It’s that week we begin focusing on what we have more than what we don’t have. A time to collect our thoughts on what matters most, and to allow the impact of those things and people to settle into the deepest places of our hearts.
Gratitude makes us smile.
Gratitude brings peace.
Gratitude creates joy.
Gratitude: a practice that births in us a sense of “enough” – material things, relational spaces, who we are.
This past year has been a bit different for me. Well, actually hugely different for me. I’ve had the invitation to step into (at times it’s felt more like “plunged” into), some really special places and platforms. A year ago, I would never have imagined that I would be writing and reflecting on these experiences. There are many days when my hair is tied back and my glasses are on and I’m scooting around on the floor playing with my children in my pajamas that I can hardly believe how God is using my story and voice and heart in such unique and sweet ways.
It makes me smile and it makes me cry. It makes me soar and it humbles me.
If you’re one of the people who have heard me speak – from a platform, in a breakout room, via a podcast or webinar or social media, or even in a living room – thank you so, so much…for shuffling through my humor and sarcasm and tears and scatteredness and stories and challenge and invitation…and receiving what I’ve shared. But mostly, for listening. I’ve felt heard and encouraged and affirmed and joined. That is a gift. Your listening hearts have been a gift.
I’m grateful for each of these speaking experiences, but even more so for what God has been and is doing through them. This is why so often my tears fall. He’s pursuing me, changing me, healing me. His spirit is renewing me…in gentle ways, in refreshing ways, in deeper ways. I’m finding more of him. I’m allowing him to find more of me. That little girl still inside me is receiving more of his love, more of his compassion. It’s been so, so hard to publically name and grieve the remnants of what still lingers under my protected heart, but I can tell you that it’s been so, so good. There’s more beauty there, underneath the ashes, that is rising. Oh, how my heart overflows with gratitude for this – more of Jesus’ love comforting me, soothing me, reminding me…that I am his and he is mine.
And then in how receiving more of him, his love, pays forward – in my story, in how I speak, and as I write – but mostly how it shows up in the relationships around me. It softens me. Grace always softens.
I tell people all the time, “I haven’t arrived anywhere,” but I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m definitely in a place that I wasn’t before. Not only has my view of God shifted, but his view of me. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
And so gratitude…it overwhelms me. It gives me joy. It gives me peace. It makes me smile.
So, whatever your platform is, stand on it – upright and strong, tender and open. Whether it’s inside your home with your pajamas on or outside the home with your polished face on, may you know that this world needs your heart and voice and story. There’s none other like it. The people who surround you cannot miss out on you, what you glimpse of Jesus.
As you find yourselves celebrating all that is “enough” this week, may you enter the conversations and laughter and quiet moments with all of who you are…enough.