This page will feature my thoughts on my daily grateful words, and will be updated every Monday!
Monday, August 29th: SEEDS
Today was our second day of traveling home. Today we retraced our miles through the Mojave Desert. As I was gazing at the surrounding landscape, I noticed something very unusual. I’ve seen it before, but for some reason, it struck me in a new way today. For miles you drive through empty land. The terrain is flat and dry, with only a few low-lying shrubs dotting the landscape, only a random cactus here and there. And then, out of the blue, everywhere you look, there are hundreds of Joshua trees! It’s a literal forest. Believe me, it comes up sudden – there’s nothing, and then poof, trees upon trees (though the Joshua Tree actually belongs to the yucca family). I wonder why this happens. That’s what got me thinking about seeds. One of the reasons all these trees are here is because their seeds get scattered in this one particular area. I found this information most interesting (from Wikipedia): “The semi-fleshy fruit that is produced is green-brown, elliptical, and contains many flat seeds. Joshua trees usually do not branch until after they bloom…and they do not bloom every year. Like most desert plants, their blooming depends on rainfall at the proper time. They also need a winter freeze before they bloom. Once they bloom, the trees are pollinated by the yucca moth, which spreads pollen while laying her eggs inside the flower. The moth larvae feed on the seeds of the tree, but enough seeds are left behind to produce more trees.” I loved two facts: 1) The seeds can only grow if they are scattered, and 2) Blooms require a winter freeze. Can you see the faith lessons in that? The Gospel can only grow if its seeds are spread around. We must be the seed-bearers, and sow God’s words to those we meet. And second, sometimes the best “blooming” happens after a winter season. I am so grateful for these beautiful trees, and for the great lesson that God taught me in the middle of a desert. He has a way of doing that!!
Tuesday, August 30th: VITAMINS
OK, so I’m trying to institute some better health habits. One of the things I’m doing is eating better (and less!). And, I am also re-instituting a vitamin/supplement regimen that was very successful for me years ago. My doctor isn’t a big proponent of vitamins, but my sister’s doctor swears by natural supplements. I think it’s a matter of opinion. I just know that I feel better when I take certain things in addition to my diet. Vitamins are important. This from Wikipedia: “…vitamins remain essential nutrients for the healthy maintenance of the cells, tissues, and organs that make up a multicellular organism; they also enable a multicellular life form to efficiently use chemical energy provided by food it eats, and to help process the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats required for respiration.” I know that many vitamins can be found by eating a well-balanced diet, concentrating on fruits and vegetables. But I also know that when I’m dieting, I might not get all that I need from the smaller portions I eat. Therefore, I’m adding some things. Today I am grateful for the way that the human body works. God truly created a mysterious and intricate machine. And I am grateful that He gives us the things we need to achieve and maintain our physical health. I’m also grateful that He does the same for us spiritually!
Wednesday, August 31st: FACETIME
So, today I got a call from my oldest son. “Hey Mom, are you by your computer?” Turns out that he needed me to check something on my end. You see, he and my other son, his brother, own and operate a website/media business. And they are currently revamping a website for one of their clients. And for some reason, something wasn’t quite working right, and they wanted me to check it from my computer. So, once I had my computer in hand, my son said, “OK, we’ll call you right back and FaceTime.” (Don’t you love how things become verbs? Like how I’ll “google” something or “blog” about it!) A few seconds later, my phone rang, I answered, and there in front of me were the two precious faces of my sons. I know they were in “business mode,” but I couldn’t help it – I blurted out, “HI SONS!” and waved! (Cuties, they waved back!) They then double-checked the site by looking at my computer screen. When we signed off, I sat there and contemplated the amazing ability to see my sons, even though they’re miles and hours away from me. I could have crawled through the screen and hugged them, they felt that close. Today I am grateful for the wonder of FaceTime. I’m grateful for the good side of technology, the way that it can connect loved ones across the miles. And I am grateful that there is coming a day when I will see Jesus, face-to-face! Wow!! Talk about the best FaceTime ever!!
