Today is full of feelings of gratitude. I am so grateful that God brings these days into my life often, and I just pray that I hold to them even in my inevitable valley moments.
After nearly a quarter of a century living in the flat coastal plains of sub-tropical Texas, my dream of returning to northern climes, to seasons, to mountains and valleys, has come true.
Reconnecting with nature is a way that I feel God’s spirit so keenly. At just a bit more than a dozen miles from 500 miles of mountain trails—to lofty peaks overlooking a lush valley, to steep trails leading to glorious woods and waterfalls—I am literally as close to heaven as I can imagine. Over the summer I’ve hiked about 30 miles, not a lot considering what many do, but I’ve enjoyed even the toughest climbs when I am met with the glory of a 90 foot tall waterfall.
So thankful for this boundless beauty.
Hubby and I are settling nicely into our new community, each finally ensconced into volunteer jobs and a schedule of housekeeping, social times, hobby pursuits, reading, exploration, together time, and establishing ourselves at a new church. The “raison d’etre” is beginning to gel.
Grateful for the challenges of new work, people, things.
As I begin to establish my doctors in town, I am please so far with the small-town friendliness. My RA is under control, and the new rheumatologist is talking about cutting back on my meds to see if perhaps I really am in remission. A fervent prayer to be sure. “Normal” medical tests all are coming back with good results for both hubby and me.
Grateful for health.
I’m still looking for ways to see how meld my varied interests into a way to give back to people. Sometimes there are hints that somehow foreign travel and languages, education, yoga, and writing may all find an expression. The possibilities are limitless.
One volunteer job involves helping a group of church ladies bake for an annual festival. I’m lending a hand; they are teaching me how to create wonderful Greek treats. Thousands and thousands of treats! They guard them like Cerberus; it’s rare I actually get to sample the wares. A good thing.
My newest volunteer gig is in a national park. I am literally in heaven as I “commute” into the serene beauty of the mountains and watch the temperature gauge on the car drop with the altitude. I get to learn more about the discoveries and hiking trails, so as to direct others to marvelous experiences. I haul out my very rusty French to direct the francophones (praying they don’t get lost!). My view from the desk out the door, in my un-air-conditioned work space is spectacular.
Grateful for life and energy, gifts and talents, I am made fearfully and wonderfully by God. Feeling blessed beyond belief!
Hubby is out of town today, and I decided to play hooky on church. I had “church” yesterday in the mountains, and now here on my back deck. I listened to praise and worship music as I watched the beautiful hummingbirds and cardinals and butterflies come to feed in our back yard. I pulled out my guitar, which hasn’t seen the light of day for years, and plucked out a few tunes. I’m on my third cup of coffee and need to decaffeinate now.
Thank you God, that I can worship you wherever!
God has placed into my life some old friends—one a work colleague from 20 years ago, another a high school friend from 45 years ago (with whom I’ve not had contact for over 20 years). Each is a single woman over 60, with their own challenges. Loneliness and alone-ness is a significant concern. As we talk, I am drawn to extend friendship and hospitality, and I’m grateful my husband is willing to as well. God uses this to help me see that in all of our messy married imperfections, we are together, we have each other’s backs, we are safe. This will not always be the case, for one of us is likely to die before the other, possibly in the next decade or two. I can’t let a day go by without being grateful for what we have.
Lord, help me to daily be grateful for the blessings you’ve given me. Forgive me for being ungrateful. Allow me to freely extend blessings, friendship, hospitality, and love to others.
The thunder rolls in the distance and I watch a darkening sky with awestruck wonder. We have watched many storms brew and roll in from the safety of our sheltered back deck. The leaves begin stirring more frantically, the trees sway drunkenly, to herald the impending storm. God’s glory is in this storm, frightening though it may be.
God, you are in the mountains, You are in the valleys. You in the good and bad times, the happy and sad times.
Blessed by the name of the Lord!
Challenge: What’s your psalm today? Write it out!