Thanks And Giving

The world can make a heart panic, scrambling to pile up extra lest “the worst” befalls us and suddenly there’s not enough.

That’s what happened back in the spring when, for some unknown reason, toilet paper became the currency of security.

But no matter how deep or full the pantry, stuff can’t keep us truly safe.

Ask me how I know.

Dominic ran ahead to Heaven April 12, 2014.

Only faith and trust in the ever-faithful, never-lying Almighty God guides our hearts Home.

So in this season of thanksgiving, when gratitude is in style, I want to choose a bold strategy to challenge the world’s wrong direction and misapplied “wisdom”.

It’s not enough to pray thanksgiving over my family, my home, my safety net stockpile.

I want my life to be full of thanks AND of giving.

Because when I give I’m boldly declaring that I trust the Lord to give more. I’m leaning into the True Source of provision and leading other hearts to do the same.

A heart of gratitude is beautiful.

It’s what God wants from His children. But that’s only the half of it. A grateful heart that freely gives to others what has been freely given to it is even more beautiful.

God’s economy is one of bounty. I am unconcerned that my Heavenly Father may run out of blessing.

Everything I have, He has placed in my hands.

I am most like Jesus when I open my fists and share the gifts God entrusts to me with others.

My true treasure can’t be counted in dollars and cents.

My real reserve is love poured out and love returned.

Then and Now: Open Hands, Open Heart

April 19, 2014

One week ago today my world was torn asunder, my eyes opened to the reality of what I said I believed-that any day, any moment, can be the last.  I was forced to face the test-second only to my own death should I have time to think before I die-of whether or not Scripture tells the truth or a tale:

Whether the loving God I claim to serve is for me or against me.

Whether this earthly existence is a path leading to the eternal life Christ promised or just a fleeting moment leading to eternal nothingness.

Will I define the rest of my days by what I have lost, always staring down the hole of emptiness left by Dominic’s breathing, vital absence or will I lift my eyes to the Eternal God and define my life by the very real connection I now have in Heaven?

Will I let grace, mercy and love fill me to overflowing and spill out into the lives of those around me or will I embrace bitterness and defeat and shrivel up so that my story dishonors the generous life Dominic lived?

By God’s grace, I choose love.

If my hands are open to the blessing, then they must be open to the pain.

If my heart is open to the memories and love, then it must be open to the grief and sorrow.

Oh LORD!  You have bruised me so that I will always be tender!

To walk with kindness and mercy and grace toward everyone-make that the legacy of my precious boy!

May 2, 2016

I continue to make the daily choice to hold out my empty hands to the God I serve.

Some days, it’s a greater challenge than others.

Sometimes I want to clinch my fists and cry, “No more!”

I would like to think that burying my son had filled up the quota of pain and hurt for a lifetime.  I want to believe that since I’ve been wounded so grievously, God would spare me further struggle.

But that’s not true.

Life goes on.  

I still face problems, I still face disappointment, I still face hardships and sorrow.

That is when I have to decide:  Will I close my heart and hands to the One Who can fill them with life and hope as well as grief and pain?

Where would I go?

I, like Peter, proclaim:

“Master, to whom would [I] go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. [I’ve] already committed [myself], confident that you are the Holy One of God.”

John 6:68 MSG