Keeping a record of thankfulness is a chronicle of more than just thank-you’s. It’s a record of days and memories. It’s a remembrance of deep gratitude to a God who gives me one more day to enjoy His mercy and grace. I can’t believe how much there is to be thankful for. I look around and see many reasons, even just physical ones, that He gives me. I am blessed beyond belief. To have what I have– is what the impoverished of our world dream of having. I have a shelter, I have clothing, and I do not have to worry about my next meal. That itself is grace, don’t you think? I should be astounded, on my knees, every day, for water and bread, but no– he even gives me meat and fresh fruit. I don’t have to search for shelter from the storm, from the elements. I don’t want to take any of this for granted. Who knows when or if all these things could be removed. And, grace teaches me and whispers in my ear, that even if I didn’t have any of these things– that I should still be on my knees in humble gratitude to a God, simply because He deserves it, it is because of who He is, He is worthy of praise, and each breath is a reason to give thanks.
The past days my heart has been heavy for Alabama, my “home”. I live far away now, but that is still my “home”.
156. Thankful for a merciful God who spared the lives of family in the south (my parents, and sister & family) and many friends in Alabama. But while I am thankful for His mercy on my family, so many were not so fortunate, who lost loved ones and homes.
157. For the sound of birds singing on a quiet, still peaceful morning.
158. For shelter… I have a dwelling, a roof, and windows, and walls, heat and electricity. Thanks to God for His goodness!
159. For food, and abundance of it. We aren’t hungry, we have more than we need, and we enjoy a variety of the bounty that grows from the ground and He makes available. Lasagna, baked chicken, rice, potatoes, salad, banana bread, pizza, etc… these are some of the foods we’ve been able to eat this week. How good God is!
160. For clothing and shoes to cover our feet. So many children and adults in this world do not even have shoes, and wear threadbare clothes.
161. For stories of God’s grace in the midst of the tornado, for lives spared, for evidences of His mercy even in the midst of perilous circumstances. For a boy sucked up 30 feet then lowered down with no major injuries. For people found in closets and safe in basements. For people praising and thanking God. For neighbors and friends reaching out and helping one another.
162. For a friend who took me as a guest to Costco and a fun time. I was able to stock up on, guess what, more food, for growing kids. I’m amazed at how blessed I am.
163. For little babies who smile. Such smiles are infectious.
164. Watching a group of 7 and 8 year old boys playing soccer, rumbling in the grass, laughing, and getting muddy in the play.
165. Watching the first graders recite the “states and capitals” song. The joy of learning the song and then being able to recite it all together, the excitement of the morning and anticipation of singing the song in front of an audience.
166. Watching my ten year old in his 4th grade play– he played the part of Hephaestus, the son of Zeus, in a short skit, called “Pandora’s Box”. What a delight to see the children act out the skit, and then at the end, to see that while ugly things come out of the box (death, disease, greed, violence, etc.), to be able to also see that “hope” comes out, too. Then the 4th graders all together recited the entire chapter or Romans 8!! Did I mention that it was the entire chapter!? I’m not sure I could do that. When young, children can memorize quite easily. So beautiful, such a blessing, and the scripture will stay with them for the rest of their years.
167. That God can fill up any tornadic hole in any heart with his love. That I am one of those.
168. That there is hope through any storm, IN the one who can calm the storm, the one who can control winds, storms, seas. That with Him there can be peace and hope in the storms of life.
169. That the storms of life bring us to our knees and give us the perspective we need to see reality. Thankful for my storms. I don’t like the storms, but am thankful that He draws me closer to Him, works on my character, all because of the storms.
170. That I can write poetry again, that for years my pen felt stuck except for a few sporadic words here and there, but now, the words are unleashing.
171. That I can write, my hands work, and I have a computer to type on.
172. That seeing the wind reminds me of God, and His Holy Spirit, and that He is at work and moving the hearts of men.
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