Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Gratitude

Climbing out… with gratitude

I awoke in a funk. My knee was throbbing. My family wasn’t reading my mind and acting accordingly. The sweet of fellowship had somehow fled since the precious hours the night before and left behind only the bitter of farewell. I began the list of negatives in my head and was well on my way to ensuring a horrific Sunday morning for my loved ones. And then the still small voice.

Give thanks?


But really? This morning? I seem to be wallowing quite nicely here…

Especially this morning, yes.

I tried to began to say thank You.

From my rut, I could not see the gifts clearly, so I had to begin with what was literally in front of me. Toothbrush… toothpaste… clean water flowing easily from my faucet… a cozy house in the cool of a spring morning… a husband awake… Davey, with his young man intensity… Barak, passionate and dreaming… Elanor, on the cusp of young womanhood… Josiah, tenderhearted and loving-handed… Kate, with her laughter… Grace, face shining in smiles… Stephen, embracing big brotherhood… Andrew, unexpected and treasured

Oh, there are so many more, and as the day goes on, they continue to come to mind…
Friends preparing an evening for us to enjoy fellowship before departing
More friends arriving to fellowship

A dear lady, part of our lives since shortly after we moved to Missouri… friend/doula/counsellor/encourager/more
Big families that love us
Couples that love us
Friends who couldn’t come but who send sweet words of encouragement
A quiet corner to sit and nurse… and listen to the sounds of people I love
Sue, faithful friend, confidante, fellow-traveller
Tina, inspiring, honest, uplifting
Georgia, overcoming
Mama Fay, precious lady of God
Janet, laughing, tenderhearted
Children playing, making memories
Our men, talking, playing golf (in the living room!)
Dad and Mom Smith, encouraging and helping
Papa and Mama, cheering and praying (my Aaron and Hur)
Flowers showing up more each day
Green overtaking the ground
A picnic, walk, and play at Shaw Nature Reserve

A weeping willow on the way to chapel, looking like a fountain of green misty spray

Gifts #340-375

Oh, the Gifts!

Does anyone know who’s handing out the “bad blogger” awards this month?

If only you could read all the posts I’ve written in my head.

My main excuse is a pretty solid one – we’re moving in two weeks, back home to the Hutchinson area! I’m hoping to manage a catch-up/catch-all post sometime this week. We shall see.

In the meantime, my thanks overflow…
Gifts #302-339

Step by step direction
Faith challenges
Spring rain – cold, uncomfortable, but so beneficial
The inspiring determination of a friend to lose those pounds and get healthy
Shared tools for getting healthier
Three days in a row of Pilates (twice, now!)
Friends who care for us
Encouragement as we follow Him
Packed boxes
Bare walls
More and more to do
A husband and blessings who do so much of the work
Freedom to put school on “pause”
Green shoots of spring flowers and garlic

A contract on the Byrds’ Nest (hard thanks, this)
Laundry to do
A repaired-by-my-man dryer door
But God
Blue for the sky – from horizon to horizon
The color green (to fill these fields with praise)

Sunset over the Flint Hills
Tire replaced *before* blow out
Tire in stock
Full van and trailer
Road trip with my man
Happy baby in the next seat
A fun weekend for the other Blessings
Willing muscles – practical love!
Empty van and trailer
New house with pieces of us inside
Planning what goes where
Closets. Lots of closets. With lots of shelves.
A mud room
Sweet neighbors we will be leaving
Sweet neighbor we will be gaining
More boxes filling

A last hurrah for winter
Lovely white snow melting to show gorgeous green grass
Reminders to BE, not just do

a day late…


Last week, I set up a simple notepad file on my desktop, in a top corner… hovering as a reminder. To accept everything as a gift.
It seems to be more effective than trying to write gifts on paper, or to remember the thanks without writing them down at all. It also is helping me to train my thinking. All through grace.

