It seems it has been awhile since I thanked you, and I’m finding myself full of gratitude for you today.
Thank you for being the eyes and the ears on the other side of my screen. Thank you for listening and reading and learning right alongside of me. Thank you for challenging my perspective and for forcing me to get back to the word time and time again.
To anyone who has ever taken a Bible study with me, thank you for your presence that pushed me towards being a better teacher each week. To those who have ever attended a retreat or a conference with me, thank you for sharing those mountaintop faith experiences with me.
To those who have taught me, thank you for showing me how to do what I do. Thank you for playing a role in shaping my character and my understanding of God’s Word. To those who have mentored me, thank you for choosing to use your life’s lessons as a classroom for my growth. To those who have supported me and believed in me when I had stopped believing in myself, thank you for your faithfulness.
To my peers, thank you for running your races so well right next to me, cheering me on as I go. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone on this journey. Thank you for refusing the traps of competition and comparison and instead, embracing unity.
I came back down from the mountains on Sunday afternoon. This was both a literal and metaphorical descent, and as I re-entered the normal “day to day” that often causes the weekend retreat rush to quickly fade, instead I was met with a deep sense of gratitude.
Gratitude for what I had just witnessed the Lord do in many, many lives, my own at the top of that list.
Gratitude for the kind of rest that retreat provides.
Gratitude for a voice, a passion, and a gifting to use for God’s glory.
Gratitude for the women this past weekend who finally surrendered all to Jesus.
Gratitude for meals that tasted incredible that I didn’t have to make.
Gratitude for a few kid-free days, which only resulted in my love for my own little guy to grow.
Gratitude for fresh air and fresh wind from the Spirit that blew in and through us this weekend.
Gratitude for sweet times spent in worship.
Gratitude for an endless supply of coffee at all hours of the day.
Gratitude for a God who is who He says He is.
Just plain grateful.
The “day to day” often has the tendency to suck the joy right out of us, even when we don’t realize we’re allowing it to happen. It’s a grateful heart that chooses to intentionally fight that battle of joylessness.
The weekend wasn’t perfect. There were spiders everywhere and a little bat that decided to make his home right outside my cabin door for the majority of the weekend. I played too much basketball on Friday night, which resulted in my out of shape self feeling like I had attempted to run a half marathon. There were some broken women who brought some heavy stuff with them to camp, myself included. It was painful to revisit those things and allow God to get His hands inside of them to begin the healing process.
But, it was good.
And, I am grateful.
So, to you, thank you for being a part of this journey called life with me. No matter the capacity to which you’re with me in it, I am thankful for you and your presence along the way. God asks us to do life together, and so, this is just one attempt on my part to live alongside of you.
Thank you for being here.
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6