In which there are more thank you’s to God (#542-#552)

by Craig on September 12, 2011

#542 … that Our God is the God of dreams and vision. He is Lord of light in darkness, hope in despair, strength to lean on when all strength is gone.

#543… that I’m incredibly fortunate to know the One who knows me completely, sees all my limitations and keeps drawing me near. Sunrise is here today. I am here today. Because He is here today. I have a lifeline holding me fast to the God of all things.

#544… for the way the sunlight sends forth those straight line beams from behind a darkened, gloomy, ashen cloud.

#545… for getting older – because You have made it so that I will never die.

#546… for the bitter of life – that You understand – You catch tears, and save them, and feel them.

#547… for that quiet breeze that comes from nowhere and goes where it wills, that precious reflection of the Spirit of God, who fills everything, and lives in us.

#548… for Ann, teaching me to think of, and live, and share gratitude. I’ve always seen the glass half empty. It’s new to aim thankful eyes at everything. I don’t do it perfectly – or even at all sometimes. But she has helped me see what I’ve never seen, voice what I’ve never spoken, and hear heartsounds I’ve never heard – that ring like wind chimes on a breezy Autumn day.

#549… for this year I’ve named “connect” because of her. It has taken this heart that was, for the most part, unaffected by the pain of others, and the their joy. It has bloomed that heart wide open – and it’s prettier in bloom.

#550… that Our Lord made all of us to love, vertically and horizontally and that the reason we can love at all – is because He first loved us.  (1JN 4:19)

#551… that God is there – even when I can’t “feel” him.

#552… and that He isn’t an impersonal force, a super being toying with the lives of some creations. But a most loving Father, with a heart He shares, and keeping care over hearts that belong to Him, hearts He rescued.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilie September 12, 2011 at 7:15 am

“That Our God is the God of dreams and vision.” Yes, yes, yes. Thanks for reminding me this morning. :)

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I’m sorry, I’m so late in replying. But two weeks ago there was a week without near zero sleep. And this last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara Frankl (@gitzengirl). And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry.

and the way you wrote your comment, Emilie, it sounds like you needed a reminder for dreaming, and for vision – so I hope you don’t mind that I prayed for you – for just those things. God bless you my friend – you are a difference maker – whether you feel like it or not.

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Emilie September 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm

oh, thank you for your prayers, crag… i very much appreciate them. i’m in a transition spot right now… waiting for the time when i can go do the work God has called me to, and some weeks are discouraging and slow, even as i know God holds this time in the palm of His hand and He hasn’t forgotten and He sees my dreams.

and i just prayed for you, too, and for this blogging community as it processes Sara going Home. thank you for your words and your time and your prayers–you have encouraged so many here, even though you might not feel like it, and i’m thankful for you.

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Craig September 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

thank you Emilie – you are an absolute treasure. God bless you!

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Carrie September 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

Good Monday Morning, Craig! I love #s 547, 548 and 549. The next time I’m outside and feel a refreshing breeze, I pledge to close my eyes in that moment and feel God’s presence, His arms encircling me. Thank you for this wonderful image to tuck in my mind. I too am so grateful to Ms. Voskamp – I’ve never kept a list nor bothered to take the time to write any thanksgivings. This has been a real awakening, a gift. I appreciate your honesty in #549. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. Yes, I’m the type who can choke back tears at the slightest provocation, touching documentary or the plight of another. I was frequently teased for being an emotional child, and I’ve finally accepted that this is exactly how God formed me to be. Blessings to you this week and thank you for the fabulous reminders!

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’m sorry, I’m so late in replying. But two weeks ago there was a week without near zero sleep. And this last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara Frankl (@gitzengirl). And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry.

and #549 is precisely why I am so torn with Sara leaving this earth. A year ago I would’ve felt sorry – but I wouldn’t have FELT SORRY – know what I mean? And good for you for being an emotional kid – I still am :-) God bless you Carrie, and again I’m sorry for being late, and thank you.

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Kelly September 12, 2011 at 9:19 am

His presence in the breeze. Yes. Isn’t it amazing how this eucharisteo gives us eyes to see Him in everything? I’ve had my eye on Beauty all week- and He is ravishing.

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I’m sorry, I’m so late in replying. But two weeks ago there was a week without near zero sleep. And this last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara Frankl (@gitzengirl). And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry.

And because I’m replying to your comment so late – I’m looking out the window now – and there isn’t much breeze – just slightest movement of the leaves and branches – and I’m reminded – so thank you for that, thank you Kelly. And Amen – HE. Is. Ravishing. God bless you and all of yours – and thank you.

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Christina September 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

Love is all, especially 546. I love how this gratitude community can be such an encouragement to one another. As iron sharpens iron… Thanks again for another great list!

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I’m sorry, I’m so late in replying. This last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara Frankl (@gitzengirl). And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry.

and in all that I’m feeling right now – the sadness that just covers me – this wondering of what she’s going through – and praying for her so, so hard – I’m glad that I’m commenting to you so late – because I really need #546 right now. I heart God’s timing. And thank you for playing a part in it. God bless you Christina. God bless you.

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Dawn September 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

Dear Craig,

I love how you worded this, “It’s new to aim thankful eyes at everything.”

I like how you said it is “new”. It reminds us you weren’t always like this and if we aren’t but we’d like to be, we can be, too. I like that you used the intentional (I-WILL-do-this) verb “to aim”. It gives us a picture that there is a goal, but that sometimes you will miss, but you are practicing to get better. I like how you made your eyes “thankful” to denote a perspective. I like how you did not waver when you used the word “everything”.

I think there must be a doctoral dissertation in here somewhere.