Gifts #250 – 278
Dark yucky days
Loving hugs
New mornings
Adventure – ski day for the older Blessings
Visits with friends old and new
Fear conquered for a sweet daughter

A darling baby to brighten everyone’s day and encourage new friendships
Hard decisions
Special event missed due to illness
God’s view – bigger than mine
Pediatric eye specialists
Numbing drops
Baby patches

Baby glasses
Morning sun streaming in through the crackd earlier each day
Braiding sweet Grace’s hair, just because she asked
Reading with Blessings
Sweet warm chubby cheek pressed against mine
Two new baby teeth
Willing helpers
The humbling love-learning of cleaning up after sick loved ones
Tag-team tax prep
Taxes done!
Arrival of a precous much-anticipated little lady to some dear friends
Gorgeous sunny days
Warm sun on my face
Chickens scratching in the yard
Prayerful planning about the future
Banana boxes

holy experience

Counting Gifts

Gifts #226 – 249
Reminders of our Hope
Divine planning
Deep snow
A dog to run circles around me

Crunch, crunch, crunch
Days cozied-in as a family
The thrill of flying over the snow

No blood on the snow, despite crashes
A God who leads
Encouragement to dream-plan
Trust in His wisdom
The pain of betrayal
The power of His forgiveness
The war waged
Victory assured
All Shall Be Well
A brother visiting

A “Super” Evening with friends
Re-arranged furniture
Changed hearts
Cookies baking for legislators
A man who reminds me to stand for what I believe

holy experience

Mid-winter Gratitude

We made a “dash” trip back home to Hutchinson this last weekend, leaving Friday evening and arriving back at our Missouri home this morning at 7am. The whirlwind trip was prompted by the illness of one of Jonathan’s aunts, who has been tentatively diagnosed with a rare and serious type of lung cancer. Aunt Elaine’s diagnosis was a striking reminder of how important family is, and we felt it was important to gather with the extended family to support her and each other. Our weekend also included time with some dear friends and a look at a neat farm house. It was definitely worth the drive, and though we would have loved to stay longer, we’re glad we went.

And the gifts…
Winter babies born to friends
Traveling mercies
Hard circumstances that draw family together
Gray and white hairs
Precious time with precious friends
With Becki, my dear friend and "sister"
Seeing our friends’ dream-come-true farm
Reminders that the Great Planner has everything under control
A trip home
Long views
Straight Roads
Sky view from horizon to horizon
Orion – cystal clear in the sky, from the middle of town. Love small town Kansas
Prayer Warrior Parents
Little boy bearing gifts
Anniversary Bibles (finally spent our ann. gift, Papa and Mama – love them, thank you!)
Package delivery pre-storm
Time with G’ma Smith for Elanor
Parenting growing pains
A warm house while the sleet comes down for hours
Icy Yew
Firewood… just in case
Safety for Dad S. and Lynn traveling to Hutch overnight
A tree felled in November that will not be falling in this ice
Big baby push ups

holy experience

Scratching for Revival

I haven’t scratched out thanks on the keyboard since December. A heart full of thanks and mental lists of gifts, while fresh for a time without the scratching, have dulled and faded in the last few weeks. And my Mondays in particular, instead of being full of joy, full of Him, have seen me dragging, grumpy, and sleeping overmuch in attempts to revive. A gentle word from a friend today helped me remember what I’ve been missing. And so, two naps and a shower into the day, as the light fades and I listen for the sound of my man pulling in the drive, here I sit, scratching for revival.

Gifts # 180 – 202
Pristine snow
Being washed white
Winter sunshine

Cozy hibernating family days
Snow “decor”
A walk with my man
Sledding with the Blessings
A new-to-me monitor from our next-door-friends

The release of a long awaited book
Swagbucks money with which to buy it
Friends’ newborn and awaited babies
Gingerbread house fun

Friends to encourage and challenge
Sleepy cooing
A sweetly developing little man

Young people with developing dreams and goals
Examples of walking faith (just one example here)
Progress on Projects
Locks of Love

Fellowship found
Unending Love
Relentless pursuit
Grace to help in time of need

holy experience

Gratitude from FL

We’re in Florida, enjoying time with my folks and other family. So much for which to be thankful!

