Though I haven’t sat down to add to my online gratitude journal, my eyes and heart have continued to take account of the blessings that God is pouring down. Oh, how He loves us so. I think I’m going to need to keep a small journal out in the open to jot down the thoughts and observations I make as the day unfolds. Just letting it sit there, open to the page where I can keep an accounting of how great His affections are for me. Here are some of the snippets of moments I’ve held onto in my memory these past two weeks:
114. Thankful for the hearts of Lupe, Maribel, Jorge and Travis. Thankful for how being present with them in an hour of prayer leaves me transformed. Thankful that God brought them to Young Life with hearts for the mission of reaching people in this city. Thankful that together as we pray our praises and lay before God our requests, that God’s Spirit comes in our midst and makes His presence known. Thankful that we now have a prayer team. So thankful.
115. Thankful for God’s love and how He loves us. Thankful for the hour of encouragement He provided me through the one comment I found online from Joann’s Facebook post. She posted about the “JustONE” online conference for women in leadership. Listened in last night. Good good stuff. Thank you Lord for the analogy of how we often feel like grasshoppers in the land. But that we need to surround ourselves with people like Caleb and Joshua who don’t get overwhelmed by the giants and the feeling of smallness and powerlessness, but instead find strength in the Lord. Thank you Lord for the story of the woman’s encounter with a man named Cricket. A reminder of a time several summers ago when God spoke through me to a young man at YL Santa Cruz camp. That was an extremely powerful moment for me many years ago and last night I was reminded of that moment. It brought tears to my eyes. Yes, God speaks. Yes, God uses us to minister to others at the exact moment when they need to hear His word the most. Thank you Lord for the message of grasshoppers and Cricket.
116. Thankful that Jacob and Natalie quietly engaged in a game of chess a few minutes ago, allowing me this sweet time of thanksgiving. Thankful that they love to play with each other. Thankful that we are at a stage of life that our kiddos are independent and can play without me needing to be there watching for their safety and helping them with every move of their being. Thankful that I can now return to mornings of quiet with you oh Lord.
117. Thankful for Greta, Jennifer, Becky, Alicia, Jana and the other moms of the adventure-nature homeschooling group that we’ve encountered. Thankful for their welcome into their group. Thankful for their connection to you oh Lord. Thankful for their sweet love of their children. Thankful for their heart’s desire to be out in nature each and every week. Thankful for their history of every Tuesday for 4 years- their commitment to letting their children be in your beautiful creation oh Lord.
118. Thankful specifically for Becky’s beautiful help to my nervous and frustrated Jacob. Making new friends is hard. Very very hard. Watching him try to make inroads into friendships that have been bonded deeply over 4 years, I could feel why it’s so overwhelming to Jacob. My heart was filled with relief as I heard Becky helping Jacob feel comfortable with the group. Two weeks ago she helped him immensely by engaging in conversation with him about his love of Nebraska. That was a turning point for him at the Balboa Wetlands; I could visibly see him grow more interested in the group simply because he had felt noticed and felt that he could relate to someone. So thankful for Becky. And then again, she was there again- thank you Lord. Thank you for her empathy and her sincere effort to help Jacob become friends with the boys. Thankful that she was there yesterday offering him encouragement that her son had also felt the exact same way two years ago when they joined. That asking questions like “Have you ever been to Disneyland?” or “Do you like to play with Legos” helped her son connect with the others. So thankful that she sparked Jacob’s love of Legos and connected him with her son in that conversation. So thankful once again for Becky. And my thankfulness for her continued as she offered to have us over to her place for a playdate next week. Oh thank you Lord that this woman has been gifted to put herself in our shoes and has gone out of her way to welcome us. Thank you. Thank you that because of her my sweet Jacob went to bed last night with a peacefulness in his heart and a feeling of hope. As I tucked him into bed, his heart uttered “Mama, I have a feeling that Asher and I are going to be great friends.” And he closed his eyes with a smile on his face. Oh that just melted my heart. Thank you oh Lord for the sweet heart of Becky and for that sweet moment that helped relieve me of the load of that first hour and a half of the hike where Jacob pleaded to go home and shared with me how frustrated he felt.
119. Thankful for Teri and the way she motivates me to get out of bed at 5am on Tuesday mornings. Thankful that I know awaiting me at the gym will be one butt-kicking workout led by her. Thankful for her inspiration. Thankful for her commitment to being an absolutely amazing instructor of Body Pump. Thankful that with her guidance my ability to push through what’s hard is even possible.
120. Thankful that in the frenzy of oversleeping yesterday and running out the door to the gym without a water bottle, that Teri was willing to offer me a water bottle she had with her. Wow. That literally saved me. I could not have done an hour of weightlifting without water. So thankful for Teri’s desire to help me in that moment. Thankful for her heart and her friendship.
121. Thankful that my body can do what’s physically hard. Thankful that I’m being stretched to new limits of endurance. Thankful that on the same morning of increasing my weights in squats, that I could endure through an intense up-hill, switch-back, steep ascent at Hellman Wilderness Park with these newly found homeschooling friends. Not sure if I’ll be able to move today without much pain, but thankful that I could do all of that yesterday.
122. I never ever fathomed I would one day be one exiting the gym at 6am while others were just arriving. Wow- that’s a crazy feeling. Having completed a swim workout and soaked in the jacuzzi and walking out of the gym at 6am- pure craziness. Had to do it because a crazy swim competition class is held from 6am-7am. If I wanted to stretch my muscles this morning, I had to be done by 6am. Thank you Lord for pulling me out of my bed this morning. Thank you that despite needing to push through the obstacle of getting out of my warm bed, putting cold clothes on, walking out into the cold air and getting into a pool to the shock of my still half-asleep body, that I was able to do all that. Thank you for that type of endurance you are building in me.
123. Thankful for the endurance that I saw in Jana, Becky and Greta yesterday. Each of them carried a young child on their back up that crazy steep hike. Wow. I was inspired. These women are tough. These women are in good shape. I was in awe. So great to be inspired by women like that.