Grateful? Oh, yes! | Five Minute Friday

It’s Friday — time to write with absolute abandon.
Why? Because it’s Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo’s and
that’s what hundreds of us do on Friday.

So time to start the ticker and write for
a full five minutes full-out without editing or correcting
on just one word —
GRATEFUL

BEGIN.

Where to begin to write about the word “grateful.”

Back to day one. That would be the day my parents taught me to give thanks for meals and at bedtime. Then when I started to school, we could still pray in our public schools and we did. At graduations and football games (yes, football games) and other athletic events, always an invocation and/or prayer.

College days came along and attending a Methodist-supported college meant prayer was everywhere. Nothing new about that for me. Until…I became my own person.

Got a job, had a paycheck, bought my first car which meant I could come and go at will.

Then I married the first time to someone and into a church which didn’t allow the women to pray aloud. Somehow that shut down my thanksgiving and gratitude. Days grew dark, dank, oppressive, unhappy and finally I did the one thing I hoped I’d never do–I filed for divorce. I became a single mom raising a son on her own.

Funny timing but thanksgiving came into my life about then for my leaving was heralded by God speaking to me through a song on a Christian radio station I was playing while I got ready for work. A station not allowed by my ex-husband, a song he would have decried, but it had a message for me in it. And I listened.

STOP. But I can’t …

Fast forward almost 11 years and God’s blessings had been many and continued to be many. I met my second husband, we married, and on weekends joined our families to enjoy three children. That was 32, almost 33 years ago, and the blessings continue in various forms. Some happy, some sad. You do remember we are to be grateful in good times and bad, right?

When Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, came out, I rushed along with thousands of others to get my copy. I read it and then I shelved it knowing that Ann is an awesome writer and she had been successful with this book. Then one day I read it again, and that’s when I began counting my gifts along with the community of counters at A Holy Experience, Ann’s blog. I counted and posted regularly on Mondays until disruption in our lives in 2011 took us on a wild roller coaster ride of family caregiving and I counted in my head but didn’t write out a list.

Now, I count on the page, Counting One Thousand Gifts, here on my blog. Not every day, not even every week as you’ll see, but I remember what I’m grateful for and even though I tell Him consistently when things happen, I still try to update my list when time allows.

(Links and image added after five minutes were up)

Lots of folks come together to do this every Friday.
Want to read what some of them have written today?
Click on the image below and enjoy!

5 minute friday

 

Waiting with Hope | Multitudes on Mondays

1st advent hopeIt has begun . . . the waiting.

The waiting that is hope.

The waiting that is Advent.

Within that aura of waiting, we experience many things — anticipation, expectation, preparation, a longing for that which is to come.

Today we have an advantage over those who waited centuries ago. They sat in the darkness of captivity and longed for the Light of the World to come. Their hope rested in the promises and words of prophets like these found in Jeremiah:

The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill my gracious promise with the people of Israel and Judah. In those days and at that time, I will raise up a righteous branch from David’s line, who will do what is just and right in the land. In those days, Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is what he will be called: The Lord Is Our Righteousness.

~ Jeremiah 33:14-16 (CEB)

And so we begin to wait . . . for the coming, for the Christ Child, for the hope that He is.

Can you wait?

How will you prepare?

What do you hope for?

advent word cloud

* * *

This blog is where I regularly list my thanks for gifts recognized in the previous week, and so I continue today:

777. Safe travel to and from our Thanksgiving celebration with family.

778. Time with family and friends gathered around the dinner table.

779. The knowledge that God love us unconditionally.

780. The knowledge that it is He who made us and we are His.

781. The knowledge that He will prevail in all circumstances.

782. News that my brother is recovering from a stroke last Tuesday.

783. News that our granddaughter made a safe move back home over the weekend.

784. News that our 15-year old grandson has been selected to travel to
New York the first of the year with his high school’s honor society.

785. For our daughter-in-law Amy for her caring and compassion.

786. For our church home.

787. For our Pastor Mary.

* * *

If you’d like to learn more about counting your gifts or Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, hop on over to Multitudes on Mondays.