God is Great, God is Good...
They were the opening words to the dinner grace I said nightly as a girl at home with my parents and brothers. As I went on to have my own family, we mixed up our nightly graces with new ones that the kids had learned in pre-school. In our home, we take turns saying grace before meals. When it's my turn, I frequently go back to my childhood grace of "God is Great and God is Good".
This morning, as I was returning back to home from dropping off Andrew at his volunteer junior counselor job for the summer, I was struck by the words, "God is Great, God is Good" and how those words not only apply to Him providing nourishment for our bodies and souls, but also just how good and faithful He has been to me.
I've talked often on how my perspective is unique and how I am acutely aware of every single detail of life and the thousands of gifts in my life daily. I know sometimes, it can probably nauseate my glass half-empty friends. However, God is Good and God is Great...and I am so very fortunate (as are you) to recognize, though the details of daily living...that I am breathing and moving and interacting and loving all thanks to the Great and Powerful Man who has provided so much beauty for us.
Today I know God is Great because:
- I get to take my son to a Christian camp that he chose, at 15 years old, to be a volunteer junior counselor to children younger than himself. What a GIFT that this camp is in our community and it has truly been a GIFT to all of my children each year as it was to me as a young girl for Vacation Bible School experiences years ago.
- The GIFT of a beautiful drive through 'back' roads where I am able to reflect and examine the beauty of nature after I drop off my children and ask God to keep his hand and blessing on my son so that he will be a GIFT to others through his faith and actions.
- The GIFT of having a breakfast date with another child as his siblings both have camp plans this week and he gets to be an only child. Chocolate milk and waffles and 30 minutes of undivided Mama-Son time with my 13 year old. He isn't playing a video game or bouncing a basketball, he is spending time chatting with me and that is a GIFT I never take for granted.
- The GIFT of being here...in my home...getting healtheir by the day...and able to explain things such as split ends and deoderant to my 9 1/2 year old daughter. I worried about this so much when I was sick...I so desperately wanted to make sure I was here to guide her through the trials of becoming a young lady. And here I am, and we are slowly unwrapping the GIFT that will too soon become teenage girl drama and worries and new experiences.
- The GIFT of my children's friends' parents who have become friends to me and have definitely been there during our recent walk. It's so great to have the GIFT of Mama friendship with ladies whom we share a parenthood journey with and whom we entrust the care of our children with during event shuffles, sleepovers, school/sports activities. That we can find a unique bond with other families though a child's friendship...definitely a GIFT.
- The GIFT of writing and journaling that connects me to many - friends and online friends - and definitely helps my mental self and emotional stability.
- The GIFT of a little puppy who snuggles close to me in the middle of the night, making it impossible to be angry with him when he has a 'potty' accident in the house.
- and, certainly, the GIFT of a great guy whom I get to trek to Ohio with in a few days - 6 1/2 hours there and 6 1/2 hours back to pick up our oldest from an event so he can make it back for his best friend's 16th birthday party. Yep, we'll drive 13 hours in one day - no sightseeing involved - just driving through the states, but we'll get to be together, alone in a car on a highway with no interruptions. That is a GIFT no matter where it is - undivided attention and time with Scott in this crazy, hectic life we navigate together.
God is Great and you can so easily turn every experience into a gift if you shift your focus a little bit. Just move a slight bit to the left or right, up or down, and then shift you gaze across the horizon. The goodness is waiting to be noticed. Just pause a moment to see it.
Many people call these blessings. I believe they are gifts. They don't need to be returned, just oohed and aahed over in the simplest way. I am involved in a few online communities and have developed some long-distance friendships through these communities. One friend introduces me to the idea of listing these blessings/gifts out as a visual reminder of all of the gifts we have in front of us. I would encourage you to do the same. I would also highly recommend the book One Thousand Gifts if you are loooking for an additonal way to open your eyes.
Signing off now to enjoy another great GIFT...the GIFT of my backyard, with a gentle breeze flowing and the birds chirping their little wings off...and maybe I'll even get the GIFT of watching Marty chase the butterflies or try to grab a dandelion.