Thursday, September 1st: UNEXPECTED
Life has a way of bringing unexpected things into our lives. Most of the time I dread the unexpected things, because they always seem to be bad. But, once in a while, something unexpected happens that’s really, really good. Like today. My sons own a rental property up here in the same little mountain town where “The Hub” and I live. And though they have a property manager, sometimes the owners (my boys) need to come up and check things out. Today, my oldest son, his wife, and my granddaughter made a trip up here to meet with a fire inspection guy. I just found out about this two days ago, and I was thrilled! So, unexpectedly, “The Hub” and I got to spend a few hours with them and have lunch together. I absolutely LOVE when family comes up to “my neck of the woods” (literally!). It brings me great joy to see “my” faces up here. Though our visit was short, it was so, so sweet – so much fun! Today I am grateful for the unexpected pleasure of spending some time with my family. I am grateful for them in my life. And I am grateful that God has a way of bringing unexpected good things along life’s way – just to sweeten the days!
Friday, September 2nd: FIGHT
Yeah, “The Hub” and I had a fight. The details aren’t important. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often with us, and it’s usually more of a disagreement than a fight. Who knows how it starts – something silly or small, but feathers get ruffled, and words are spoken, and then the words stop. I’m not proud to share this, but it’s just a fact of life – people sometimes have these “moments,” especially when they’re around each other all the time. You know, sometimes I wonder what it must have been like in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve understood each other completely, when their lives were full of bliss and happiness. What must it have been like to get along with someone perfectly? It’s interesting to me that the first thing that happened after the Fall was that relationships were marred. First of all, Adam and Eve felt estranged from and afraid of God – they hid. And when confronted about their actions, they quickly and easily turned on each other – blaming and shaming. Our enemy loves to get in the middle of relationships and mess them up. He loves fanning the flames of disagreement, disharmony, and disunity. He especially cackles with glee when believers argue. And if he can move hearts into the deep pool of resentment and bitterness, oh how his mission has succeeded. Today I am grateful that God did something about the enemy’s power in our lives. He sent His Son as a sacrifice, as the only answer to sin, as the only hope of reconciliation. I am grateful that because of Him and His work, “The Hub” and I will be able to mend our fences, too.
Saturday, September 3rd: READING
I love reading!! I have loved it all of my life. Interestingly enough, though, someone once made a big mistake about my reading abilities. In second grade, my teacher misjudged my ability to read because I never wanted to, and struggled when forced to, read out loud in class. Little did she know that it was more a matter of my extreme shyness than about my reading capabilities. She informed my parents that my reading was behind, lower than grade level. Of course, my parents knew what happened at home, and I will never forget sitting in the back of the room while they had a conference with the teacher and set her straight!! I love reading fiction, and especially love my mysteries, having started with Nancy Drew many years ago. Today I spent all day reading. I finished an entire book, the latest in a series by an author that I really like. And yes, I read the entire book in one day. My sons have nicknamed me “The Insidious Reader” – I think they mean it because I stealthily read so fast!! It was a really good story, and I loved the ending. I didn’t see it coming (which I love, because I am not easily surprised). Today I am grateful that I know how to read, and I am grateful for books – which I have always considered my “friends.” And I am grateful most of all for the chance to read the greatest book ever written, my Bible. Reading its story is different than all the other books I read, for it is the living Word of God. Besides that, I love the ending!!
Sunday, September 4th: DISTRESS
I heard some news today that upset me. Caused me dismay and distress. It got me rattled, and I wanted to fix it, but couldn’t. I found it rather ironic that the phone call came right in the middle of me writing my blog post for tomorrow. And what am I writing about? About control vs. trust. Hmmm, very timely. When I hung up the phone, I thought about the very words that God was giving me to write. And it was so like Him to allow a situation to arise in which I would be immediately tested. I talked about being tempted to fear, and tempted to take control. And in the aftermath of the phone call, I am pondering whether or not I actually believe the words that I have written. I do, but Lord, please help my weakness. I have just finished proofreading and formatting my post. And as always, I finished with pertinent verses. The verses I have used (and I am SURE that I was led to them), are washing over me with their truth. Yes, God is on His throne, perfectly and eternally in control of everything, including my life and the lives of those I love. Yes, I have been invited to come boldly to that throne and present my cares and concerns before Him. Yes, He promises to listen. Yes, He understands. And yes, He will be sure to work all things, ALL things, to good. Today I am grateful for what He taught me in the writing of my blog post. And I am grateful that I can lay this current distress before Him, and let go.