Her text opened with an update on her husband who has been hospitalized with heart trouble. “He is tired but okay today. Took a nap but just cannot catch up.” She’s one of those people, like me, who write texts so long you have to unscramble the order to make any sense of their content. “I took a long time at the store today, reading labels,” she continued, “he loves chili but the sodium is awful.” Finally, she closed with, “How are you? Your prayer life, your spirit?”
I replied with a great low sodium chili recipe I stole a few years back from my health conscious younger sister, and I followed up with a query about her own physical well being. You see, Vivian s a bit of a Florence Nightingale kind of gal. She often sacrifices too much for those around her. It’s my own personal observation, one with which I am certain she would disagree.
Wise and grace-filled friends are a gift from God.
Vivian responded, “Okay, respond to my question about your holiness and spirit.” Then, she added a smiley face emoji.
If the goal is to become a magnificent woman, then she has achieved it.
“My prayer life? Hmm. I am not taking enough time. My faith is strong but I am not praying much. I feel like all I do is petition. After communion today, I just thanked Jesus for being with me now and told Him I love You and I need help to love You more.”
After I watched Peyton finish off the home team in my beautiful new basement, surrounded by the handsome Thieme men, I re-read what I had written. It was clear to me I needed to work on gratefulness. I thanked our amazing Creator for pointing it out so loudly, and I closed my eyes.
Today, I woke to a Facebook challenge by another Jesus girl to write and post for 5 days, 3 things for which I am grateful. Coincidence? Ha!! I am taking that up for one primary reason. It’s clear to me that Jesus used Cathy, my challenger, as His voice today.
Ask and you shall receive…huh?!
DAY 1: Three (3) Things for Which I am Grateful
1. Magnificent Faith-Filled Friends (You know who you are!) These are the gals who zero in on what’s truly important, who walk alongside, keep their sense of humor, affirm the worth of themselves and those around them, express themselves authentically, and who listen with love. You girls have taught me how to juggle, rebound, nurture, commit and pray. You are the face of Jesus in my life….and I love you all!
2. My Achy-Breaky Heart: I curse it sometimes, like when the original mean girl, Nellie Olsen, is simply horrid to Half-Pint and my eyes instantly well up as I flip past an ancient episode of Little House on the Prairie. The thing is, that aching means God gifted me with compassion. When I feel that ache in real life, God is winking at me. He’s prodding. Go, Shelly, act. Give. Listen. Offer. Sometimes, I don’t wanna. Occasionally, I ignore it. However, I have found that when I feel the ache, see the truth, and do nothing….it is a day I die a little inside. That achy-breaky heart is a beautiful gift from God. Listening and acting (without being attached to the outcome)…It’s God’s light shining in me for a moment. Nothing feels better.
3. A Diet Coke, extra ice, in a styrofoam cup, with a lid and a straw. Not to be shallow or mean, but all other beverages fail to compare. Sometimes, my adorable husband hand delivers one to me. He just gets me.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7: 7-8)