Inhale Grace...Exhale Praise

Monday, December 9, 2013

{This necklace is available here...a fundraiser for a family adopting a little girl from Ecuador. It reads "Breathe: Inhale Grace...Exhale Praise."}

Praise is a powerful thing.  It can heal a heart. Mold a mind. Transform a tragedy.  It has in my life.  Thinking I wouldn't recover this year from a breaking...I have come to the end of it all with a renewed sense of hope.  There is still healing to be done.  There is still the hard work of being still and knowing that He is God.  But God has truly performed my Word of the Year for 2013...REDEEMED.  He has redeemed heartache like I never could imagine.  He has turned that which was meant for evil into good. So I inhale His graces and exhale praise for the One who redeems all things...even the hard things.  Hyperventilate thanksgiving...that is what it takes to make things right.

Last week because it was my birthday I decided to make a list of forty-three gifts God has given me this year.  One for each year I have been on this earth. Intentional gratitude has changed the ugly into the beautiful.  To list 43 things in one many other gifts have I missed that God has given?  What have I not seen along the way?

I cannot encourage you enough...if you are going through heartbreak and even if you are not, listing what God has done is life-changing.  Don't wait for your birthday! Start listing now...

My list for this week...


-The above necklace from Tim
-The boys going out to buy me gifts in Zach's car
-Birthday messages
-Impromptu birthday lunch
-Coffee cards
-A peace I just can't explain
-More time to write
-Healing sermons
-Double blessings into of singles
-Not worrying about what others think
-Freedom to be myself
-Kindnesses when least expected
-Pouring more of myself into my students
-Realizing I never lose God's love
-Being brave to do some new things
-A prayer of defense
-New inner strength
-Some freedom from anxiety
-Advent readings
-Veggie soup simmering in the crockpot
-A paper star made by one of my students
-One cool dog...that had to endure getting stitches out.  Glad that is over!
-Birthday flowers from one of the teens I taught

-Birthday luncheon
-A sweet card from another teen I have had the privilege of teaching for many years
-Reading Jane Austen
-Warm weather
-The semester being almost over
-Vanilla coffee
-Walking with Tim and coming upon a house all decked out with Christmas lights
-Christmas baskets full of goodies to give away
-How Philippians 1:19 has played out in my life this year...for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

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