Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Waves of Gratitude

We have lived in Phoenix for over two months now and we have not seen one raindrop. Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining about the weather. Everyday has been gorgeous-sunny, warm, and no humidity. However, this morning I awoke to cloudy skies and a cool breeze caressing the palm trees in my back yard. Now I sit and am looking out admiring a stunning down pour of playful rain. I stepped out onto the back patio and the scent was unlike any I have ever smelled. It has such a fresh and clean scent as though I could just get a bar of soap and shower in it. A wave of gratitude washed over me as I stood and soaked in the beauty of the moment. Now it is thundering. What an amazing sound ! Majestic roars!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. I have to admit the week has been a bit hectic and my home has been a bit choppy-like an active ocean. The children have been rowdy as the holidays are approaching. I have been trying to get to the store to buy the food for our family feast, plus we have had sickness in the house. But now at this moment I am caught up in a wave of gratitude and I want to stay upon it and ride it out.

The holidays can be such a time of unrest. It is so easy to get caught up in my list of things to do that I have no peripheral vision to see others that are hurting and in need. Isn't it amazing how easily this can happen? We get so focused on our problems and they become like giants in our line of vision when in fact they are really minuscule compared to what others are going through.

Just this past week, several of my close friends have just received troubling news or are going through a time of distress. One of my dear friends has been having health problems herself and just found out her brother is ill with stage four cancer. Another dear friend just found out she has a tumor and another precious woman in my life lost her baby to miscarriage. My heart has been occupied by these other's trials. I know what it is like to suffer pain during the holidays and it is excruciating. This year I have decided to find waves of gratitude and to look outside of my own little circle to encourage and think of others. It is a difficult season to really give of ourselves with the present state of the economy. The nature of the human soul is to just close up within ourselves and to protect our own. However, we must reflect upon a time when a man lived on this earth for a short 33 years. When threats surrounded Him, He gave. When death knocked on His heart's door He gave. And when He released His last breath, He poured out everything He had that we may gain hope and life.

For this reason, may we press forward and follow His example. Ride the waves of gratitude and find a way to give. Your heart will swell with joy and you will find life that you have never lived.

The photos in this post were taken here in the Phoenix area. Some dear friends came from Atlanta to visit and she took these photos. This is how the terrain of this area looks-rough yet lovely. There are rocks galore,rugged mountains,and hard ground. The plant life is mostly cactus and various sorts of low trees and shrubs. However, the rough beauty carries a message. When the ground is dry, a unique charm still springs forth. You're caught breathless and you draw strength from a place within you that you may have forgotten. Whatever you are facing at this moment and whatever desert you find yourself in, take courage and know that life expresses itself in the most vulnerable of places. You are not without hope. Ride the waves of gratitude and travel to the heart of another this Thanksgiving and share your hidden blooms. Happy Thanksgiving!

Morning Bagel:What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks:to sing an anthem to You, The High God!To announce Your love each daybreak,sing Your faithful presence all through the night. Psalm 92:1-2(The Message Bible)

Thanksgiving Hope: Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness,everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It is wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message Bible)

Daily Hug: It is hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving once again. Most of us are looking forward to time with family and friends, sharing in feasts and the lives of our loved ones. There are many unknowns which face us in the times we live. However, we can have peace and joy in the midst of an unstable world. Many have lost their jobs. Some are ill. Some are in distress for many reasons. What about you? Maybe you are facing a tremendous disappointment and you are finding it difficult to give thanks. It is okay.You are not alone. Maybe you are not struggling with anything major but just feel the weight and exhaustion that the holidays sometime bring. Regardless where you are, take some moments this Thanksgiving to occupy your heart with all that God has given you. Claim Philippians 4 as your strength for the season.

Lord, I bring my heart to you. You know exactly all that is within me. I lay my worries before you as an offering because there is nothing I can hide from You. You see my stress. You feel my worries. You are so close that every breath I inhale is your very exhale. You have given me life through all You have given. As I spend time with loved ones this holiday and as I fill my belly with wonderful food, fill my heart with You. Displace any worry in my life with Your presence Lord and spread your peace through my life to others this holiday season. In Jesus Name. Amen


kblair said...

Fabulous post. I seem to be surrounded with people in the midst of unthinkable trials and suffering. I sometimes feel a tinge of guilt as I get caught up in my "stuff" that pales in comparison with what others are going through.
I am so thankful that I have such an amazing God to rely on through the tough times. I tell people any chance I get about how faithful and reliable He is.
I am thankful for you. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Ange said...

Thank you Karla for always encouraging me here and for reading my blogs. It means very much to me.