This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grains of Gratitude

I am grateful for some lovely weather this week. Yay!! Signs of spring are lasting longer, sinking deeper into the earth. I hope March goes out like a lamb.

I am grateful for an opportunity to be able to express my concern for someone who works with my oldest on a weekly basis. My son was hurt emotionally and I felt trust was breached. It was a question of faith and doctrine. I was able to speak my mind. I hope I wasn’t antagonistic, I prayed a lot.

Sadly I don’t feel this person’s heart was really changed, although I do see care exhibited for my son. We were promised things would not reoccur and my very easily forgiving son agreed to try the situation again. Honestly, I was not going to give it another chance, but this is part of the growing up process that I’ve been dreading. I need to allow him to grow into a young man, and if his attitude and heart are any indicator of the man to come—I am truly blessed.

This week one of my friends turned 50. She wasn’t terribly thrilled about it, you could tell. And to top it off it seemed like no one was really caring that she was turning 50—at least from her point of view. No one would agree to make plans, no one was calling…silence.

But for the last six weeks a surprise birthday party had been being organized for her. I was the foil—the one who got her headed to the party—and let me tell you, I wondered if we were going to get it done. But we did.

The disbelief, shock, amazement and then happiness on her face was really priceless. I am grateful for this friend and the 20+ years we’ve known each other. It was an interesting assortment of people from very different walks of life, come together to tell a friend, “We love you.” What a neat thing.

I am grateful to another of my friend’s mother for watching my boys for the party. The only people who babysit for us is this particular friend and she and her husband were coming to the party also. Her mom is a lovely woman and the boys have always liked to be around her. My friend’s husband relieved her early to care for their one year old and my boys so she could get some sleep because she works too. My boys got to hang out with their favorite “jungle gym” then for a while longer. They didn’t miss me at all. And this time that was okay.

There was an opportunity to get better acquainted with someone this week. That is always something to be grateful for. We were out of our normal operating setting and so some barriers were allowed to drop. You never totally know anyone, but it helps to have different perspectives to understand why someone behaves as they do. I’m certain I don’t have a full picture, but perhaps we can communicate more effectively.

My husband was away during the week. I am grateful he is home.

The trip was short, just a few days, it should have been easier than the times he’s been gone up to a month. But something just isn’t right when he is gone. There is a sense of incompleteness in the house.

For someone new here, my husband works from home. So I am blessed to have him around 24/7 most of the time. But when he is gone, he is gone and it is hard to be in touch unless he gets a break.

While he was gone I busied myself trying to have a somewhat better house for him to return to. I wanted to make sure those pesky dishes were out of the sink, the laundry was empty and the house vacuumed. I just wanted it to be nice to walk into. It wasn’t perfect, but it was not bad.

When Daddy comes home it is a big event around here. The boys are jumping on him, the dog is barking, the cat is swearing we never fed him the whole time Daddy was gone. So, unless I get there first I stand in line for a while to greet my sweetheart.

I was at the sink when he pulled in the driveway. So I slipped out of the house and got to be first in line. Life was just a little better having my husband back where he belongs.

I’ve chewed on that since he’s been home. Maybe it’s a stretch for some, but for me I saw it as a picture of how our life is with God. I think marriage and parenting are good learning tools for our relationship with God.

Something is incomplete when He is not part of our lives. We wait impatiently for the day we get to “go home.” We try to keep our abode here on earth “clean.” It is rarely close to perfect, but we keep trying.

Am I anticipating my time alone with God? Am I giving him my full attention at church, during devotions? Do my actions and attitudes tell everyone that I am His? As His bride, am I ready for His return?

I am grateful for His love and care and all the precious gifts He bestows.

Have a blessed week.

Julie