I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD—
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD.
Psalm 116:17-19, NIV1984
It's March 12 already, and I've returned to the blog as promised. It was a good thing I heeded God's "leave it," because I'm worn out from the busy of the last two weeks (and change) even without tending to the table here. (Why am I surprised God knew what He was doing?)
The Bible study meetings are complete, and I'm praying about whether to continue with the next five-week book. Dave released me Thursday to continue my therapy regimen at home. (Yippee!) The proverbial ball is rolling in another project that needed some no-excuses time. God is answering your prayers for me in the silent days. Thank you.
It surprised me to discover that the part of the posting routine I most missed was these simple Monday offerings. Although my practice of journaling gratitude long preceded any knowledge of Ann Voskamp, although incorporating her "counting graces" idea preceded the blog, this Monday practice of corporate thanksgiving adds a unique blessing I didn't fully realize until a fortnight away from it.
As we, the gratitude community, share in lifting words of thanks and praise to God, we share worship and grow in our knowledge of Him and each other. Though of course the lists share common ground from time to time, each stands distinctive as the thumbprint of its author. Through the corporate practice of gratitude, I learn who drinks tea and who hears love in needles and yarn; I discover sister bookworms and sisters in chronic illness; I find out whose homes are in quarantine and whose are bursting at the seams with plans and visitors.
Through hearing your gratitude, I begin to know the community; through the community members, I appreciate the diversity and beauty of God's handiwork in each of us; through appreciating His handiwork, I lift my heart to Him in worship. And worship is not a spectator sport, is it? Nor is it a solo endeavor. It's as if all our hundreds of gratitude lists commingle and rise like incense to the Triune God. May they be a sweet aroma to Him.
Without further ado, let me come off the bench and rejoin the thanking, praising, eucharisteo community with a brief glimpse at ways God has loved me in these recent days. Let us give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever (Ps. 136:1)!
~finishing this second round of physical therapy appointments
~relief of knee pain
~finishing the course (though not all the homework yet) for Mercy Triumphs, the new women's Bible study on James
~happy surprise of tea prepaid by the stranger preceding me in the drive-through
~so many shades of green
~Crayola big-box color returning to the landscape: white, pink, lavender, lilac, fuchsia, yellow in all their variations
~finches returning to the feeder
~text message prayers
~grace for the undone tasks
~the instant fellowship of prolonged illness and mutual prayer
~hoping for one another
~change, signs of life and growth
~turning a beautiful new page in a friend-made calendar
~coffee and Spanglish in the home of a neighbor often encountered while walking our respective dogs
~hope and healing growing in a friend's life
~happy writing with a new pen recommended by a friend (such a fine point! who knew?)
~familiar stories, happy endings
~first steps towards a change in medical care
~filling out forms, reviewing the big picture
~Allen ill with cough and cold
~strength to give care and pick up slack
~protection from developing his cough
~back to his old self
~walking into the store from 70F, walking out to 50F (no, I wasn't in there that long)
~a quiet day at home with no appointments or calls after a demanding, busy several weeks
~one last treatment to try for lupus chest pain
(from the gratitude list, #5100-5127)