Grateful anyway

I have a great pastor.  He is truly gifted in the way he presents God’s word day after day, between Sundays, and especially on quiet Sunday mornings.  Sitting in the pew is a weekly gift.

His sermons, of late, have focused on the call of forgiveness in our lives.  Such an easy word to throw around, yet difficult to do.  In fact, the more he preached on it, the farther I realized I was from forgiving the most precious person on this earth to me–my husband. 

I have spent the last three weeks wondering what, exactly, is my problem here?  I know I want my relationship with my husband to be full, alive, and vibrant.  But, without basic forgiveness, we chip away at what can be.  And, all those little pieces we’ve chipped away somehow end up bound together in our hearts, forming balls of bitterness and anger.  Isn’t it funny how easy it is for these to surface in the hard moments?

I think God must see me in much the same way.  He must see the bitterness in my heart over issues that are almost trivial to Him.  The daily frustrations of picking up toys underfoot, cleaning up spilled drinks in the car, trying to get them all in bed after a day that ended much later than it should have.  My cry inside that THIS isn’t what mothering should be, or should feel like.  Being a good wife SHOULD be so much easier than this.


And this bring me back to forgiveness.  When we turn to our heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness, he restores our relationship completely through the healing act of His son, Jesus.  Our sins are removed from us “as far as the east is from the west.”  (Ps. 103:12)  My human mind cannot figure out how to remove transgressions committed against me in my life so completely.  And, perhaps I am not supposed to know.  Perhaps I, again, have to turn to God for His divine help.

One thing, surprisingly, has come to light more and more in the last few weeks.  If I focus on the gifts He has given me, the moments of grace, my mindset is so much more open to forgiveness; to allowing the daily moments to overshadow the stressful hours.  And, my list of 1,000 gifts continues for me . . .

11.  Little boy kisses

12.  Giant sunflowers nodding their heads to the end of the garden

13.  Afternoon calls just to say “I love you”

14.  Rays of sun coming through the church window straight onto my pew

15.  Warm arms in the middle of the night to cuddle into

16.  Cooler fall mornings hinting of warm sweaters and blankets to come

17.  Laughter between sisters

18.  Releasing anger over issues that cannot be controlled

19.  Finding just the right book for the moment

20.  Friends who call just to see how you’re doing