Tonight, I'm grateful for...
Music. There's a song for every situation. As I occasionally do, I am in a music mood tonight. I feel like there's something about the "right" song at the "right" time that, in a way, fills up the soul. God created music, and I think every artist has something to say...I like when what they say meets what's in my heart. I'm grateful for music. I'm grateful that I sing. I'm grateful that music is something that ministers to me and connects my heart to memories or hopes and dreams. Music is a gift. Let God sing over you tonight and see what kind of music you hear in your spirit. It doesn't have to mention Jesus to be a message from God. One of my fondest God/Music memories is of a song that has nothing to do with Jesus, but I knew God was wanting me to hear it at a specific time. It still warms my heart when I hear it because I remember very clearly feeling His arms around me and feeling complete peace when the song began. He knows what touches you...
Nature. Everything in nature was created to point toward the Father. I think nature is God's love letter to us. Outside of reading the Bible, I consider the best way to be able to hear his voice is to be walking in the woods, looking closely at the intricacies of flowers, or sitting and watching the ocean tides. There's an object lesson in EVERY part of nature. There's always something to learn about God if we stop long enough to notice. God gave it all to us and there's something of him in every creation...including YOU!
Time. Even though it's not promised to us and we don't know when our last breath will be, I am grateful that I am learning to take advantage of the NOW. I could be always future-focused or always living in the past, if I wanted to. But God has turned my focus to what's happening now. My children will not be 7 and 4 much longer. There will come a day when I will look in the mirror and see a 90-year-old woman looking back at me, and it will probably happen more quickly than I can imagine. I am learning to cherish the NOW. I am learning that nothing is more important than being content and being grateful. I can truly say that I am content. I'm not complacent, by any means, but I am content. I'm deeply grateful for that.
Dates. Brendan is now at the age where he WANTS to go out with me more often, so this week I let him choose where we went for lunch and where we went after lunch. He chose Wendy's and The Science Center. We had a great time together. He's becoming such a little man. I love his thought processes. I love that he continuously said, "WOW!" during the whole planetarium presentation about the Hubble telescope, even though everyone else in the theater was silent. I love that he's in awe of the world. I love that he has a sense of wonder and that everything is a new experience. That's the one thing I've asked God for during this, my 36th year. I guess the best way to learn a sense of wonder is to be around someone who truly understands it. Brendan is one of those people. I pray every day that he never loses that.
My life. The other day, Sean asked me if I love my life. I actually thought about it for a while, and, even though I have my moments of insanity, I can say that I truly, honestly, deeply love my life. I love my family. I love my friends. I love God. I love that He has taught me to remove drama from my life. I love my flaws. I love that I am forgiven. I love that God has completely revolutionized my life through my making one choice--the choice to be grateful for everything. I've said it before but I will say it again. I want to be able to take my last breath saying, "Thank you, God, for everything. It was beautiful." I intend to live in such a way that I can say that at the end.
So my hope for you tonight is that you learn to love your life, no matter what circumstances you face. I pray that gratitude becomes your first choice, instead of complaining. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for in any situation--call it "the silver lining", or call it whatever you want. My hope is that you know it's going to be okay. I hope you know that you are loved passionately by the Father, so you had better learn to love yourself (*shakes finger at you*). There is beauty and greatness in you, so make sure to remember that, even on the days when the first thing you see in the mirror in the morning is messy hair and pillow face. You're beautiful and God loves you just as you are.