“I wake up each morning and live my life to honor Jesus. I’m just thankful for each day.” ~Grammie
Renee’s Grammie is 92, going on 32. She is sparkly in every way: her smile, her fashion, her laugh, her personality. There is not a room she enters that doesn’t light up. She has spent her life making others feel better about themselves and spreading gratefulness in so many ways.
This was never more evident than last week when Grammie had an accident and broke her shoulder. This is a serious injury for anyone at any age, let alone someone 92 going on 32. Tests were done, arms were poked, and x-rays were taken. The result is that she simply needs to rehab the shoulder as much as possible while managing the intense pain that comes with that.
During a particularly excruciating moment of her experience, Grammie was working with a young occupational therapist who noticed her positivity. She asked, “I can’t help but notice a joy in you, what is your secret to staying so positive?” Grammie’s response was easy, “I wake up each morning and live my life to honor Jesus. I’m just thankful for each day.” Tears formed in the therapist’s eyes as she understood the type of unique person she was treating.
Do you ever lose perspective a bit and forget the beauty of the things that are closest to you? I spoke to an insightful parent at our school just this morning who told me, “I recently traveled to some pretty rough areas internationally. I thought to myself, ‘What do I have to complain about? I have a place to live; I have a family; I have food everyday.’”
As daily life presses in and schedule outpaces us, we sometimes lose track of the most precious things in our lives. At these moments, it’s a helpful exercise to go back, back to the moments that tied me to those people and things in the first place. When I am losing sight of the bigger picture, I try to step back and refocus on the moments that made us… US.
I remember the very second the door at the back of that church opened and my wife was there. That feeling was unexplainable and irreplaceable. There was nowhere else I wanted to be and no one else I wanted to be with. Although the audience was full, I barely saw them. I only saw a full life ahead with one person, my wife. At that time, we both were young and knew almost nothing. Since then, kids have been born and life has been forged together. Some days are simple and some are complicated, but always I hold to the day that God bonded us forever.
The day your child is born is like a freeze-frame in real life. I remember each moment of both, even the shirts I wore and the cereal I ate while killing time, not realizing that Renee was very near to giving birth. When that baby arrives, it seems perfect. I remember thinking, “How could this sweet thing do anything wrong?” The answer to that comes quickly once the child learns how to eat, talk, walk, and finally negotiate. However, during a tough parenting stretch, it is so very helpful to think back to those first days. In those moments, I was confident that Renee and I could face what would come our way as parents. I felt like God had gifted me to be a great dad and to raise strong and Godly kids. Years later that is still true! It is just harder to remember sometimes since so much life gets in the way.
I am grateful, grateful for my wife and my kids, grateful for my home and the job God has provided. He has blessed me with more than I often realize. During the upcoming holidays, I hope that each of us will take a look back and appreciate those around us and the goodness that is present in our lives. Possibly, like Grammie, we can wake up each morning honoring Jesus and being thankful for the new day we’ve been given. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to reflect on your US moments and the blessings God has placed around you in each part of life.