Monday, November 26, 2012

Unexpected blessings

The blog is becoming a bit of a burden, so I may need to take a break.
And yet, the things that are going on that keep me from writing are things I would like to be sharing.

The problem is that, as meaningful and satisfying as it can be for me to express myself in writing, most of the time it is not easy. It is painstaking and time-consuming.

The Thanksgiving week was full of such examples.

-- What seemed to be unrelated occurrences, tied to past accolades, brought together from their separate ways three women who really do share a strong bond of friendship.

-- The complexity brought by not taking a day off from work helped me   appreciate more something simple like Thanksgiving brunch at IHOP with my husband.

-- A clear answer to prayer emerged. I'd been praying for several weeks -- maybe months now -- to make a step of progress in my 12-step recovery. More recently, several positive signs were present, and Saturday and Sunday brought the opportunity to say a prayer and take action! Taking this step is scary for me, yet I see God showing me all along the way that it is time and He will bless my faithful response.

-- The first prayer walk in more than a month was just one more unexpected blessing of Thanksgiving Day. Even though I volunteered to work my usual night shift, I not only was able to share a morning and a meal with my husband, I also was able to take a walk on a glorious fall day. Something about that walk along the neighborhood trail and around the pond infuses by spirit and recharges my soul. I am most likely at such times to pray for everyone and everything on my "list," and also to smile and sing aloud or silently as my heart overflows with praise, gratitude and joy.

There are many others, but the to-do list beckons as I continue to strive to balance prayer and faith and expression and self-care with service, responsibility and accountability.

And yes, the blog was on the list; it just wasn't high enough that I thought I would get it done today. But when I sat down to read and write in my prayer journal (after the cat jumped in my lap and commenced to purring, the prayer soundtrack), the words somehow inspired me to pick up my iPhone and start composing this little note.

The words were about walking with God over a lifetime. The writing prompt was to express some of the things I love about walking with God.

What I wrote:

... I am never alone.
... I see Your glory wherever I look.
... I have hope.
... I can do all things and believe all things are possible through You.
... I feel Your love.
... When You are big in my life, I am not a problem.

And wow!
Thank you, God, for one more shower of unexpected blessings! May I use them to Your glory.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude: Don't take it for granted

I'm grateful that, for the most part, I don't take God's grace for granted.

And I'm grateful that, when I do start to take it for granted, not only does He love me anyway and continue to extend grace, He also offers me precious gifts of new opportunities to see His goodness and to glorify Him.

I will be writing more about this soon, God willing ....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lessons along the way

It's another blog deadline, and I've about decided I'll never get this on the track I had hoped to take. November 5 was the third anniversary of That's The Spirit, and all I can say is: It is what it is.

Well, no, that's not true.  I can say more. And so I will!

What I write and share here is helping me grow as a person. It helps me look for the good and express gratitude. It helps keep me accountable. It helps keep me humble. It helps keep me hopeful.

I'm still so far behind on the things I want to write and share. I'm pretty sure I will never catch up. And once again, I really don't have time to spend here today. The past two weeks have overflowed with examples of how God works all things for good if we -- including me -- will only seek Him and open our hearts and eyes and minds and lives to receive Him. I don't even know where to begin in listing them.

-- I thought the first anniversary of my Dad's death would finally bring the flood of tears, and even more so when, less than a week later, my Mom's oldest brother reached the end of his earthly journey that included some final steps similar to Dad's. But tears didn't flow. Instead, there were just continued opportunities to live and love and remember and move forward with family and friends.

-- I thank God daily for my Mom and the amazing woman she is. God truly blesses me through her. The chance to make the 985-mile trip from the North Texas farm to Fort Stockton in far West Texas and back to the farm with her was just one more example. I see so many ways in which she is a peacemaker, and this is what I desire to be. I've seen her grow more and more into this role over the years, and that gives me hope that I, too, can do it. I also admire and seek to emulate her examples as optimist and encourager.

There is so much more, but this is all I have time for. I cannot describe the peace and gratitude I feel this moment, even as so many things -- insurance questions, work, messy house, all kinds of decisions -- continue to be unsettled. I trust God to show me the way through, as He has done in the past for me and all who seek Him. I thank Him for His mercy, love and grace. I pray to know and do His will, one moment at a time, to His glory. And now, I must go forth with joy! I'll probably be singing along the way. Thank You, God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."  (Matthew 5:9)

"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."   (Galatians 22-23)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


So, yes, there will be more ...