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Monday, September 23, 2013

Gratitude

I stood behind them in church on Sunday. His neck was deeply wrinkled from the passing of many years. I wondered if he’d worked in the sun… maybe a farmer who drove a tractor or planted many, many fields. Her hair was gray and she stood with a hunched back. My mind went to many of years of washing, folding, cleaning dishes, drying, putting away. Her cooking is probably the best around because she’s cooked more meals than I can ever imagine. And I  thought of children that they’ve probably raised in church and grandchildren that they love more than life itself.

We were asked to stand to sing a hymn before we prayed and they passed the offering plate. He stood first and then helped her to her feet, and as they stood, shoulder to shoulder singing to their God, they held hands.

I could not sing for the tears. The sweetest expression of worship that I’d seen in a long time was not from one with hands lifted high singing with all of their might, but of quiet song lifted to their heavenly Father as they sang together hand in wrinkled hand.

I could not help but to think of my own marriage and the blessing that it is to me. I sometimes think that 17 years is not too long and that we have so many years to come. Then the reality set in  that those 17 years are like a blur to me. Do I slow down and cherish the time that we have?

On the way home from church we held hands in the car. His wisdom is beyond mine in so many ways. His love of Christ is a gift to me that I never thought would be so dear, but I am eternally grateful for this treasure hidden in his heart and lived out in his gentle, quiet ways. He’s always thinking about how he can honor God in the everyday and what that looks like fleshed out.

Until this year of God opening my eyes I think I have just been living. I’ve seen blessings here and there for all of my life, but not like this. It’s almost like God speaks so deeply to my soul that I really don’t have words to explain how they change me, make me different, cause me to think, pray and smile from within. Before, I thought that I hungered for God. No. I did not hunger. I wanted to know Him and His character. I wanted to praise Him, but no. I did not, from the depths of my being want to see Him like I do now. My heart quickens as I sense Him and I know, without a doubt, when He is near and it makes me catch my breath.

The gratitude that I feel has me on the edge of tears every day now. The sunrise, the clouds moving in the sky, the leaves falling, the temperature dropping, the abilities that my child DOES have, pictures of the past, thoughts of the future… holding hands. He is changing me. And I am eternally grateful.

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