May you be able to rest even if your eyes are open, your thankful eyes, that is,
Dawn

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Dawn, a week late, I guess you already know I’m sorry.—— and I’m smiling, because of your precise linguistic evaluation of my words. Thank you for that. And yes – I think your doctoral dissertation would be magnificent. And rest – if it comes it comes – I’ll take it – if not – then not – and it’s okay. God bless you Dawn.

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Andrea Dawn September 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

Dear Craig,
Your heart is truly, beautifully in bloom and your words are fragrant with His presence.
My favourite is #547 . . . the quiet breeze.
Because He first loved us,
Andrea Dawn

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Andrea Dawn – sorry I’m late replying – very late – you know why. and #547 – the breeze – who knows where it comes from or where it goes – so it is with the spirit of God. Outside right now – not much breeze – a little more than earlier – and as the leaves sway – I’m reminded – reminded of his Spirit – and breath of life. Thank you Andrea Dawn, and God bless you!

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A. September 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

Craig, coming here from your sister site…knowing how much you needed sleep as you wrote these, the first three especially stood out to me, and #546 and 561. That you remain faithful to Him despite your deep challenges speaks as much as what you have written. That He loves us so much despite our challenges does the same. I am so glad you are anchored in Him, Craig! Bless you for blessing us despite your difficulties!

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

still catching up on comments A. and thank you for liking #561. Since I’m replying one week late I can see into the future a little bit – and although this list only went to 552 – this week’s thank you’s have a #561 – it’s this…

#561… For Ann’s soul words that play harmony to that melody, “The black notes can make music too. The black notes can choose joy too.”

The black notes – pretty fitting. And my difficulties? Not really so difficult are they? God bless you my friend!

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Martha Orlando September 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Today, I am thankful for you, Craig, as your words speak hope and joy and gratefulness to our hearts.

Blessings!

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Martha, I’m sorry for replying so late to this week old comment that you were gracious enough to leave. You know why. Anyway – you said my words spoke “joy” – and “joy” and choosing joy mean a little more to me this week. I heart the way God times things. it made your comment even more precious. God bless you Martha.

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Kristin September 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’m so glad your heart is in bloom! And I say Amen to #552. . .well, actually Amen to every number on your list! :)

Thank you for sharing,
Have a blessed week!

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Kristin, I’m sorry for taking a week to reply t your comment – sorry – you know why. and being a week late – and seeing that you noted #552 – how God holds our hearts and is not an impersonal force. It means something different this week to me than it did last – well not different – just – more. Thank you Kristin, and I hope you have a blessed week too!!

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A. September 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Craig, I understand #545 a little better having read Gina’s comment on your other post. :)

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Nacole September 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

hi Craig,

a beautiful list–i liked #544, 546, 547 and 550. all beauttiful thanks, and resonating in my own heart…yes. but i especially liked the part where you say, “It’s new to aim thankful eyes at everything.” i heart that! it is new, and wonderful, mysterious, hard to grasp at, but so worth the effort! all praise to Him for any grace that i am able to hold onto.

blessings, friend.

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Nacole, my friend, I’m sorry, I’m so late in replying. But this last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara Frankl (@gitzengirl). And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry.

thank you for saying that so many from my list – my thank you list – resonated with your heart. You have a special heart. And thank you for using heart as a verb – I heart that ((( smile))) Nacole, please hold on tight to your shield of faith – hold on tight to his grace – in your weakness he is strong – just hold on. You may not have needed to hear that – I just kind of felt like saying it. God bless you my friend.

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Nacole September 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Craig,

i did need to hear it. you were right on. these past three weeks have been the hardest…thats why ive been a little quiet…and i know i say that all the time, but i guess it is going to get worse before it gets better–so forgive me if i sound like a broken record. i am holding on as tight as i can, and hoping–i havent let completely go of my hope–that God comes through on His end. and Craig, i do think that the little boy that saw the rays breaking through the clouds, saw God–even if noone told him that it was God. children are awesome like that.

blessings.

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Nacole September 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

oh, and Craig. i did not know about Sarah–i did not know her. but after reading your comment i went to her site. very sad indeed. the beauty of her words were life changing, and also the words that Ann wrote about her wish for everyone–that they could just stop and be still to see the beauty in the everyday small things–fresh air, sunshine on your face, freshly cut grass, the orange orb behind your eyelids when closed to the blinding sun–all these things, yes, i notice, but need to notice more–and be thankful more–i am grateful to her for pointing this out, and it has made all the difference for me. i belive she accomplished her purpose–that in her going, that people would be influenced by her life to be grateful and see the grace of God and the gift of now. remarkable, she truly was remarkable.

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Craig September 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Nacole, I’d say more – I just have nothing in me right now. God bless you my friend.

Nacole September 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

oh, and Craig, i forgot to ask, did you do the pictures? they are gorgeous! if you did, then well done!!! the sun’s rays through the clouds in these photographs are so telling.

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

oh, and the pictures? I did them all – me and my trusty little point and shoot camera, while on a walk with Laska the love Kitty. When I was a little kid I thought that the rays coming from the clouds were God – I didn’t have any religious training at all – I knew nothing about God – but I always felt that those rays were him. I’m glad you hearted them. God bless you Nacole.

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Debbie September 13, 2011 at 2:23 am

These are beautiful, like your heart that beats for Him. Something so special about those pictures, those rays of sun shining through. Thank you! God bless you and shine through you each day!

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

my goodness, a week late on my reply – sorry – you know why. And ツ all of those shots were taken with my humble little point-and-shoot during a walk with Laska. Thank you as always Debbie – you are a joy.

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