Oct 022016
 

rainLotion bottles. The ones with a pump. They always leave an inch of lotion in the bottom. My habit for years, when sweetheart requests, I cut the bottom off the bottle so she can use the last of the lotion. This morning? my last slice around the bottle slips, I make an unplanned incision in the base of my thumb, I drop the bottle and lotion splashes everywhere! Large globs adorn the mirror, the counter, the wall. An oilslick of lotion soaks into the rug.  As I start to clean up, blood still dripping from my thumb, another finger runs into sweetheart’s still hot curling iron for a nice tissue-sizzling burn! As I chill one finger and bandage the other, I’m thinking, this is a small scale version of my life right now!

Someone asked me at church last weekend how I was doing. I pondered how to answer. This year hasn’t been perfect. I have experienced betrayal and falsehood and weakness that have caused me pain. I have felt discouraged, disillusioned, disheartened, distrust.  And yet that is not all of the picture!

Early this morning, before the sun, I enjoyed the sound of the first rain of the season as it gently descended on our valley. The smell of the dust being washed from the air, the sound of a million rain drops touching a thirsty earth, the view of the cloud-enshrouded mountains from my office window, these things reminded me of one simple truth- God’s unfailing and all-covering love for me. No matter what drought I experience, no matter what trials I suffer, His love covers me.

I have been reminded of a few things this year. That [profit] Margin without a nonnegotiable Mission that drives all decisions and actions, is dead. That valuing people above all else is the example my Jesus expects me to follow. That life is not at all about position and power.

So, what is my answer to, “How are you doing, Bob?” Not everything is just right in my life, but I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a God who loves me no matter what. I have a sweetheart who thinks the best part of her day is meeting me at home after work,. Daughters who still need and love me. Men in their lives who treat them with God-blessed love and respect. Friends and family, close and far, whom I can truly trust when the chips are down. The clarity to be able to enjoy a good cup of coffee during an early morning rain. And world peace? LOL? Not in my lifetime.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  -Phillipians 4:7 NIV.

Peace that others can’t understand. Peace that makes no sense. This is the gift God gives when we learn to lean on him no matter the circumstances.

So right now, with two bandages on my left hand, I look from my window and see a stray beam of sunlight that, in spite of air still in the 40’s, is powerful enough to steam the rain from my roof. Yeah, maybe everything isn’t the way I want it to be, but I’m ready to keep taking blind steps forward in the journey my God calls faith.

Jul 252015
 
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One of my favorite songs. It’s so easy to be distracted by junk around us and forget to celebrate and be thankful for a thousand little things that grace our lives. Today, this song reminded me of a thousand little things I am thankful for in Ruth, my girlfriend, my wife x32.

I’m thankful that when I get up far earlier than the sun, she knows it’s my quiet time and lets it be. I’m thankful when she squeals in delight when I bring her coffee in bed.

When she eats the burned part without me even getting a chance to split it. When she irons my shirt for the next day before I can get to it. When she brushes the dogs because she knows I ha…I mean, it’s not my favorite thing to do. When she installs the toilet paper rolling off the front of the roll…yessss.

I’m thankful that she is a tireless and uncomplaining roofing partner! I’m thankful she’s not scared of sawdust and dirt and getting her shoes and hands dirty. I’m thankful she knows the value of high quality leather, in work gloves, shoes, and yes, purses!

I’m thankful we can hold hands in public, even crossing the hospital campus. And that she enjoys pretending we are on a date when we grab a quick lunch at work. And that she laughs when I tell the girls at work that I’m off to each lunch with my girlfriend.

I always thank my God for you… -1 Corinthians 1:4 NIV.

I am thankful when I hear her laugh and laugh at something silly on TV! And for the fact that she finds my antics amusing… at least most of the time. And that neighborhood kids respond to her friendliness and interest.

I am thankful that she creates fans wherever she works. I am thankful that she is as happy to see me as I am to see her after a challenging day at work. I am thankful she finds rest in a good book.

These are things, yes mostly little things, that make my days joyful. Homework for you? Revel in little thankful things today. Don’t sweat the big stuff. Find ways to share your thankfulness for small things with those around you, a coworker, a boss,  a friend at church, a child of yours, a child of someone elses, your wife.

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