A call comes that I’ve dreaded, one that I’ve imagined, but hoped wouldn’t come.

She calls and says it’s urgent. When I hear the message, I brace myself, I pray.

My mother says it’s his heart, his blood pressure… and he was in the hospital overnight, and now he is going to another hospital for a heart catheterization. When dad is there, the next day they put in a stent, and he’s alive and his heart wasn’t damaged, and that is after the prayers for more time, God’s mercy, God’s healing- all answered.

And I see how each moment alive is bathed in grace, how thin the vessels of a heart… how thin the thread between life and death… how narrow the escape from death each day of unknowns… of bodies that work, taken for granted….

But how great the depth of the love that breached the great chasm of death… how big and gracious our God is… and we ask ourselves what is our time for? what is each moment left here for? God has given me this day, this very moment, to be alive– to live. Am I living as if each day is my last? Am I? What must I do differently? And if life isn’t the way we expect or want… what must be done then? What does God expect of us? Are we living in full realization of who he is?

When fully faced with death, mortality, and questions of the future, moments have more weight.

Each breath we take and each heartbeat is only one stop closer to eternity.

I want to live with no regrets. I want to live walking with the Almighty. I want to know that I’ve done what I could do and I can smile at the end.

Now, they are home, resting, my dad is recovering, and we are thankful, but I know that life is not in our hands. A bigger hand holds us, makes our hearts beat, a bigger river of mercy flows, a heavy grace rain pours down. Regardless of whether or not a person acknowledges the Giver of good gifts, it still all comes from Him. He pours blessing on us all.

Embracing the gifts… #487-508

487. Thankful my father received quick medical care and the problem was found.Thankful to still hear his voice.

488. Thankful my mother is recovering from bronchitis. Thankful to still hear her voice.

489. Thankful I could be here with them, and bring my 10 year old son, too.

490. Thankful for genuine people who truly care.

491. Thankful for a friend who can help on Wednesday.

492. Thankful for other friends here, who do not even ask what to do, just come and do what needs to be done.

493. Thankful my brother and sister could also be here.

494. Seeing beautiful fall colors here in the south, after they are gone now in the Midwest… it’s nice to see a second view of the season! Fall was always my favorite season in the south. Fall has always been magical, and metaphorical in different ways as I observe the leaves changing colors and watch trees giving up their beautiful coats. The weather is just perfect here in autumn… autumn speaks to me here. I’ve learned lessons from the trees. I miss it so… the warm breezes that are not icy or biting, but gentle and flowing. With an autumn that takes its time, more of the message soaks in… whereas in the midwest, autumn is brief and cold, and a heavy rain can knock leaves off in one day and there is nothing but a barren landscape left, and the bare branches seem to prick my soul. I’m not saying that snow doesn’t have it’s own kind of beauty– it does, from a distance. But for me, it’s not inviting, drawing me in to stay a while and learn and soak in creation. It affects me somewhere deep; it speaks to me of desolation, not fruitfulness.  One can’t stay and linger too long outdoors on a cold wintery day. Life is still spent indoors, closed in, surrounded by the same. I miss green and woods and trees and I’m not what you’d call a nature girl, but there is something that fills my soul when surrounded by trees and natural beauty. Okay… I’m tearing up.

495. For God holding us in his palm.

496. For each moment bathed in a grace we do not always see or feel, but know it is there.

497. For people, smiles, warm eyes.

498. For my parents’ home, the home I grew up in, still here, same place, comfortable, warm, cozy.

499. Thankful I can be of some help: cooking meals for them to freeze, take them places they need to be.

500. Thankful for the dried herbs my mother gave me to take back and put in my tea.

501. Thankful for God who will never leave nor forsake me.

502. Thankful for bright yellow sunshine glistening behind golden and crimson leaves.

503. Thankful that God never forgets and hears and sees it all.”I cried out to the Lord with my voice- to God with my voice; And he gave ear to me.” Psalm 77:1
“I sought the Lord and He heard me…” Psalm 34:4

504. “The Lord is near…” Psalm 34:18

505. “I waited patiently for the lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

506. “God is our refuge and strength…” Psalm 46:1

507. “… O God, who is like You?” Psalm 71:19

508. “We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.” Psalm 75:1


Sharing in community in thanksgiving with A Holy Experience: