Grumbling, murmuring, complaining, faultfinding, nit picking, self-pity, self-focus, self-centeredness...it had me in it's ugly grip. Somewhere my words of wisdom to "just keep Christmas simple, keep the main thing the main thing. keep your wits about you and your priorities straight" that I have preached to others, I felt myself failing to live up to. The month started out so lovely, but somehow, somewhere along the way, too much busy-ness, combined with situations that had my emotions stretched rubberband tight, made my time by my prayer bench and in the Word feel more like ritual, than reality, (I'm being painfully honest here), and I felt as though I was being buried alive in an avalanche of negative thoughts and emotions. But thank God, (those aren't just words, I really mean it, THANK GOD!), before I did too much damage to my beloved husband, I got my wits about me enough to get on my walking clothes, grab my coat, and head out into the fresh air. And for the next hour, God and I, in the way we've done for these many, many years walked and had it out...I mean walked and talked. And once all the "I think, I feel, I...I...I..." talk was out, I recognized and repented of all the ugly self absorbtion, and received His grace. And the next day, in spite of monsoon like rain, I donned my raincoat and we walked and talked again. And now, the gratitude is returning, and the thankfulness, and the realization that I am overwhelmingly, undeservedly blessed. Thank God.
172) A kind husband who makes his daughter coffee and breakfast whenever she's home
173) An unexpected Christmas present along with encouraging words
174) Lunch with friends
175) An encouraging text