"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lent is a process...

SO, I missed Sunday AGAIN. But I'm still grateful! Obviously, these Sunday Gratitude postings are not in order of priority, but they are inspired. This week I am particularly grateful for GRACE! That ultimately means that I'm grateful for my salvation, yes. But even more than that, I'm grateful to be a child of God. I'm glad that HE is my Father, my Judge, and my Redeemer. I'm grateful that God sets the standards for me, and gives me GRACE when I fail, just like a Father does with His child.

Sometimes I feel guilty, because I take for granted the amazing gift I've been given. My heart has belonged to the Father since I was so young, it's part of who I am. I can't look back on a time "before" I became a Christian. I was raised in the church, by a wonderful loving mother. I was Christened at 3 months old. I asked my mom if I could be baptized again when I was 8, and my pastor agreed to do so (even though I don't think it's technically Methodist doctrine to re-baptize someone). And the Holy Spirit entered my life in rather dramatic fashion when I was 14. In the [paraphrased] words of Brother Jim (according to my mother), 'I've never seen the Holy Spirit get hold of a child the way He did Jill.' I don't say this to seem Holier than Thou or brag, but to illustrate that God has always been in my life in a very real way. And for that I'm truly grateful.

Now, I admit to you that at times in my life I walked close to His side, and others I've been further away. But His presence never left me, and I'm constantly convicted and drawn back closer when I stray. Conviction is not at all bad. It's the loving correction of the Father, and I cherish it. Like any parent-child relationship, discipline shows the child you care about them enough to set limits for them. I'm grateful for God's conviction, knowing that with it comes His GRACE.

God loves us enough to walk with us, comfort us, guide us, convict and correct us. He loves us enough to cherish us, and count each hair on our heads (even the gray ones!). God loves us enough to create us, and draw us into His presence through the sacrifice of His only Son. Most of all, more than anything, I'm grateful to be a child of God.

Monday, March 8, 2010

MONDAY Gratitude?

I was SO BUSY Sabbathing yesterday that I totally forgot to blog. Lenten FAIL. But Lent is a process, not automatic perfection.

This week my MONDAY Gratitude is FRIENDS you can count on in a pinch, or small impalement. Regular readers know that we found this wonderful, dream of a home, because some of our BCFF (best couple friends forever) the Oakleys live up the street. Meghan came to small group and told me there was this super cute house that just got finished being remodeled that we needed to go look at. The rest is history.

So today, I had the morning off to make up for working over last week. I thought to myself, "I can bang out this simple cafe curtain for the bathroom before my afternoon meeting. I was having to fight with the fabric to keep it feeding in a straight line when I heard the machine make the CRUNK noise it does when it breaks a needle. Then I looked down and saw this:


Then I walked in circles for a few seconds flapping my arms like a big sissy girl saying in a high pitched voice, "I have an emergency! I have an emergency!" THEN I ran out into the street, flagged down a sweet old lady that lives a few doors down across the street, and asked her to drive me to Meghan's house at the top of the hill.

Once Meghan finally answered the door (HAHA, she saw the strange car and thought it was a sales person!), just knowing she was going to help me caused me to calm down and stop crying. At that point it really didn't hurt that much, I was more scared than anything. We totally "pulled a Debbie"* before going to the hospital. I waited for her to change & brush her teeth, then she drove me down the hill and put the dogs up while I dressed and brush my teeth. I did NOT want to go to the ER in my JJs.

Sweet Meghan called ahead to the ER where she works and I feel I got a little special treatment for the hook-up. ;-) I do appreciate her sacrificing her day off from work, when she was supposed to be working on homework for school, to help out a friend in need. I mean she had to go TO WORK on her day off!

So today, on this MONDAY Gratitude I'm grateful for ALL of our wonderful FRIENDS that God has blessed us with. If you knew how many wonderful people that we call friends, well there isn't a blog post big enough to hold them all. If you're reading this, you're probably one of them!!

*Our friend Debbie lied to her hubby after she started having contractions and down played it so that she was able to take a shower and fix up before delivering their 2nd son! He believed her so much he almost left for work before she fessed up that her water had broken!