I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I’m praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I’m grateful that I’m heard.
As we begin to wind down this year – I mean, we’re within a couple of months of the New Years Eve 2018 – it has me feeling so reminiscent and thankful. Thankful of the highs and even, yes, thankful of those lows that have occurred this year. It’s also ironic that as I write this I happened upon the current edition of Magnolia Journal, Joanna Gaines’ quarterly magazine, where the theme was gratitude. So needless to point out I am with all the feels today and feel as though God is putting on my heart to share out these feelings of gratitude.
In church is past Sunday we ended a series on Jonah and his experience with running from God. Yes, we’re all familiar with the Bible story of him getting caught in a storm then being swallowed by a great fish. But, by the end of this message on Sunday I found that, albeit a short book in the Bible, it’s implications are great.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
God never gave up on Jonah – he was never forsaken – regarless of how many times he ran or made really poor decisions. He always pursues us and that’s a love worth having.
Peace within the Chaos
This message was a reminder of how grateful I am for God’s love – even when I put Him up on the shelf. That His love is enduring and that although really shitty things happen to us, around us, or in the world – God is right there with us in it. His presence may not be directly felt each time I feel overwhelmed or saddened with life, but knowing He’s there – almost in the background holding a ‘You can do it, Kelly!” sign – gives me hope that I, indeed, can survive it. And I always do.
However, there are those moments where I can feel the peace – feel Him calming those raging waters around me and that’s something. God doesn’t promise to free me of my pain or suffering, however He presents me with opportunities to seek Him, to yoke up with Him, in those moments and, in turn, experience the peace that He so dearly promises us all. Life will always occur, beat us down, give us extreme joys and happiness, as well as tragic and heartbreaking lows.
But the greatest thing we tend to miss is He doesn’t intend on us doing it alone.
It’s our attitude towards those things that makes the biggest difference. So, how do we cope and deal with life’s circumstances? For me, it lies in gratitude.
Gratitude doesn’t always have to appear as large, grandiose thank you’s. Gratitude, for me, comes and goes and can be experienced within the little things, too. Here are a few things lately that has my heart and soul overflowing with gratitude this week…
I FEEL GRATEFUL FOR…
+ Inspiring authors like J.K Rowling through Dumbledore and Harper Lee in Atticus Finch. These paternal figures have a lot of wisdom and understanding of the world and who we should all be within it.
+ The various documentaries that touch on really challenging, but enlightening, topics. Some of my favorites are Lisa Ling’s docu-series This Is Life, Heroin(e), The Keepers, Into the Abyss, Diana, Our Mother, and a more lighthearted Becoming Bond.
+ My church family. It’s always growing and I enjoy the connections I make through the MOMs group and small groups. I also am grateful for our lead Pastor who is always available to mentor and speak with me.
+ Creativity. I am blessed to be able to create pretty things and have a means to share them with others.
+ My husband who supports me in my creative endeavors – even if they fail or evolve.
+ The challenges of raising my 18 month old son. In this week’s MOMs group we discussed how we seek peace within the chaos of family life and one mom shared that she reminds herself of the loneliness she felt before her children. So, whenever her kids are acting out or she’s feeling overwhelmed she tries to remember to lean into the chaos and be grateful for it.
+ This blog and the online community to share our passions, experiences, and life with one another. To have a safe place to connect and network with other amazing women, creatives, and writers. I am always in awe of what my blogger friends are able to achieve professionally and personally and am inspired by the risks they take.
+ You. Whoever you are. I see you, I hear you, and although we may not have officially met yet – or even in person…I am grateful for you because you’re here on this little blog of mine reading my heart.
Are you with all the feels like I am? What has you feeling grateful this week?