Thanks.

“God is good, He is the giver of all good things.” Isaiah 10.13

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136.1

Today was outstanding outside.  It’s fall, and still unseasonably warm for our neck of the woods, but the leaves were every shade of yellow and orange so I went for a stroll. So… oddly enough, I made a path through the foliage with my feet. The sun was more than bearable, so I welcomed the warmth on my face.

Stacee and her daughters

Stacee and her daughters

As I walked, I began to think about what a blessing life is. In all of its complexity, it’s still brilliant. I thought about the medication God has provided so that, on occasion, my mind will allow me to think for just a few minutes, much like it was right then.  And for food. You know how intimidated and scared I am of food, but it is, nevertheless, a precious gift-A luxury that so many don’t get the privilege to partake of.  As I continued down the street just a little ways, my eyes welled up with tears as God began to talk with me about these blessings.  My persevering family, my home, my community found in my church, my treatment doctors and team.  I had to catch my breath as I stopped for a moment and I sat right down on the curb. It was so clear that my Father wanted me to do more than merely acknowledge His works in my life. He wanted me to truly focus on Him and thank Him for his graciousness and mercy in my life.

“Stacee! We have come so far together, you and me!” I know there are many things physically and mentally that are still so foreign to me because I’m not supposed to do them yet for medical reasons, or comprehend them up to this point since my brain still needs more nourishment, but in that moment I just didn’t care. I could feel the tears slightly dry on my cheeks as the wind crossed my face and hair, but new tears would then begin to form. Again, God put on my heart how far we’ve come…together. He is the key!”  

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4.13.

I guess that’s why without Jesus I can sometimes panic.  Do you ever get scared when you consider your future? I do!  I panic when I think of the days to come, and I guess I should.  He created us to live one day at a time. No more.  My walk was brief and slow, and the mental calm changed to heavy complication as I was on the tail-end of my time on my leafy trail - just walking through the beauty crunching under my feet. But even in the loudness in my mind that is now present once again, I can still be thankful for where I am right now.  

Music is something that really helps to break through the sadness that my mind can hold.  But God is faithful.  He gives me a song to meditate on to remind me that He is sovereign. The song I have playing in my mind since this afternoon helps me keep things in perspective as I let it become my heartbeat this season.

”I’ve been running through rain

That I thought would never end

Trying to make it on faith

In a struggle against the wind

I’ve seen the dark and the broken places

But I know in my soul

No matter how bad it gets

I’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me

There’s a light, I still see it

There’s a hand still holding me

Even when I don’t believe it

I might be down but I’m not dead

There’s better days still up ahead

Even after all I’ve seen

There’s hope in front of me

There’s a place at the end of the storm

You finally find

Where the hurt and the tears and pain

All fall behind

You open up your eyes and up ahead

There’s a big sun shining

Right then and there you realize

You’ll be alright

You’re my hope

You’re the light, I still see it

Your hands are holding me

Even when I don’t believe it

I’ve got to believe it

I still have hope

You are me hope.”

Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey                                                                                                         

As your house fills up this season with food and family, stressful scenarios possibly, or with laughter and peace, take time to get alone and take a walk with Jesus. Listen to Him as you may even kick the leaves under your feet-and give thanks.

You may not realize it, and without God I don’t either, but let’s try to acknowledge and thank God for where you and I are right now. Try not to compare where you are to where another in your life might be. That’s honestly between them and God. When you look to Him, and walk with Him in the beauty of your life, especially including the trials, let the tears roll, my friend, and thank Him for how far the two of you have come! “I might get down but I’m not dead;  there’s better days still up ahead…”

Have a blessed fall day, friend! I am so thankful for you!

Stace