Grace Gifts, Reasons to Give Back

For the past few days I've noticed a hydrangea blooming in the back yard. Isn't it a little late in the season for hydrangeas? I'm really thinking it is, but I'm no botanist, and this is South Carolina.

A few days later, this is what I found. This gorgeous, pink flower, standing tall and proud, just begging to come inside and brighten up my day.

 Gift #1136, Hydrangea

Last Tuesday night, 9 of us gathered around a table to celebrate the life of a wonderful friend. This friend has traveled a difficult road this past year. In June of 2013, she called me while I was at the beach and shared the news she had received. "I have breast cancer," she said.

My heart sank and sadness flooded my soul. Not Lara. Not the healthiest person I know.

Now, she's cancer free and we could not be more ecstatic and blessed to have her by our side.

Gift #1137, Lara.

Wednesday, a life-long friend went into surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed from her stomach. By the afternoon we had received word that the surgeon could not remove it because of its location. The next step, chemotherapy.

My heart sank. I even felt nauseous.

Gift #1138, childhood - adult friends.

Thursday, Gift #1139 -Birthday!

My birthday began with Bible study with some fabulous women, and then lunch with my favs: Rick, Turner and Madison.

Then, while at lunch, another tragic call. More friends hurting. Their child, lying in a hospital in critical condition after a horrible car accident.

My heart sank again. Sadness flowed through me...again.

Gift #1140, Life.

I remember God's gifts - the flower, friends, my birthday, life.

No one is promised tomorrow. We are not privy to God's timetable or the number of our ordained days.  We just have to run this one race well; this one life God has given, in His strength, in His power, in His love and grace, with faith.

We are proclaiming and claiming this truth in our Bible study, "God is greater than our struggles." 

He has us! He's got this!

Press on with your eyes fixed on Jesus. Run for the joy that lies ahead! Run, baby! Run!

Tall and proud; my hydrangea. Today it blooms. Tomorrow it may die, but it is bursting forth its praise for the Creator who gave it life. God's gift has blessed me.

Tall and proud I stand! God's child.  I live this day to the full because I'm not privy to what tomorrow holds.

So today I burst with praise, for my Creator has given me life to do so.

May my gift of praise bless Him.

"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name." 
(Andrae Crouch, lyrics) 

My Pleasure,