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so many reasons run through my mind right now as to why i waited so long to finish this journey.  so many thoughts, excuses, questions.

i had hoped that at the end of the first 30 days, there would be some answers.  or a new perspective.  or a deeper understanding of, well, everything.  or more accurately, a few small things.

here i am though, many days removed from what was actually day 30 and i dont think i’ve achieved any of those goals.  and im forced to ask if that means i’m a failure, or if it means something else.  something so infinitely simple, it’s almost laughable.

maybe i spent the last thirty days simply re-learning the simple truth of how much i have to be thankful for.  maybe that is what this whole journey was about.  maybe, just maybe, thats what this whole journey is about.  being aware of the people, moments, conversations, interruptions and tangents that bring color to an otherwise colorless existence.  being aware, and being thankful.

maybe i was simply supposed to learn to be thankful.

so tonight, i am thankful.  for the journey drawing to a close, and for the new one starting.  i am thankful for tangents, relationships, friends, family, conversations, interruptions and journeys that make life…. alive.

to close, i am thankful for rescue.

because i was rescued.  because there is a Rescuer.  and because He wants to rescue you too.

Matt Redman – You Alone Can Rescue

i know, i know – i’ve slacked in my quest with thirty days of thankfulness.  to be honest, it’s not because i’m not thankful.  it’s not.  some of it is forgetfulness on my part, and some of it is sheer willpower, or the lack thereof.  either way, i’m not quiting.  and i’m contemplating extending this to fourty days.

we’ll see:-).

i will tell you that as we draw so close to the end of this journey (as today is day 29), i know there is still a work to be done in me.  i know that i’m far from complete and that the roads i’ve been asked to walk as are as much for me to be changed as they are for me to impact change.

today, i am thankful for

mistakes.  for making them.  and realizing that i’m making them while i’m doing it.  i’m thankful that i live under Grace.  and that even in the midst of stupid, self centered decisions, there is mercy.  there may not be excuses, and i need to own up to the decisions i make, but there is mercy.  thank God for mercy.

answered prayers.  be it a 6 month review that puts a lot of my concerns to rest, or surgery on a loved one that went much better than it could have, i am thankful for answered prayers.

challenges. i dont know if i’ve mentioned that before, but i am thankful for challenges.  although, when you’re walking through them, it’s not always something you look at and express thankfulness about:-).  i’m currently reading who moved my cheese and it’s opening my eyes to the proper way to handle change.

kate.  if you’ve not had the pleasure to know kate, you’re missing out.  i remember the first time i met her; she was goofy, fun, vibrant, beautiful and full of life.  not to mention the smart glasses…. those were what won me over:-).  in the years i’ve been blessed to know her, she has challenged, blessed, inspired, encouraged and been a light to my life in more ways than i could possibly mention.  our stories are somewhat similar.  and knowing that there is someone out there who has walked some of the roads i too must walk…. well, sometimes it just means everything.  i am thankful for her, and to her.  and i am thrilled for her and her super lucky man:-).

worries. i’m not exactly thankful for my worries as much as i am thankful for the chances to learn, and relearn to trust in the One who has called me by His name.  who has called me, called us all to not worry about our life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.   But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

family. because they simply rock.

second chances.  i think that speaks for itself.

today, i am thankful for the simple truth that we were destined to fail.  that in the infinite wisdom of our Creator, of the Promise Maker, we were given the chance to fail.  and fail again and again and again.

as a society, we dont expect failure.  we dont allow for it in our lives, and we dont allow for it in others.  we’ve somehow grown to expect perfection.  if we have a less than stellar experience at a restaurant, we tell everyone.  if someone cuts us off in traffic, we’re livid.  and our unlucky coworkers feel wrath when we finally arrive at work.

we expect to be wowed by amazing feats of physical ability every time we watch an nfl game.

we expect the gold medal and if someone else wins, even fairly, we dont accept our position graciously.

but thats not reality.  none of it.

reality is that we’re each broken, hurting people.  living in a damaged society doing its best to hold itself together.  reality is that the world would be a better place if only we allowed each other the grace to fail and the mercy to pick each other back up.

