fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

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Boston {day 249}

Today tragedy struck again as Boston Marathon runners prepared to cross the finish line and spectators cheered on their loved ones. Once again innocent people were hurt and killed at the hands of hatred and anger. I am sad and angry.
I must admit, in the midst of tragedy and hatred and hurt, my first thoughts are usually along the lines of this: “Lord, come quickly. This world is too much for me.”
But as I was challenged and reminded by my friend Ian today, we are not called to run from messiness. We are called to run towards it, to help the hurting and broken and messy. We are called to be Jesus’s hands and feet, and while Jesus’s heart is grieved by the despicable acts of today, Jesus willingly went into the brokenness. And we are called to do the same.
In the middle of the pictures of chaos and pain, there are also pictures, acts of kindness and words that remind us that all is not lost. Video of the explosions show huge crowds of people (very understandably) running away from the blasts. But they also reveal brave runners, staff and spectators running towards the blasts, with less regard for their own well being than those injured. Several thousand people posted contact information on a google doc offering rides, food, bedrooms and encouragement for runners and families needing shelter. There are reports that, after crossing the finish line, some runners continued running to a nearby hospital to donate blood.
Lord, both literally and figuratively, give me (and us, the Church) the courage and compassion to run towards the hurt and the messiness, to be Your hands and feet to the suffering. Though it is clear that this is not where we were created to be, that this broken world is far less than what God created us for, help me to remember that I am here at this time for a reason. Please make me like them, Running towards the messy and broken. Thank you for the helpers today, who remind us that there are reasons to hope.



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weary {day 243}

Today was tough. I am weary and heavy-hearted. There are a lot if people I care deeply for who are sick, scared or hurting.

I am grateful for ceramics class tonight. It’s cheaper than therapy and my clay covered hands are soothing for my soul. Even when my first pinch pot cracks…


I am so grateful to come home to a thoughtful and precious journal entry from my sweet hubby (who also gives great hugs, so needed by the time I got home) and for a puppy snuggled up while I read it.


And for encouraging words from sweet friends that point me towards Jesus.

Even in the midst of darkness and hurt, I know Jesus is near. For that, I could never fully express my gratitude.

Please continue to pray for my sweet friend Harlow. She received her first chemo treatment tonight following a very rough 24 hours.


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Friday {day 232}


Good Friday.
I’ve always struggled with that name.
I KNOW what’s good about it. Jesus chose me. He chose separation from God (for a time) so that I didn’t have to live life apart from God. He took my punishment. He gave me life.
But today is dark. We crucified our Savior. We jeered and poked and laughed as He died. And he asked forgiveness on our behalf. How dark is sin that we could ridicule the One who chose our lives over His, even knowing that we would choose other things over Him…maybe every other thing over Him. On Good Friday I always feel overwhelmed with gratitude, but also deep sadness at how dark this world was (and is) to crucify the One who loves us most.
Today felt especially not good. People that I love got unimaginably hard news. As I tried to process through pieces of this news today, I just kept thinking the same things over and over. “This isn’t right. It isn’t fair.” And then I realized that God, who knit these people together and loves them enough to give His Son, He might be feeling that same way. He, who created perfection, knows what He intended for us to experience, and (I believe) feels an even deeper sadness for the darkness we experience.
I am thankful for Jesus’s suffering- I could never earn that gift.
I am also grateful that His grace, mercy and care are abundant in our suffering. Some days it’s all that gets me through.

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bright spot {day 221}

Today was tough. Woke up to news of a college classmate’s passing. I did not know him especially well, but I do know that he was kind and generous and young. He was just so young. We also got bad news about Drew’s grandma tonight. A couple of weeks ago she was diagnosed with lymphoma and started chemo. After some big complications last week, they found out today that it has also spread to her brain. Today just feels so heavy. And I HATE cancer.




So today I am grateful for these fresh flowers-a needed bright spot in a cold, snowy, dreary, heavy day. Sometimes all you need to make it though a really crappy day is the reminder that this darkness and heaviness is not all there is. Spring will come. Thank you, Jesus.