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Memory Scripture: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
She had no idea how much I needed the reminder.
As I opened the overdue Christmas gift a few days ago, I read the words on the mug made of tan pottery...
"See the good"
I had to choke back a thank you. It wasn't the time or the place to explain how much I needed that reminder each morning as I slowly sipped my favorite caffeinated beverage. Not even sure my new friend would understand me enough to try to mutter out an explanation.
Since the end of November I have been on this thankfulness journey. Desperately trying/forcing my eyes open to see...
To see what is often not in the frame.
When kids are suffering at the hands of other people, when death swallows a life, when relationships just continue to get weird and sticky and foreign, when those that supposedly love you......stop loving you, when the choice to follow the narrow path leads to severe loneliness and soul pain, when people that you admire and are even mentored by take wide paths that lead to destruction, when your kids don't fit in and constantly feel left out, when YOU don't fit in and find yourself not ever being invited..or just not ever feeling...enough...
It is almost impossible to see the good.
But with faith, everything is possible. Mark 9:23
In my own walk, I have found that faith is a daily discipline. An everyday decision of opening the eyes, not closing them shut.
To look up and out. To strain my eyes, even when it hurts to see, to find, to capture...something good.
The longer I do this, the easier it becomes.
Faith is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it gets.
Things and people and circumstances can close off your heart and make you bitter. They can turn a heart of love and grace into a heart of dark shadows and unforgiving landmines.
However, when we truly grasp the discipline, the habit, the intention that Paul teaches us...of giving thanks in all circumstances, we bring oxygen back into the lungs, the heart, the soul.
We revive it from literal death.
When my children are going through hard times, when they don't understand and they feel it will never ever get better...it is so hard for me to remember this.
I want to fix it.
I want to to fix the people that are causing my kids pain too!
Mama Bear comes out in a hot second if my heart doesn't quickly breathe in gratitude.
Thank you, Father, that I have children. (James 1:17)
Thank you, Father, that you are molding their hearts and shaping them through this trial. And MINE!(Psalm 34:19) (Acts 14:22)
Thank you, Father, that they were born for such a time as this.(Esther 4:14)
Thank you, Father, that your Word shows us story after story of faithful and godly men and women that endured painful trials...only to come out victorious. Even when the trials were long and seemingly unending. ( read about Joseph here...Genesis 37
Thank you, Father, that You love my children more than I do! (Jeremiah 1:5)
When I breathe in these words of thankfulness, I breathe out wisdom and words of healing instead of hurting.
I have to practice it though. Every. Single. Day.
My friend Karey and I started a 10,000 steps a day challenge. We are 6 days in.
Besides helping me get in better shape, it is helping me to get outside.
To see the big, big, beautiful world around me!
To see things I so often do NOT see.
As I walk around my neighborhood, the schools, my small town....I am starting to see.
There is so much good to behold.
We just don't choose to see it.
These 10,000 steps a day are forcing me to prolong my vision on Creation. To see the trees, the birds, the expansive sky, the water running down sidewalks...sights that I have overlooked day after day and year after year.
10,000 steps are giving me 10,000 reasons to give thanks.
To see the good.
All day. Every day.
And just in case I forget, I have my beautiful mug to remind me...
sipping and seeing,
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Hebrews 13:14 "Did you hear about the homeles...
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