WELCOME!!! It's time to grab your workout gear and get moving!!
I am CONTINUALLY in awe of God's impeccable timing! Don't get me wrong.... all too often I get extremely impatient wondering why in the world He is taking so long in dealing with an issue I want resolved..... but there are also moments my heart is keenly aware of His perfect presence.
Those moments are precious.
The fact that God lead me to focus TRAINING our hearts to be thankful at the exact time in our world a lot of us may need it.... it only by His perfect plan.... not mine.
There are A LOT of people struggling right now. I need not spend time focusing on why..... I believe we are all very aware.
My heart has been stretched to what I thought was beyond repair, too many times for me to count in the last few years.
I recall one of the most painful moments I had. I physically felt my heart breaking. I cannot explain it any other way. I was standing in my kitchen by the fireplace. The moment the pain hit me, it literally felt like the weight of the world had fallen upon my body. I COULD NOT hold my body up. That is how intense it was. I laid my body on the hardwood floor and sobbed like I have never sobbed in my life. Far beyond an ugly cry. It was the body piercing, hyperventilating, unable to even speak type cry. All I could do, was muster up the energy to call one of the amazing friends God has placed in m life. When she answered all I could say ... was "I need you, please come over here, I need you."
Of course, without question she hopped in her car and came over to my house and simply sat with me, held me and let me cry.
That's all I needed. That's all she could do. That is all I was able to receive in that moment. Her willing and loving presence. She brought God with her that day..... and He knew that is all I needed. He knew... I needed to feel His arms wrapped around me..... and he used my friend to give me that gift.
In these extremely painful years of struggle and battle that Garrick and I have been in, I cannot tell you HOW MANY times our wonderful, Godly friends have ran to our side, without question, without reservation, without judgement..... simply with open arms, open ears and an open heart ready to serve God in any way He asked them to on our behalf.
I knew nobody could "fix" our problems. I knew nobody could "fix" my heart. But God knew..... their presence alone.... gave me enough strength... to take one more breath and make it through one more day.
I honestly was at points where one more breath was all I could focus on.
God... just give me one more breath. As painful as it is God to breathe it in.... give me breath.... enough for just this moment.
Those moments turned into, hours, then days, then months, then years. I am still breathing. And it has become less painful and more joyful, in huge part, due to God calling our beautiful friends to walk through this devastating journey with us.
I have witnessed tears fall from my friends eyes, as they watch me fall apart, genuinely feeling my pain, wishing they could take it, knowing they can't but more importantly... KNOWING the One who can and bringing his presence to me.
I will FOREVER be thankful for this gift.
I recall another incredibly beautiful moment when I friend showed up at my door with bags of groceries. I was having a very bad day. I was crying when I answered the door. He stepped inside my door, handed me the groceries and tears started rolling down his face. His heart was breaking for me. I found out later, that crying was NOT typical of this particular friend. God purposely brought him there that day... to show me God is hurting with me. It was precious.
YOU..... are called to be that gift in other's lives. Thankfulness begins with service. Every single part of serving God births thankfulness... to both the giver and the receiver.
During these past few years.... some of the most healing moments I have had, aside from the moments when dear friends came to my rescue... were moments I stepped outside my devastation and focused on serving others.
My acts of service were not HUGE things in my eyes.... but to the receiver they meant so very much and allowed them to experience God and thankfulness in their heart. If they were traveling through a difficult time in their own life.... the moments God prompted me to serve them.... allowed them to know God was STILL there and will never leave them nor forsake them.
Friends.... God is STILL here. He has not left. No matter how grim, how hopeless, how hurt or how angry you may be. God is still on His throne and no power of hell can remove Him from that throne.
If you want to experience a beautiful level of thankfulness, when your heart is anything but.... serve. Serve God. Find a way to serve someone today.
I have been called to do anything from send a note, a text, a message, to baking something, making a meal for someone, surprising someone and cleaning their house, sending surprise gift cards in the mail, making a gift basket, or a simple phone call.
We were created to serve..... not to be served.
Our hearts will find the most peace and joy when they are fulfilling God's call and purpose. I can attest to this first hand.
So today.... don't sulk..... serve.
Take the focus off of yourself and place on whatever area God calls you to serve. Remember.... little things to us.... are HUGE things to others.
My friends arms... were the greatest gift I could have been given at that moment. Someone could have pulled in my drive way with a brand new Mercedes Benz and told me it was mine.... and it would have meant absolutely nothing to me in the painful moment. But... my friends arms... meant the world.
So this is your first workout..... find a way to serve to today. Big or small... it does not matter. Just serve..... be a blessing to others and be enormously blessed in return.
Peace and Blessings
Training a Thankful Heart...... Workout Number 1....One of my Most Excruciating Moments.... and How God Showed me Thankfulness.