Monday, July 28, 2014


Howdy friends!  I hope each one of you is doing well and having a wonderful summer.  I love this time of year...the flashing glow of lightning bugs and fireworks across the night sky; tiny freckles on teensy, sun-kissed noses; croaking frogs and chirping crickets; sweet, plump berries and vibrant red tomatoes picked and eaten straight off the vine; homemade ice cream melting on fresh cobbler warm from the oven; the smell of barbeque, campfires, and cut grass...ah, good ol’ summertime.   

My family and I have been blessed to squeeze in a few trips this summer, and spend time with family and friends we hold dear.   I’ve enjoyed taking snapshots of these moments, and relive the wonderful memories each time I view the photos of our cherished times.  But based on those snapshots, one would never know in the middle of all our travels, adventures, and making of wonderful memories I have been largely miserable and wrestling with angst.  In fact, based on those photos, I can even somewhat fool myself into thinking everything was and is great.  However, if you or I viewed a selfie of my heart we would see something a lot different than what the happy images I’ve shared on Facebook have depicted.

One evening a few weeks ago, I sat on my front porch exhausted and weary and confided in my husband.  

“Something has to change, or I’m going to have a breakdown.”

The words ached and spilled out.  How can one’s mind be so full, but life and heart feel so empty?  I have so much to be thankful for, yet lately I have felt anything but thankful.  The first half of our year has been filled to the brim with transitions and upheavals and I have been so focused on those situations, and on myself, that I have allowed anxiety to replace my joy.  Too focused on the broken pieces… instead of the One who gives the peace.

“Ungratefulness can scrape us raw…deep joy is found only at the table of thanksgiving. 
As long as thanks is possible, joy is always possible.” – Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

When we focus on situations and self they consume us. 
When we focus on Christ, He consumes us.


It’s time for me to turn the camera back around…to change my focus from self and situations to Christ, and all the amazing blessings and provisions around me...and to change my “(grr)attitude” to an attitude of gratitude. 

“As long as thanks is possible, joy is always possible.”

The daily practice of gratitude is one in which I am training.  Learning to be obedient… thankful…hopeful…faithful.  Training too for combat – because every single day, Satan wages war against me.  Against us.   And, if we are too busy focusing on self and situations, he will gladly scrape us raw of our joy. 

Oh, Lord may my heart be filled with thankfulness for all your mighty works and blessings.  When setbacks come, as they most certainly will and do, may I not forget You.  You are the joy giver.  You are still good.  Still gracious.  Still loving.  And, still present.  You are.  And, I am thankful.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. – Psalm 94:19 (NIV)