“The grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment. It is the fruit of a thousand choices.” (Nancy L. DeMoss)
I woke up early this morning to the very shocking and sad news that a close high school friend, Mark Jones, went to be with His Savior. He was one of the best people I have ever known. Kind, gracious, loving, wise, and more. His velvety voice ministered to me (and many others) as he shared it on Facebook each Sunday morning. I am so sad. It’s only been two weeks since we talked on Facebook messenger and I told him I was praying for him.
My first thought is that I am not going to post this today. I just sit in bed and cry. For a while. In the moments that pass, I recall what Ann Voskamp calls “the hard thanks,” giving thanks when you don’t want to, when it’s difficult, offering sacrificial thanks. It almost seems inappropriate. But deep in my spirit, I hear a voice that reminds me that it is right and good and healing. Ann says, “Lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty.” Mark was a gift to me. My life would not have been as good without him. Thanksgiving truly wells up in my soul as I think of him. His mantra was “God is good all the time. All the time God is good.” He was beautiful.
So dive deep and continue with me on this never-ending journey of giving words to the gifts that have been strewn to us by a generous hand and loving heart, treasures from a God who longs to speak His presence into our very souls (and today, they seem way out-of-place because I wrote this yesterday, but still I give thanks).
- BurgerQue Enjoyed a mouth-watering burger on a salad (no bun because, of course, I am skipping the carbs on an endless venture to lose five pounds…don’t worry, I ate a brownie for dinner on Sunday and gained it right back). Best part was sharing this meal with good friends.
- Rachel’s piano and voice recital (she’s only been playing for one year, but she killed it…check it out here) #proudmama #samsmithlaymedown
- A husband who is loved by and loves his children. (huge shout out to Allen Goetz) “My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” (Clarence B. Kelland)
- Our power-washer (with the help of Jared) that made our deck sparkly-clean.
- Getting the last child graduated from high school. WHEW! (snarky aside: we did not need seven speeches from people who hope that what they say in their three minutes of fame will change a life forever…wow, that didn’t sound thankful) #gowatchunghillswarriors
- This morning’s rain storm and the happy dance I am doing because I don’t have to water all the hanging plants and deck planters. Yippee!
- A text from a good friend reminding me of her love and thankfulness for me. All just became well in my soul!
I would love to be drawn me into your world and the treasures you have been given. Please comment below. We will share the easy and the hard thanks together. One thing does not cancel out the other. They just sit there next to each other. I am off to cry some more.