Gratitude

1. Inheriting eight differently colored highlighters from whoever previously held my position & occupied my desk at work. (An office supply geek’s DREAM)

2. Thank you notes.

3. Encouraging comments in passing at our round lunch table that remind me of good community.

4. Eating at a round table – family lunch. Cait would love it.

5. Cranberry pants, just like I’ve always wanted.

6. A blank Word document soon filled with memories.

7. Oatmeal. I can’t believe I purchased it in America, but I did and it makes my angry morning tummy so happy.

8. Shuffling iTunes – letting God pick the soundtrack of my morning.

9. Nehemiah studies.

10. Getting retweeted by the author.

11. “Gratitude changes everything” – Lara Casey

12. Laughter in the office.

13. Moving around a little bit.

14. Befriending the IT department (because I know their job and they help set mine up).

15. A God who has promises we can walk on like a sidewalk in an ocean. Solid ground amidst crashing waves. Peace.

thanksgiving precedes the miracle – Ann Voscamp

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Fresh Blessings: A Life Update

My apologies for such an extended absence. I made a deal with myself to write one blog a week, but alas…it has been much longer than that. I have a few good reasons (excuses) though:

 

Within a week of being home I interviewed for a position as part-time event planner at WinShape Retreat. I spent that weekend in Rome hugging lots of old faces and having tons of laughter-filled conversations. I returned to Perry and (again) within a week had a second interview with WSR. 

The day after my second interview (which went extremely well – it turned out to be roughly three interviews in one, lasting about 3 hours) I drove to Atlanta with my Mama to pick up my new car. Her name is Sandy and she’s a beaut!

 

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Sunday, Sandy got a flat tire on the way into the church parking lot. Tough luck, I know – but I had my two awesome brothers there to change it over to my spare (aren’t I lucky?!).

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AND – by the grace of the dear Lord, had money for two NEW tires donated by people in the church (several of which have children in international mission work).  To say that I felt humbled was an understatement. I was in utter disbelief and shock. I’m sure I was bad at expressing my gratitude because I was so in awe of how incredible our God is. Not only does He provide like He says He will (and lavish love on us like Caitlin Sickler knows so well from 1 John), but His body moves. I think I was more in awe & on my knees in gratitude for having the opportunity to see my brothers & sisters in Christ move as a body. I’m not going to lie – being home has been rough (another post), but it was tough leaving home a year ago, too. In both instances, the Boss provided little grand gestures of love & intentionality to remind me of how Soveriegn He really is.

For that, I’m thankful.

And needless to say, Sandy was up and running before Wednesday when I received the phone call from WSR offering me a wonderful position in their event planning department – to which I squealed in delight and also gasped in horror as I realized I had less than 48 hours to pack up my life and drive like mad up I-75N to Rome.

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Nevertheless, with help from my dear Mother, I had it all packed and ready to go Friday morning just before lunch. Sandy & I made our first big trip north and have settled in quite nicely here.

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I started work last Monday and it was a dream. Okay, maybe not quite. The first day was orientation & fill-out-tax-forms day, which isn’t terribly exciting, but was fun nonetheless. Since, I’ve been waiting patiently for my computer to arrive & in the meantime listened to phone conversations & looked through our “other Bible” with all the dire details of how we function. 

I also read a little about Martha Berry (as if I didn’t know enough) and found out she was engaged to a Virginian man once. Fact? Fiction? I’m still on the Henry Ford train. 

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This weekend has been quiet and restful – precisely what I needed. It included a Braves game to honor my first month back, lots of pumpkin tea, a little football, and a lot of Netflix. 

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What an incredibly full & blessed month I’ve had at home!

Seek the welfar…

Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.

This verse from Jeremiah 29 has been floating around me for some time now. Pastor Jason Mangram gave a wonderful message on this pre-middle section of Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Jerusalem on my first Sunday home. He spoke a lot to the need for seeking God first, praying forward, and taking advantage of the situation God has you in right now rather than looking forward or backward. At the time it didn’t go quite as deep as it should have, but when I opened my Bible this morning, it was screaming.

 

We’ve all been deported. Think about it. The old hymn says, “This world is not my home. I’m just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” (Did y’all sing that? I sure did – over and over again.) We’re strangers in a foreign land. We’re just here for a little while before we get back to heaven – the Promised Land. 

When Jesus said “grafted in” he meant it in a big way.

Our birth was more or less our exile from God because of our sin (I know this could go crazy theologically, but bear with me) and we’re basically in Babylon right now like Judah in the book of Jeremiah.

Yes, our goal is the presence of our Savior, Jesus, in heaven, but our job is right here. In Jeremiah 29, God addresses the exiles of Judah and tells them to settle down, make babies, and seek the welfare of the city.

That’s what we should be doing right now. We’re curbside prophets with our hands in our pockets just waiting on our rocket to come (Somebody please catch that Jason Mraz reference) but what we should be doing is investing in the city we’re in – our mission field, if you will. 

I mean, that’s a big statement. “…for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.” And some of us wonder why we’re struggling so much – start praying & interceding for your city. See how Boss changes things.