Tuesday, December 21

Footprints in the Snow (A Snapshot of My Heart)

Before me lies a dismal scene—
Barren trees,
Muddied fields (with splotched patches of green),
and a cold, gray sky.

Raising my eyes heavenward
I wonder at my ability
To make such a mess of
Your Creation.

With upturned face,
Eyes closed,
and a whispered prayer,
Hope rises.

As light greets my opening eyes
Thick, heavy snowflakes
Fall with grace
To cover over this dead, wintry soul.

Before me lies a new scene—
Elegant, snow-covered trees,
A pure, white blanket,
and a bright, clear sky.

Raising my eyes heavenward
I wonder at Your ability
To make such beauty in
Your Creation.

And with gratitude and love,
I walk forward in grace
Leaving only footprints in the snow.

Friday, December 3


(Late, I know...)

A few days before Thanksgiving, I was lying in bed thinking about Thanksgiving. I had been super busy with work and hadn't really had any time at all to realize that Thanksgiving was almost upon me and I hadn't taken much time to enjoy the season of gratitude. This was a tragedy that needed rectifying, and so I lay awake and took a little time for reflection.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Usually it's hard for me to pick a favorite something because there is much weighing of pros and cons and difficulty deciding which pros are actually more weighty and deserve to be considered "best." But really, Thanksgiving is it for me-- my favorite. This is true for several reasons. First, because when I was growing up, Thanksgiving meant family. We always had a giant family reunion at Thanksgiving, and I love and crave time with people I love. Also, Thanksgiving foods are some of my favorite foods, especially pumpkin pie. And there is something so inviting about the colors and scents associated with autumn and Thanksgiving; they seem warm and welcoming at a time when the outside world is dull, chilly, and fast becoming lifeless. (Yes, Margie, I did just refer to autumn as inviting and warm. And I do like it...)

But most of all, I love Thanksgiving because it puts my heart in a spirit of gratitude that I don't have often enough. As I was lying in bed, I began to pray a prayer of thanks to God because I realized how incredibly blessed I am. I have two jobs that I absolutely love in a time when some have difficulty finding one job they may not really like. I have a family by whom I am deeply loved and cherished. God has blessed me with the most phenomenal friends; friends who have supported and encouraged me, drawing me closer to God through their words and the lives they live, and I know I am unworthy of such friends. Fairly recently, God has brought into my life an amazingly talented and considerate boyfriend who desires to live for and serve God. My physical needs have been more than met, and I want for nothing. In the past two years, I have seen God work in my life and the lives of others more times than I can count and in unquantifiable ways. Having my eyes opened in such a way has strengthened my faith and made God more real to me than He has ever been before. I am richly, abundantly blessed beyond what I ever could have asked.

But as I lay awake in bed thinking about all of these blessings in my life, I realized that as happy as each of these blessings have made me, they are not ultimately what I am grateful for. Because as I lay awake in bed reflecting on the physical blessings in my life, my mind was turned to the Source of those blessings. He is what I am most grateful for; not because of the good gifts and blessings He has showered me with, but because He is the Source of goodness, life, abundance, and genuine, deep joy.

May this spirit of gratitude remain in my heart. May my life be one of thanks giving in all seasons.