It is well with my soul

At work the other day, the phone was ringing off the hook and the customers were off the chain. And I was rapidly losing what little patience resides in my heart. I snuck outside for a quick break and, in keeping with the Lamott book I recently read (Help, Thanks, Wow) I breathed a prayer of “Help.” That was all, nothing more. I didn’t know what else to say but, “Help.”

And in my ongoing effort to notice when God’s Grace flows to me, around me and through me, I noticed when I came back inside that the calls suddenly went away. Only for about 10 minutes or so but after having been nonstop for 3 hours, those 10 minutes were beautiful, glorious, gracious peace. And as the calls started up again in the same fervor, I was reminded to play the music I’ve downloaded to my phone. The playlist is made up of hymns and other soothing music of praise. It played along in the background and helped keep me calm.

Then, the following hymn played, and it touched me gently, deeply reminding me of God’s love and grace for me.

Thank You, Lord God, for an answer to my prayer of “Help.”

  1. When peace, like a river, attended my way,
    when sorrows like sea billows roll;
    whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.
    Refrain:
    It is well with my soul,
    it is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    let this blest assurance control,
    that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    and hath shed his own blood for my soul.
    (Refrain)
  3.  My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
    (Refrain)
  4. And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    even so, it is well with my soul.
    (Refrain)

As 2017 draws to a close, I can say with prayerful confidence, it is, indeed, well with my soul.

Go HERE for Wikipedia info on the author of this hymn and the circumstances behind it.

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In which I’m thankful for the little things

Thank You, Lord, for the little things. (Or, big things, depending on perspective.)

That Jenga has started eating his dinners and breakfasts. (You know how he prefers cat and/or people food to his own dog food.)

That despite trying to get out the door today on time, I was still late, BUT I had my work keys with me. (You know how often I have to turn around half way to work and go back for them.)

For showing me the bitterness and resentment I harbor in my heart that I may ask for both healing and forgiveness. (Even though I am uncomfortable with admitting that I have such yukky stuff inside me.)

For helping me forgive others when they bring up, once again, something I have done that I am deeply ashamed of and for helping me to remember that I must forgive myself, even as You have already forgiven me. (You know how I just love to beat myself up – I’m so good at it!)

For Your Love and Grace to see me through each day. (You know how all I want to do is bury my head under the covers and refuse to speak to anyone.)

That Your Love and Grace often comes in the form of four-legged furry beings wanting to go outside or to be fed. (Some days that is the only reason I get out of bed in the morning.)

Thank You, Lord God, for all the things in my life, but mostly for the little things.

In which I try to say ‘thank You’

Each weekday morning when I first awake, I try to remember to say, “Thank You, God, for this day.” I don’t mean it in the sense I want to stay in bed and sleep in.

Each weekday morning as I am driving to work, I try to remember to say, “Thank You, God, for this day.” I mean it in the sense I am grateful for employment even though it’s a job I hate 99% of the time.

Each weekday afternoon as I am walking out of the building and to my car to go home, I try to remember to say, “Thank You, God, my work day is done.” And I really mean it in every sense of the word.

In between times its hard to remember to say, “Thank You, God.”
It’s hard to say thank you when 3 customers in a row cursed you out.
It’s hard to say thank you when you’re in the middle of something and your supervisor calls and tells you to do something else completely different.
It’s hard to say thank you when a customer calls and asks a really stupid question (Hello, Captain Obvious? Can you talk to this moron about using their grey matter?)
It’s hard to say thank you when the ones you love are being torn apart by the ones you love.
It’s hard to be thankful for so many things.

But thankful I need to be.
Without thankfulness I would be bitter, angry and sullen.
Without thankfulness my life would suck.
Without thankfulness I would feel completely alone in this crazy, weird world.
Without thankfulness I would have no peace or joy in my mind and heart.
Without thankfulness I would feel as if I had to shoulder the weight of the world and be responsible for everything that goes on.

So, Dear Lord God,
Thank You that each day I wake up to a new and fresh opportunity to do good for someone else.
Thank You that each day I wake up to a new and fresh chance to draw closer to You.
Thank You that each day I have a job to go to and that You are using the experience to refine my heart and soul that as I rid myself of anger and bitterness, I open myself up to more of You.
Thank You that each day I get on with the business of living, and living well, despite my own human frailties.
And thank You that I don’t have to bear the burden of humanity on my weak shoulders – You have already taken care of that through Jesus.
And, also, thank You for gently reminding me each day to be thankful for all things, good, bad or anything and everything in between – especially when I don’t feel like being thankful.