I decided I am tired of giving up all of me--all the things I could be if only...
...and I am tired of feeling sucked-dry with nothing left to give to anyone, especially God...
...and I am tired of being love-sick and hopeful over things that never come to be...
...and I am tired of walking this journey alone.
And I realize I am focusing on a whole lot of me...and entertaining thoughts that are not mine or God's.
Then I remember how Jesus takes the good with the bad and the ugly. And He doesn't mind getting dirty to wash us clean.
So I lift up my heart-felt disappointment and self-absorbed sadness and struggle to come back to a place of seeing Him in the people, places and things around me...
I think hard on the last seven days, and how I lived them. And joyfully discover...there are multitudes of thing to be thankful for, even when I was blindly wishing for more:
73. Another mother-daughter day planned by my mom, gift-bearing--and all five of us making it!
74. A drive-by visit to Soergel's Orchard, and stopping for pics with the corn stalks.
75. The new, star-graced drinking glasses I bought at Ikea.
76. And throwing out what was left of the dishwasher-cracked-old ones.
77. Celebrating two sister birthdays at a round table at PF Chang's--with cake, candles and flashing party hats.
78. Lettuce wraps!
79. And leftover Lo-Mein to take home to the girls in in a little Chinese take-out box.
80. A fortune cookie message that said: A distant relative will call you soon. (Hope so!)
81. And on the back, the Chinese word for face: lian--spelled differently, my baby sister who lives in another state sitting next to me (Lianne.)
82. Reading how having face in China means the same as one's word being golden--and she is!
83. Settling in with snacks to watch Faith Like Potatoes with my mom and sisters after a day spent together loving and laughing, and having to call my youngest daughter and her friend to come get me because we couldn't make it through the movie.
84. Riding in the back-seat and getting home safely. :)
85. A husband who served others all weekend, picking up leaves and putting down floors, and falling asleep on the couch, in a different kind of exhausted.
86. A gift in the mail bearing bread for the soul and money.
87. The precious heart who sent it. (May your cup run over!)
88. God's protection over my girls in their coming and going in all different directions, and even an accident
89. A son-in-law who apologizes with his heart for something small.
90. Walking with our youngest on the football field for Senior Night, and The Middle bringing her sister a bag of gifts.
91. The telling of a sister-secret, and The Oldest saying its okay.
92. A candle-lit dinner for two with flowers and wine on a bitter cold night.
93. The cinnamon sprig of fall mum stuck on my windshield on a happy, sunny day.
94. And new, woolly slippers to take the chill off later.
95. A plateful of pumpkin pancakes shared by family on a Sunday morning.
96. And someone else picking up the tab.
97. The waiter who shared his funny story, and waited...and laughed.
98. Time spent together, talking, touching, being real.
99. A visit to Stanley's bakery for Lady Locks for my sister before she travels home.
100. The fresh raspberries, yogurt and granola I just ate for breakfast.
101. And the nourishment I receive when I turn my heart toward home.
102. The forgiveness that comes when I least deserve it.
103. And how gratitude changes the day.
104. To be able praise the One who makes it all happen.
105. And for eyes to see His grace at work in me.
I join every Monday with Ann Voskamp and the community of gratitude-givers in appreciating God's graces. Click on the button below to read other grace lists....
Click to read more about my Journey of Gratitude.
Beautiful Photos courtesy of: flickr - Liz West