Do You Realize The Gift You Have Been Given?

Dear Friend,

How is your week going? Are you getting moments to stop and breathe? If your spring season is anything like ours, it just gets a bit crazy. Thankfully it’s a season and summer is just around the corner.

These last couple weeks the Lord and I have been working through some things. I’m not sure what you do when things get a bit out-of-order but I can get a little frazzled. Like a couple of weeks ago when my wash machine broke and I watched the piles of clothes get higher and higher as I waited for the new one to arrive. We would leave the house and I would notice how socks didn’t match and pants were way too short and oh my where did you find that? Uniforms that needed washing before the next game that just didn’t get washed. I know.. please don’t judge. Why I didn’t decide to hand wash it I’m not sure. So you can imagine I was one happy camper when our new washer finally was delivered a day later than expected at 9:30 at night. Yes that is true. 9:30pm. Poor delivery guys.

I was so excited to do laundry the next day. It’s always exciting to do something when it’s brand new right?

Well, you know how when one thing breaks, most likely another will because that’s just how it goes sometimes. I had an evening auction that I needed to get ready for. I got out my curling iron to add some fullness and what do you know it was plumb dead. I plugged it in and nothing. There was no time to go buy a new one but I still had to figure out what I was going to do with my hair and it had to be somewhat nice because I stand in front of people, no hiding in the back. Ugh.

Sometimes we don’t realize the gifts we have until they break down right? We go on living. Car runs, water is hot, electricity is working. We just expect it because it’s what we have gotten used to.

I recently read a book that has convicted me and challenged me. I’m not sure if you have heard of it, it’s called The Hardest Peace, by Kara Tippets. If you haven’t heard of it, I will give you a bit about it but not all so that you can enjoy the story for yourself. Kara writes of her battle of cancer. She is a young mom in her thirties with four kids. That part right there hit me. I’m a mom in my thirties with four kids. I put myself in her shoes. She shares her struggles very openly so you can almost feel what she is walking through. Her heart is beautiful. I wanted to cry through the whole book.

Her words they challenge me because she is probably going through one of the hardest things a family could go through and yet she praises the Lord for it. She says that she has been given a gift. A gift? Really? A disease that takes lives. But as I read her story I could see that yes she has been given a gift. She recognizes that time with her loved ones is short. So she has the tough and the beautiful conversations that we would possibly avoid because they would hurt or because we don’t want to think of life without that person. She takes the moments to dance with her kids or to go to coffee with her husband.

When is the last time you sat down with your husband or your child and had a conversation about how much you love them and how proud you are of them? Or stopped what you were doing to play with the child that keeps asking? I don’t write this to condemn anyone I write it because this story has shaken me up a bit and I think it can be a good reminder to all of us.

Through her story my eyes have been opened to how much grace God has given me and I didn’t even realize it. How many gifts He has given and yet I’m just cruising along not really paying attention to them. The ability to walk, to run, to talk, to breath, to love, to hug, to care for my family, to turn on hot water, to find food in the pantry, to do laundry, to curl my hair.

Friend this makes me teary to write this. Time is not ours. God is the one who knows our days and how long we will journey on this earth. When we knew we only had a short time left with our foster daughter we spent longer time holding her. We said, “I love you” more and by God’s grace He gave us a full summer to make many family memories before she had to go. I didn’t see that beautiful gift of a full summer until I read this book and realized God’s grace in that. I wanted more time, we all do right? But sometimes that amount of time is not for us to decide. It’s why we have to see the gifts we have right now, the time, the people, the ability to do life, and make those moments matter.

Brokenness, opens your eyes to things that you may not have seen if you hadn’t of walked through pain or suffering. It brings you closer to loved ones and it draws you nearer to the Lord. Something that I have seen as we walk through our own journey of loss.

I’ve started doing some thing this week that maybe you want to try as well. I journal daily to the Lord my praises and prayers but this week I started a separate journal. I want to be more mindful of praising the Lord for the gifts and grace that He has given me, so I’ve started writing them down. Maybe you are at a place where it’s hard to see good gifts and your heart is discouraged. I have had some of those days but this week I have noticed that when I am purposeful in thinking about the gifts God has given me, it always helps brighten my day.  Does your wash machine work? That’s a gift right there!

And if you get a chance, go hug your husband and linger a little longer. Go play that game of catch that, that little one is asking for. I guarantee you will be blessed.

Have a great day!

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