reality is knowing that i am who i am because of the people in my life who let me fail forward.  who let me land on my face, and were there to pick up the pieces.

and if there is a balance to be had, its in realizing we all fail.  we all try, and we all fail.

and in understanding that, in accepting that, we truly find our ability to love others for who they are.  because it’s in accepting that simple truth, that the playing field is equalized.  and i think, just maybe, thats what this Cross is supposed to point us to.  that we’re all in need of grace and mercy.  that we all fail.  we were destined to.

so tonight, i am thankful for that simple truth.  because it points us to a much bigger truth.  a truth that has carried millions of souls over thousands of years.

tonight, i am also thankful, that we are also destined to get back up.

for you see, in that infinite wisdom, He knew we’d never make it on our own.  He knew that we’d fail.  so He sent His Son to live a perfect life, in our stead.

and it’s because of that perfect life, that perfect sacrifice, that we can extend grace and mercy to others.  it’s because we’ve first experienced failure, and the unconditional love that followed it, that we can offer the same to those around us.

God help us to live like Your Son did…..

today i am thankful for answered prayers.

for big issues not being so big.  for mercy and grace, and for people who let you fail.  not because they want you to fail, but because they want you to try….

for friends new puppas (hello tanka!)

and for knowing that next steps will be needed.

most of all, today i am thankful just to be alive.

and some days we’re reminded of how small we are.  and of how not-in-control we really are.  and how the smallest decisions at work can be so utterly wrong.

and some days we’re reminded, again, of how much we need grace.  of how imperfect we are.  of how our armor is stained and dented.  a patchwork of stories; stories of victories and failures, of mountain tops and dark valleys, stories of hard breaks and heartache.  stories, knit together with cords of mercy, grace, love and determination.

our armor, my armor, may not be beautiful.  it may not shine like the noonday sun.  it may not be high gloss or something you’d even want to try and polish…. but it tells you about who i am.

for tonight, im thankful for communion.  for the exchange that took place two thousand years ago.  the exchange of my sinfulness for His grace, my failures for His victory, my shortsightedness with His vision.  my pale excuses for hopes, for the dreams He dreams for me.

for tonight, im going to sleep knowing that the one who watches over me will neither slumber nor sleep, that He will watch over my life, both now and forevermore. (psalm 121)

and for that, i am thankful.

Stavesacre – Gold and Silver

I cannot believe i’ve let this slip by for a whole week!  I’ve not given up and i wont quit it though.

in no particular order, i am thankful for:

days off
i took thursday and friday off for some much needed refreshment.  it was wonderful.  i litterally did nothing on thursday.  ive not done nothing, in so long.  friday consisted of a trip to the zoo, a parking space that was majically appeared after we prayed for one, and lots of good times.

mobile computing.  it’s great:-)

especially the newest stavesacre, God bless stavesacre

amazingly enough, i put this on here.

conversations with friends youve not spoken with in a year
talks with friends that remind you of who you are, of why you’re doing what you’re doing.  that show you that it’s ok if your life looks more like the scragly, scrawny tree stubbornly clinging to the side of a cliff.  refusing to let go and give up.  talks with friends that remind you that its not always how pretty you flower, but how deep your roots go.

and that sometimes, the most beautiful thing in the world is to find a kindred spirit.  a heart that is bruised and bloodied, that has been through battles, that has seen victory and defeat…. but refuses to let go and give up.  reminders that it’s in finding those people that one sees how much beauty truly exists in life, in those around you, and in ones own self.

reminders of the promises made for me.
I know, i’ve said this one before, but it still fits.  and i need to be reminded of it, every day.

i was going to sit down and type up a cheerful blog about how thankful i am for my friends.  it was going to be short, sugary and for the most part, shallow.  i’ve decided against that.

dont get me wrong, i am incredibly thankful for my friends.  be they near, or far away… i am thankful for those who have allowed me to walk beside them on their journeys.  and im am thankful for those who stuck by me on mine.

