction isspring will come early.  

Saturday, February 1, 2020


Daily Gratitude Year 8- Day 32: Today, I am grateful for a fire in the the fireplace. 

The scent of the wood fills the air outside. Inside, the wood crackles and pops. I love a fireplace. It adds a feeling of warmth to a home long before it is ever lit. Families gather when the fireplace is lit. 

Tonight, the air is not frigid, but it is damp. Damp cold is the kind that goes all the way to the bones. On nights like tonight, a fire is the perfect way to relax and unwind. I love to watch the flames dance and the colors change. It is simply mesmerizing at times.

There is a passage in Hebrews that refers to God as a devouring fire:

"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 

Are me as mesmerized by His glory as we are by the flames in a fireplace? Do we long to get closer to him, as we do when the fireplace holds a fire? 

Today, I am grateful for a fire in the fireplace.