Six years ago tomorrow, I wrote my very first Sunday Gratitude journal entry on Sawyer’s Caringbridge site. We were not quite 3 weeks into his cancer journey.
“Aug 10, 2014
I’d like to copy from a blog I’ve read for a long time….she dedicates her posts on Sundays to giving thanks. Especially in the midst of trials, it is easy to only see the bad things, and start feeling sorry for yourself. I don’t want to fall into that trap. Of course I wish none of this was happening, but this is a part of God’s best for our family, and I want to set my eyes on His goodness that is all around us.
~Our new room with a nice recliner
~a playmat for the floor so SaSa can crawl around without getting contaminated
~food from “the Outside”, especially homemade pimento cheese
~nurses who love Sawyer so much they come see him when they are not assigned to him
~getting to witness a 9-year-old girl finally get to celebrate going home after 8 months of treatment (her mom bought her a sparkly new dress, she had a panda hat on her bald head, and her daddy surprised her with a limo to drive her home!)
~news of so many people pulling together to bless my family by bringing meals and back-to-school bounty
~Sawyer’s sweet little voice chattering away
~pictures colored by my kids at home for their little brother
Join me in giving thanks!”
Today I find myself in far different circumstances, but in such a similar place of need. Of needing to raise my gaze. Raise my focus. Raise my voice in gratitude.
I have felt like our house is filled with a fog of sad. So many people I love are hurting and there is nothing I can do. I just can’t seem to get my feet under me.
This was a page on my daily calendar this week. Why do I feel like I have never seen this verse before? I read it and reread it and looked it up in several versions.
I love the sound of the ocean’s crashing waves. It’s vastness and power makes me feel so small. The crash is deafening. In this world, doesn’t it seem like there’s just so much deafening noise? All competing. Each voice, a thunderous wave crashing louder and louder, demanding to be heard above the rest. Noise on traditional and social media. Noise from every opinion on every issue. Noise inside me. BUT GOD. He is so far above the noise. He does speak in that Still Small Voice. But His majesty, His magnitude, His presence, His power. Is greater. Mightier than the noise attacking me from the outside and from the inside. Far mightier than the strongest, most powerful waves on any sea.
I am thankful that no matter how low or how NOT THANKFUL I FEEL, my loving Father is so gracious and persistent to show Himself to me even when I am a mess.
I am thankful:
~ for friends who call in lunch when they know it’s been a hard day. Even though they live in Dallas!
~ for the times when social media is a tool used for good, and flooded with kind words and encouragement to those who need it.
~ for a special birthday girl with a fantastic attitude on a quietly celebrated day. Our Zoe turned 9, and though we were unable to GO anywhere or INVITE anyone, we compensated with FOOD. Her brown eyes sparkled when she saw her waffles with sprinkles for breakfast. Daddy brought home a special treat from DQ for her lunch. And as one of our family’s most discerning diners, Miss Zoe selected a decadent menu of packaged Velveeta Shells and Cheese, cheese toast, and chocolate cake with more sprinkles of course. (It was a nice variation from last year’s choice of Kraft macaroni and cheese and Cheezits.) She felt special, and that’s what counts.
~ for the perfect worship song that plays at the perfect moment.
~ for my precious Littles who are so quick to forgive their mama when she’s not as nice or as patient as she should be. And for the genuine prayers they pray for me.
~ for my very best friend to wake up with every morning.
~ for new house numbers and solar lights giving our home a simple but cozy exterior update.
~ for ones who I know pray faithfully, and who alternately offer gentle encouragements and less gentle admonishings to kick out of my funk.
~ for August Tonight and Whataburger malts honoring one of the finest men who ever lived.
~ for a fun puzzle completed.
~ for a tasty night cooking up the fish Josh and the big kids caught on their Galveston Bay fishing trip. We had everyone back together again, and it was good to have fresh laughter around our table. I’ve missed that.
~ for the promise that God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. In the words of one of our Littles’ favorite songs, His love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me.
Let’s lift each other up during these strange, uncertain, and unfamiliar times. Whatever you may be feeling or struggling with, it is certain that someone else is struggling with it too. Everyone is dealing with their own personal flavor of hard. It’s ok not to have it all together all the time. It’s ok to be unsure. God knows what He is doing, and His good and perfect plan will be done in the end.
Prayers especially for educators and administrators and support staff who are gearing up for an unprecedented back to school season. And for parents everywhere who are doing their very best to make the very best decisions for their families about schooling. Let’s all be kind to one another. Let’s raise a hallelujah!
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
“The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is mighty.” (Psalms 93:3-4)