"It's time to appreciate what we do have before it's too late." -LaKeshia Jenkins
It's really easy to get lost in what we want.
As I sit in the living room of my almost unbelievably nice new house, I am surrounded by Fall decorations etched with sayings such as "Give Thanks," and a thoughtful vinyl phrase left on the wall above the TV by the last owners:
"It is not HAPPY people who are THANKFUL--it is THANKFUL people who are HAPPY"
That is something that can be really easy to forget sometimes.
As I continue to make trips back and forth to clear out, clean, and paint our last residence--a duplex in east Rogers--I can't help but still feel at home each time I step through the door. Getting used to the new place has been a little difficult. Josh and I keep looking at each other and wondering what in the world we're doing here, it's such a huge contrast. Even my 11 year old, Lea, continues to make comments about how she feels like we're just visiting someone else and will only be here for a few days. After 32 years living in basements, trailers, apartments, and duplexes, it is really hard to adjust. It almost doesn't feel right somehow. Like I'm walking around in a dream and eventually I'm going to wake up, cozy and comfortable in a tiny little bedroom. The ironic thing is, when I used to wake up every morning in that same bedroom, I didn't at all feel comfy and cozy. I felt miserable. Instead I would lie there, depressed and discouraged, and reflect on all things I didn't have yet and wondered if I ever would. A nice big house. A kitchen that would fit more than one person at a time. A bathroom I could actually take a shower in.
Now when I step into that room--when I step into that house--all I see are memories. Curled up with the kids beneath the covers doing family scripture study, Jacob's hilarious Batman voice ringing through my ears each time he reads a passage. Birthday parties with two dozen people packed into a tiny dining room, playing video games and enjoying tacos and pie. Neighborhood kids coming and going constantly. The transition as, over the years, a duplex went from being no more than a house to a home. Now when I step into that house, I get a little choked up inside at all the warmth that was, for 3 years, our family's home. And I can't help but think of all the opportunities I missed lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and being miserable when I could have been grateful for what I had.
If they had arrived at my door just 5 days earlier, I wouldn't have even lived there yet. If they had arrived just 30 minutes later, I would have already left to pick Josh up for work and would have missed them. If I hadn't spent the last 3 years working on my writing, if I hadn't written the article that got picked up by a national periodical, if I hadn't founded my own publishing company, if we hadn't bought this house at all, if they hadn't been praying to find someone to help get them started in their writing careers, if they hadn't been sent to Northwest Arkansas, if they hadn't joined the program that brought them here in the first place, if they hadn't decided to knock on my door on that day at that moment...
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is learning to recognize the God moments. Gratitude means learning to notice and appreciate those times in your life were Heavenly Father has clearly put you in just the right place at just the right moment to answer someone's prayer. Whether it's a couple of young adults going door to door in just the right neighborhood at just the right time or a little boy asking to use the bathroom again within 5 minutes of an 8 hour trip, we have all had God moments. We all have those moments where we never would have gotten to just where we are unless He put just the right people in our path. We all have those moments we never would have gotten to where we are unless those right people acted in the way they did. So this holiday season, as we gorge ourselves on turkey and pie, try to keep in mind not just what you are grateful for,
but who you are grateful for.
Lord Forgive Me
Walking toward the light isn't as easy as it seems these days.
Temptation gets thicker and the Devil gets sneakier in his ways.
The Lord has given us the strength to carry on with our head held high.
Empowerment is given when on both knees ready to break down and cry.
Lately, the worldly matters have most people feeling lonely and in despair.
But, if you look deeply most problems root from hate that with a little love; can be repaired.
Jesus can be the light in the darkest hours of our life.
One foot in front of the other into the path of righteousness and forgiveness.
It's hard, but we must keep pushing forward and not give in to the enemy.
No longer may we allow Lucifer to roam around free.
It's time we get together and set the Devil in his place.
Don't underestimate the presence of God's Grace.
We put Satan beneath our feet.
God listens to our thoughts and knows our every heartbeat.
He knows we're imperfect but still provides for all our needs.
What more can we ask for out of a Father like this in our lifetime.
Bringing us joy, peace, love and always a peace of mind.
He forgave our sins, but we still forget to forgive our enemies and friends.
How cruel can you be toward a man who promised to love us to the very end.
It's time to appreciate what we do have before it's too late.
Because then, all you can rely on is your fate.
Why I Left the Church
The Importance of Friendship
Secrets to Staying Sane
Fighting the Rain