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, February 21, 2010

Grains of Gratitude

There is ice all over everything outside, and as I sit inside, warm and content, I am grateful. I am grateful for all the blessings that are stuffed into this house. Most of all for the men (big and small) who I can hear rumbling around, just out sight, but not out of earshot. They bless me daily and I cannot imagine my life without them.

I've not been blogging very well, have I? Not keeping up with all my friends who live somewhere besides this little black piece of plastic, but I can only "see" them here. I am grateful for you if you are still reading this.
I am grateful to have been called to jury duty. "Really?" You might be asking. Yes, really. And here is why: over three years ago my name came up, I had two little boys, my husband worked outside the house, I didn't have a babysitter and we had limited transportation. Being excused due to circumstances wasn't an option. The timing was horrible. Thankfully I ended up being dismissed and we just experienced a little anxiety about logistics. I prayed that sometime I would be able to do my "civic duty" when it wasn't so traumatic. I couldn't have asked for a better time for this to happen, there is never a good time, but I know how important this is, so I am grateful. I am supposed to report mid-March. I think it will be interesting.

Thankfully, Boo's foot seems to be improved. We go to the orthopedic's office on Tuesday to see the nurse-practitioner. The handsome footwear is NOT exciting, but he's been a champ about wearing it faithfully. I am praying that it can come off. He's ready. I'm ready. I've been inclined to give him piggy-back rides from the van to the house when the ground is covered in snow so his foot stays dry.

I'm grateful I can give him piggy-back rides. I don't think I could do that this time last year, certainly not as far as from the vehicle to the house--involving steps. I'm really struggling in the dieting area. Not going up, but not going down, either. Time to move more and ponder the eating plan more carefully.

I don't like giving dieting advice, but I will tell everyone the thing I think is most important is WATER!! Drink, drink, drink your water. So often I think I am hungry and what I really am is thirsty. This was advice from the weight-loss group I joined and it has been the best. Seems so simple and yet, the first thing I forget or put off.

I am grateful the Holly Jolly Valentine's decorations are stowed away. It is Lent, and during Lent I don't want the distractions. I've been feeling the need for Lent lately. For the time to refocus, remove distractions, revise the habits and rearrange the priorities.

I have a couple people in my immediate relationships who think I am a bit..., well a bit off for getting all worked up about Lent. Lent leads me, like no other time of the Liturgical Year to the foot of the Cross. The desert experience is a time of reliance only on the LORD. It is hard to explain and oftentimes makes one feel very much an outsider.

Lent is so much more than what most people think they know about it. It does include fasing, but also, almsgiving, repentance, and self-denial. These are things I know a lot of people do randomly during the year, or maybe when they feel led, but there is something about coorporate worship, knowing you are joining with a body of believers to unite in a very historical form of worship.

Really? We should be doing these things all year long, but the urgent call of the world to hurry up and join in the bustle get to most of us and we fall into bad habits. If you don't have that problem, hats off to you...but I am soooooo flawed in this area that I need the seasonal reminders and Lent leads me as I said to the foot of the Cross, but more importantly to the joy that is the Resurrection. The holiday that is to me THE HOLIDAY.

I'm grateful for my church and my priest. I'm so often moved to tears while I'm there. God is so good and so merciful.

The readings for Saturday and Sunday were especially powerful and poignant:

Saturday
First Reading: Isaiah 58:9b-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gospel: Luke 5:27-32

Reading I
Isaiah 58:9b-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with maliceB
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.


Sunday
First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 91:1-2,10-15
Second Reading: Romans 10:8-13
Gospel: Luke 4:1-13

Second Reading
Romans 10:8-13

Brothers and sisters:
What does Scripture say?
The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart
—that is, the word of faith that we preach—,
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
For the Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
I don't think there is anything that can top that.

Count it all joy,

Julie