im blessed to know friends from all parts of the country and our world.  new york, pennsylvania, idaho, tennessee, texas, phillipines, canada, china (at times:0)), etc.  but if i was honest with you tonight, id say that the biggest challenge ive faced since landing in texas was making friends here.  sure, i’ve always got invites from coworkers to hang out, get drinks, etc… but the friendships i desire dont revolve around baseball games and a beer.  they revolve around life.

they grow from the siren song that burns in our hearts for a deeper relationship with the one they call the promise maker.  the friendships i want stem from a heartfelt desire to find our place in life, and to dig our roots deeply into the soil we’re planted in.

so while i am tremendously thankful for knowing each and every friend i’ve met, i know there is still more to come.  i know there are bridges to build, people to meet, smiles to share, and roads to walk.  i am hungry to walk this road with someone i call a friend.

i’ve never been one to enjoy gray areas.  i much prefer to take my time and gather as much information as possible before making decisions.

and risk taking?  not a huge fan of either.

but im learning that it’s only when one takes risks, it’s only when ones armor becomes dented and broken, that we are given the chance to truly experience life.  sometimes we take risks and the rewards are great.  other times, we take risks and the results leave us to ponder how something so simple could go so incredibly wrong.

in both times, and in every time in between, He promises to be with us.

blessing the good, redeeming the bad.

never. leaving. us.

and for tonight, that is what i am thankful for.  that even though i dont always see Him, even though sometimes His hands are hid, i’m thankful that He promised to never leave.

today, i am thankful for dreams.

and for gentle reminders that the dreams placed in my heart, arent lost.

is there a reason we’re not honest when someone asks how we’re doing?  is there something inside of us that keeps us from simply being real, and telling that person exactly what is going on?

we live our lives so connected, so intertwined with others, and yet so insulated and separate from any sort of real relationship.  we twitter, blog, facebook, myspace, text and bluetooth each other more so now than any time in history.  yet, when we’re faced with someone who asks that question, we freeze… and more often than not, we ofter a pat answer.  dishonest, insincere….

now i realize that if you’re walking by that coworker you met two days ago and they ask how you’re doing, it’s probably not the best time to tell them about having to rub aunt edna’s corns or that your dog had an accident that weekend.  i realize that there are times when a smile and an “im good, thank you.  how are you?” is just what is needed.

but i also know that we dont share.  we dont honestly tell people what is going on in life.

maybe it’s because when we ask someone how they are doing, we honestly dont want to know.  we dont want to know about their struggles, challenges, fears, failures, battles and tears.  we dont want to know what’s going on beneath the surface.

we as a people have determined that life is better lived in the shallow end of the pool.  we prefer the scene, to see and be seen.  we prefer the temporal pleasantries of discussing the weather and our dogs, than more eternal subjects like pain, struggle, heartbreak and passion.

what would happen if someone made that choice, that choice to say farewell to the shoreline.  to push off the beach, find the deep waters and dive?  what would that person look like?  how would they live their life if they determined that how people saw them, didnt matter?  that playing in the shallow end wasnt enough?

the bible speaks of rivers of water flowing inside of us.  inside us.  rivers.  not streams, creeks, brooks or tributaries.

rivers.  inside of us.

thats what i want to see.  when i meet someone, i want to be the type of person who isnt scared of looking into the deep places inside of who they are.  i want to be someone who can see the heartache, the pain, the uglieness that exists inside of us all, and still love that person.

there is so much more to life that we chose to miss out on, when we chose to only see the shallow end.

i realize, that sometimes, we just need to hide.  we simply need someone, someplace to go where we are safe.  i realize that not every person out there will be open and honest about who they are, their challenges and fears.  there will be many times where i wont be honest.  where i’ll tell someone who is honestly asking how i am, that i’m fine…. i’ll offer a smile and pleasantries and ask how they are.

i may not be the type of person who can push off the shoreline and never look back.  but im going to go deeper.  someone once said you wont leave where you are, until you decide where you want to be.  i may not know where i want to end up, but i know there is an amazing world i want to see.  and i’ve got a second chance to do so.

for second chances, and for the rivers that exist in each one of us, i am thankful.

Stavesacre – Rivers Underneath


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