When we flew from Portland, Oregon to Kansas City, Missouri last Tuesday we left home with snow still on the ground and a looming threat of an ice storm. Fortunately, we were able to take off before the freezing rain arrived. The flight was smooth and uneventful. My husband and I looked forward to the four days we would be spending in the prayer room, worshipping, reading, journaling, listening for God's still small voice and seeking His direction for the new year.
Unexpectedly, I caught a head cold. While I had no fever, no body aches or chills, nothing that necessitated me staying in bed back at our hotel, I felt sorry for those sitting near me in the prayer room with my incessant nose blowing and mountains of used Kleenex stacked on the desk in front of me. I read my Bible, I journaled, I worshiped, but truth be told, that darn head cold made me feel a bit out of it, made it difficult for me to concentrate. I had to make a decision at that point, to live in God's grace, to give myself permission to leave my husband in the prayer room one afternoon while I went back to the hotel, got in my pajamas, sipped hot tea and read Beth Moore's fabulous first work of fiction. Surprisingly, I felt God's love and pleasure over me as much in my weakness there in that hotel room, as I did in the most fervent moments that I've experienced in that prayer room over the many years we've visited there. I felt loved, as if my good, good Father, wrapped me, His beloved daughter, in a cozy quilt and told me to get some rest.
I've at times lived in a scarcity mindset. I've believed the lie that if I'm not at the top of my game at all times, I may miss a God moment or opportunity. I've not abided, not dwelled in His love. I've not always been confident that He won't pass me by in my weakness. I've not always felt His pleasure even on the days when I don't hop out of bed and eagerly start my morning devotions first thing. This year, as I focus on my word for 2017, ABIDE, I'm learning to do just that. To live in the truth of God's love and acceptance on my best days and on my worst.
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
-thank God for preventing a financial mistake
-our health coverage
-God's daily provision
-a cup of tea and a good visit with my friend before she returns to Guatemala
-an uneventful flight to KC out of Portland in spite of the ice storm threat
-going to bed early
-thank God, no fever or aches with this head cold
-our daughter's frozen pipes thawed out without breaking!
-the prayer room (Laura Hackett Park leading the worship this morning!)
-God is my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer, my Shelter, Strong Tower,
my very present help in time of need
-a good night's sleep
-giving myself permission to rest
-the peaceful transition of power
-the name of Jesus being lifted up
-dinner and a great visit with our dear friends who live near K.C.
-a bit of time in the prayer room before heading home
-a half empty plane resulting in extra treats from the flight attendant!
-such beauty out the plane window
-such a wonderful gathering at church this morning! Amazing!
-lunch with friends, meeting their pastor/missionary parents
-hugs and kisses from our grandkids