What if today, I choose to live grateful? To love with abandon? To forgive without counting the cost? To give without reserve? To live fully present and undistracted in the moment? To be all there, wherever there happens to be? To breathe deep, choose wisely, seek beauty, and maintain perspective? To slow down and learn to see the blessing in each dark cloud?
Because it is.
What if today, I choose to live grateful, to obey simply because God is God – infinite and wise, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, the first and the last, creator of all, the great and holy I AM?
Yesterday I woke to a sick son and barking puppies, my husband half a world away in Shanghai, and knew I had a choice – grumble about the illness and puppies rising well before dawn, or be grateful that I have a son, blessed that today he isn’t waking up at Children’s Hospital, grateful for a warm house in a safe neighborhood surrounded by caring neighbors, grateful for clean water and good meds, good doctors and plenty of food, grateful for the privilege of puppies who infuse my day with joy, their playful antics the generous blessing of laughter.
Yesterday as I stood at the edge of choice, I got it right. In that tiny breath of life, I chose God over me, chose to live grateful and notice His blessings in the moment, chose to seek the beauty in the cloud, chose to obey.
Today I chose me. Today I woke weary, longing to simply sink back into sleep, no demands, no to-do list, no illnesses, no barking puppies, no laundry or food or lessons, nothing but sleep. Yet the insistent yips from our pups reminded me that day was tick, tick, ticking on whether I decided to join in or not. So I rose, grumpy and ill-tempered and impatient, and it stained our hours ugly, rendering our home a verbal war zone by noon.
“Oh, Lord,” I cried, “why is it sometimes so hard to choose right? To choose You and live grateful, thankful to simply be in Your Presence – Truth steeped in grace, saturated in mercy, washed in the blood of forgiveness, lavished in love, oozing peace, anchored fast in every storm. For there in the very moment of decision we choose to fall into the arms of JOY or land with a thud right back in our own sin.
So what if today, this moment, this breath we chose to obey and live grateful, falling free into the out-stretched arms of JOY, the waiting and welcoming arms of almighty God?
*Written for the beautiful women of We Used to Be You Ministries — sharing life experience, providing wise biblical counsel, and sharing the love of Christ with girls and young women.