A Snapshot of Gratefulness – Philippians 4:6-7

I played outside with my family this week. My husband, sons, and grandson shot basketballs in a game of PIG while two other grandchildren sped by on their bikes, launching themselves off the ramp. The youngest sat in the grass.

A couple of times I stopped the ball from escaping, kicking it back into the game. I also offered a lot of verbal support, withdrawing from the ruckus since my chronic pain insists I live more gently. That’s when I remembered that the day our third son, Seth, was born, we thought he might never play with the family.

There’d been concerns during labor. A specialist was called in. Jerry held my hand as I clung to peace by quoting from Psalm 121 between contractions.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth . . . The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life” (Psalm 121:1-2 and 7 ESV).

The hospital tests hadn’t provided answers. One concern was his color, which they described as ashen. He was lethargic. They decided to keep him another day for observation, and I went home with an empty baby carrier. I imagined all sorts of devastating news I might hear the next day–he had a disease, a birth defect, or he was dying.

We left him overnight but decided that was enough. Seth needed to know his family surrounded him and loved him. His two older brothers needed to pat his head and whisper their secrets. He belonged at home.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).

Now he plays with his nephews in the street, the tall, strong father of a teenager. He’s home. No wonder I rejoice in the Lord who heard my prayers and answered them in ways more beautiful than I could imagine.

These times are precious. We don’t know the length of our days, but He Who Watches Over Us keeps us. As we move toward the end of our days let’s remember to be ever thankful for God’s kindness to us. That he heard our prayers, that he hears us still, and he will see us home.

The completeness, the joy I can’t contain, the certainty of God’s promises – can you even imagine the awesomeness of standing near my son as he shoots baskets with his dad, his brother, and his nephews, when so close is the memory of the time we didn’t know if we’d get to see him grow up?

It’s only a breath of time, me standing with the life of my family swirling around me. For this moment I am grateful.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Multiplying blessings – Psalm 103:1-5

I’m slowly being buried in blessings I don’t want, mostly because of my daughter’s wedding.

Frank & Amy Barbera

Amy moved home to save her rent money for wedding preparations last year. Within weeks boxes from Amazon began piling up by our front door. It felt like Christmas, only instead of celebrating the coming of a Savior we anticipated the emergence of the newest branch in our family tree.

Frank joined our family in May, a true blessing.

While Amy was here I started finding clothing and bridal catalogs in the mailbox. After the wedding I ordered some items myself, and that’s when the floodgates opened.

Tuesday seven catalogs assaulted my home in one day. Most of them filled with “blessings” I have no use for.

And the subscriptions keep multiplying.

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:1-5 NIV).

Here are blessings I need, desire, and should never forget.

  • forgiveness
  • healing
  • redemption
  • love
  • compassion
  • satisfaction
  • renewal

Until I figure out how to stop adding junk mail to the landfill, I’ll use it to remind me of God’s greater blessings in my life.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

A Quick Thanksgiving Meditation – Philippians 4:6-8

My eyes were stinging as I mixed the chopped onions into the dressing for the turkey a little while ago. Earlier I’d chosen a playlist on YouTube that featured Maranatha Music’s scripture songs. I sang along with a couple of them as I puttered around the kitchen, enjoying the encouraging, uplifting thoughts. Then this came up.

boy-in-field-rasterlocke-free-pixabay

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8 NIV).

I’ve taken these words to heart today.

In every situation, whatever the economic or political climate, however my relationships are playing out or the tasks getting done, no matter what is going on around me or in me, there’s no need to get anxious. In every situation I will turn to God with prayer and petition, thanking him for all he gives.

The following verse is where we’re told to only think about those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. That’ll keep my head busy!

His peace overrules all I don’t understand.

Thank you so much, Lord.

My timer just went off so I need to go check the oven. Happy Thanksgiving!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Thankful in a Big Way – Psalm 136:1-3

My Facebook feed has been overwhelmed by expressions of thankfulness this week. My friends are appreciating the people they love, beauty they find, and things that delight them, so I won’t add to what’s already been covered on this Giving-of-Thanks day.

Give thanks meme ps136

I’m looking at a bigger picture today, thanking God because he is good. Without his goodness, all the other things I appreciate would not exist.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-3 ESV).

So many of the things we appreciate are not going to be around long, but  the steadfast love of the God of all gods and Lord of all lords endures forever.

This is too magnificent for my tiny brain. If we still lived on our acreage in the country, I’d probably go outside and scream.

Thank you, God! You are God! and Your love endures for ever!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

It’s my Party and I’ll Play if I Want To – Psalm 126:2-3

I stopped pounding on my hefty typewriter when I heard the screen door rattle and a child’s voice. “Can Terry play?”

As Robert Jack, the neighbor boy, asked mom first for my brother, then each of my siblings by name, she explained we were unavailable. It didn’t matter to him that we were in high school, and our youngest sister far beyond being interested in playing outside with a five-year-old.

Robert wasn’t shy, and we were familiar with his routine. First he’d charm us with his grin full of missing teeth, then he’d sit and wait on our back steps, singing a song he’d learned in Sunday School, until someone in my house became available to play. Sometimes he’d ask my mother, “Can you come out and play?”

Age doesn’t matter

child swim .jonkline free pixabay

Earlier this month I felt conspiratorial when I, with stripes of gray in my hair, stood at the counter at Splash! at Lively Park Swim Center asking for a 10-ticket entry packet for birthday party guests. Who would have thought I wasn’t planning a party for a child?

It was a party for me, a grandma about to turn 60, and I wanted to play. Although he’d be in his 40s now, Robert would have certainly been welcome to join us!

I spread the red tablecloth and covered it with snacks and the birthday cake my mother brought. Sitting and chatting with her on the sidelines, we relished watching people we love enjoying themselves in the water.

Most likely, even as I bounced on my inner tube against the waves with grandchildren in tow, it looked like a child’s party. And when I later pulled out my phone to take photos of my niece and her baby in the kiddie pool, it wasn’t apparent I was the birthday girl.

And it was a blast!

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:2-3 NIV).

It may have been unconventional to plan my own birthday party, but I like the idea of giving gifts on my birthday. I’m thankful for the years, the people, the blessings I’ve been given. After the party, my heart was full, and I sang a happy song like Robert’s as I drove home.

Hasn’t God done great things for us?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis