Today it can feel trite to suggest that we count our blessings. We live in a hard world. So, I will not lead you through a song and dance, or even the science of happiness. This morning I heard a short message from Kyle Idleman from Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, KY). His message began with life’s disappointments and ended with supplication and #thankfulness. How can we be thankful amid disappointments?
I once heard that if you wake up every morning breathing than God has a plan for you that day. Makes sense, as long as we are alive, we have the opportunity to work, play, love and encourage; to make a difference.
What does thankfulness and making an impact have in common? Both are intentional decisions we make daily. We must look beyond the fog of hardships to the good even if it’s something small. Maybe in your current state of mind, you can’t see the big good. That’s fine, look around, what is one of those small things in life that you are thankful for. In fact, don’t think big right now, think small. Maybe it’s something like when you open the ice cream container to find there is just enough left for your midnight snack. For me, it’s the bubbles in my #Coke and the first sweet draw through the straw. Are you a dog person? What about when your dog brings his ball over and drops in your lap so as to say, “it’s time to play.”
Notice that my examples are the sappy romantic things (that my husband is wonderful about). They aren’t the Hallmark Channel ideal setting; they are ordinary things that can make for an extraordinary moment.
After listening to Kyle’s message, I read through Philippians 4:6 with a different heart. I invited the God of the universe to please intervene in my current challenges. Challenges that I already have that odd peace that doesn’t make sense by worldly standards. But while my prayers have been honest, made requests, and even questioned, I hadn’t just asked the Creator of the universe to simply intervene. And while He’s working out the details, I just need to be thankful. I wrote myself a note and posted it where I would see it multiple times throughout the day to notice 5 things that I’m thankful for every day.
Today you have a purpose and opportunity. What will you do with them?
All the best,
And with that, Christmas is over. It’s back in the box (or boxes) and stored. For some, their semi-annual church-going box has been checked. For others who find Christmas a profound holiday that recognizes an event that changed the course of human history (for the believer and for the non-believer), packing the storage boxes leaves a feeling of conviction to keep the spirit alive. To now think in terms of how not just at his birth did Jesus’ life change the world, but every day he walked this earth. Every encounter he had (with those seeking and those who felt threatened by him) made an impact.
Moving forward in 2020, how can we do the same? How can we give a little of ourselves to those we come in contact with? I have some ideas, but really it’s a question for you to ponder and answer in your own heart.
All the best,
Connect with KK:
Happy Thanksgiving. This morning was pretty melancholy as I cried through the first hour of the Macy’s Day Parade. I love that parade and always have. Today it reminded me of two very special people we lost this year, my mother-in-law, Annette Richardson, and my dad, Cliff Hensley.
Early in my marriage, Annette (who grew up dancing), and I went to see the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. She liked to tell the story of a friend of hers who auditioned and danced with them. Dad always watched the parade and there were many phone calls through the years while it was on talking about this performer, or that band.
Today I’m also thinking about Melissa Webb’s boys who said farewell to their mom a few days ago, and Jackie Snyder’s family who is coming up on the one year mark of her passing. Jackie would be glad to know that by the time my family comes to dinner my home will be “first floor ready.” I loved her gift of hospitality.
Yes, this year has been full of loss. There is a battle in my spirit waiting for the other shoe to drop, and my current reality that I do have SO much to be thankful for. The tears are just part of getting through the cycle of grief.
I am thankful for a loving husband who loves us like Christ loved the Church and who works hard for us. And my son who has a kind heart and has worked hard in his first semester of college(#wku2022). I am thankful for my job at NCFL, and the opportunity to tell the story of many individuals who have overcome great obstacles for themselves and their families. But my over-arching point of thankfulness is for my faith without which I wouldn’t have the hope to hang in there through the storm, the capacity to love, and the drive to work.
I started a new breakfast tradition this morning making a homemade giant cinnamon and apple roll. As you can see, it was a success. Football is on and I’m hydrating for the salt-fest that is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my family.
Thank you for sharing in my tearful moments this year. Please join me in moving forward focused on the blessings we all share.
So it’s July. Half way through the year. How are things going? Do you still feel as optimistic as you did on January 1st? Take a few minutes today to do something to recapture that optimistic-goal-setting-dreaming state of mind. What if you recapture that feeling, revisit your goals and spend the next 150 or so days working toward accomplishing just one of those.
Let me know how that goes for you.
The silence must have been deafening. After the yelling and the beating; the women crying. Jesus yielded his life. He died. Day turned into night. All was silent.
When I want to veg-out on a Sunday afternoon, I can be found binge-watching the Hallmark Channel. The two-hour chick-flicks have pretty much the same format; pretty predictable. So why do we keep watching?
The stories are clean, warm and romantic. The families portrayed aren’t perfect. The couples aren’t bed-hoping. They are following their heart. They are stories of the human condition of wanting to be connected. They demonstrate both old and new love. And the sweetness both can bring. We the viewers are swept into these perfect worlds of falling in love. We get lost in the story hoping she chooses the right guy (there are always two).
Why do we keep watching? My guess is that most of us get caught up the freshness of new romance – the first phone call, the first date, the first kiss. The butterflies when caller id flashes Mr. Wonderful’s name. The courtship of the new romance. Every date you learn something new about him. Every date is a new experience. We like new beginnings.
In our own lives, there is something wonderfully comfortable about a long-term relationship. He knows me and loves me even after the bumps in the road and seeing me at my very worst. But if we are intentional, we can still find those extraordinary moments of connection. Those times when we look at our sweetheart and feel that thrill of what made us fall in love the first time. It takes effort sometimes to keep things fresh; to breakout from the routine and try something new. In doing so we create our own Hallmark moments.