Once upon a time…
The air feels crisp and clean today and the leaves are crunchy and fallen. The blue sky bends low to touch my mountain and I exhale for just a minute as I thank God for all of this.
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
-Henry Ward Beecher
My soliloquy of adoration needs a voice so that others will know just how praise-worthy God is. Hiding within the sonnet or the poem or the psalm, is a language learned only by divine discipline and to keep it inside is to defraud the world of the truth as I know it. It is a truth that should be shared like a warm meal on a cold night. And as each course makes way for the next, the unfolding of the main dish is presented… and the famished eat.
I’ve heard that good things come to those who wait but I loathe this saying because the waiting is hard. But, in the end when God has spoken and the way has been made plain, my heart knows its prayers have been answered. And as He makes a way for praise, I am reminded that the path to it can be like a knife being stabbed in the heart, while at other times it is breathtaking and lovely and calm….and I should praise Him for both.
When a fork in the road presents itself, I ask myself which path I will take. Sometimes the path that looks the prettiest is not the safest. God sets before me the path of life and the path of death, and I am given a choice. When the path of life looks messy I want to hightail it out of here, but doing so only leads to the path of death. Moreover, the road to glory begins and ends with praise, and when I wander and wonder and travel with a passport that reads my native land as being Heaven – I will need to carry a heart full of thanks and a mouth full of exultation.
Sometimes the messy IS the beautiful! When I can recognize it as so, I am liberated from the negative and ugly ungratefulness that I am tempted to wear like a gaudy pink chiffon dress on prom night, and instead I put on the garment of praise and wear it with the simplicity and beauty of a woman of God.
And I watch and pray…
My Enemy prowls the border of my land, my home, my mind. I feel his cold breath and he is patiently waiting for a doorway into my world. This ancient devil has memorized my every weakness and I can sense the nefarious plans that are being laid out for my destruction. But as his red eyes stare and he grins cold, and as he is waiting for a permanent home within my heart – a lush living quarters, a room with a view – I remember to praise. And as I do, heaven is summoned and angels are dispatched and I am covered with silver wings from up there.
Little faith grows big when the heart worships. And praise sends me soaring.
I am awake. I am breathing. I am the daughter of a heavenly Father who looks at me with eyes that are so full of love and acceptance… and I don’t deserve it. There will never be a love to compare with this, because nobody else will ever send their own Son to the cross for me…for me.
I have a husband that God loves me through…the Christ-like love I am shown on a daily basis runs deep like a river and its waters never stop hydrating the drought that attempts to parch my very life. I am the wife to a straight-up man of God. And I have a school-girl crush, a hard-core romance, and a true-blue friendship with this Boyfriend/Lover/Best friend, and the adversities we face – they baptize us with waters of devotion and patience and we do this life thing…TOGETHER.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
– G.K. Chesterton
My once pretty couch is defiled by little hands wielding markers that were supposed to wash off…but they didn’t and now I want to file a $350,000 lawsuit against Crayola for damages and emotional distress. But instead, I thank God, because all of those purple marks on that couch – they are evidence that my name is Mommy. And I love that. The perfectionist in me wants to scream out in anguish when I look around at the lovely chaos, but I can live with all of this because it is perfectly messy, beautifully chaotic, and poetic justice is being served for all of the times I tortured my poor Mama with all of my own disorganized piles of “stuff” when I was a child. Life is a gift and I want to praise Jesus for the dirty dishes that never ever end and are always crusty with ketchup, and for the hands to be able to clean them. Hi, my name is Mommy, and, well,…I. Am. Blessed.
As the night draws to a close and the tub is filling with the warm water and my one little candle is lit on the side table, I can sink down into the waters of gratitude and wash away all of the stress and worries and frustrations from L-I-F-E, and this posture of praise brings me a spirit of rest. It’s all good because He is good. And to that I “amen” out loud.
“Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray, that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts.”