Gifts #145-179
Traveling mercies
Friends who are caring for our home and animals while we are gone
Sunrise on the road

The Alphabet Game
A man who can drive 17 hours straight
Making good time (is that what is meant by Godspeed?)
Talks about the future with our son
The beauty of the progressive change in flora/fauna as we drove south
Snowy white cotton fields

Southern pines
Pecan Groves
Peach Orchards

Being with Papa and Mama
A home of their own

Seeing precious/common things of my Mama’s, some of which have been packed away for years
A living example of love and parent-honoring

Cousins together

An eight hour drive made for a 24 hour visit
Time with my beloved Bubba and family
Play time for young men with the older men in their lives

Cooking with Mama and Beka
Neck huggin’
Fine Florida sand and pine needles underfoot
Chinese Honey citrus trees

Sweet time with family at Papa’s bday party

70 years lived by grace


My grandma gettin’ and giving “sugar” with my youngest
The enlivening effect of sweet baby hands, kisses, and smiles

Meeting Papa and Mama’s church family
That church family, overflowing with the love of Christ

Errand running with Mama
A hoarse voice (and accompanying laughter)
Grace in my foolishness
Peace in God’s sovereignty

holy experience

The Gifts Overflow

This habit of thanks is a life-changer.

I realize that I’m only on the tip of the blessings that come from thanks. 
Yet, here at the tip, while there are things in my life that ache, my heart is simultaneously overflowing with gratitude. 

Gifts #99 ~ 122

A picnic with the Blessings on (likely) the last warm day of the year
The peace-making practice of prepping Thanksgiving food early
A 50 pound turkey
Working with my love on a daunting task
Learning to welcome help
Release from decorating expectations
Our Thanksgiving bush

New (to me) music on sale Thanksgiving weekend
Two big stock pots living up to their name, making us gallons of healthy delicious turkey stock as I type
My man on the way home to me
Those familiar arms wrapping me in love
A long-missed brother at our Thanksgiving table

Gifts of love
Family games and laughter
Dear friend come to visit
Snow covered world on Thanksgiving

Artificial tree casting away water/wood floor worries
Three-year old wonder at the Christmas lights/trees
The beginning of the Advent season
Advent Week 1 – Hope – When we take a closer look at the prophecies telling of the Savior’s coming
A thoughtful new Jesse Tree resource
Tracing the story of redemption
Free-to-play music to focus our hearts this season
God in flesh. Bent and raised for my eternity.

A Thousand Thanks

I lay in the dark, sleepless, emotions roiling, saying in my head what I might say aloud if he were awake.

In the midst of my rant comes, “Any other time, I would be thanking God that I’m lying here with your arms around me, with your breath on my neck, and your gentle (for once) snore in my ear. But… (blah, blah, blah about the incident that had me all in a twist)!”

And then the still small voice, “Why don’t you thank Me anyway?”


I began the thanks.
And gradually the hurt, anger, and frustration slipped away, to be replaced by peace, joy, and gratitude.

As I drifted off to sleep, I was reminded that I haven’t established the gratitude habit as I should. I’m seeking to change that, and part of the process will be officially joining the Gratitude Community and trying to post faithfully each Monday. If I slack off, please hold me accountable.

A Thousand Thanks #s 61 – 78

His arms around me as I fall asleep

His gentle snoring

His breath on the back of my neck

Finding out what was making Andrew miserable

Allergic Collitis and the opportunities it brings to die to self

Almond Milk (and dark chocolate almond milk!)

Chocolate without dairy or soy

A foundational school routine that seems to be working for us

Learning flexibility

Principles (versus Boxes)

Ephesians 1 mostly memorized by most of us

Learning to walk in grace

Reminders to give thanks

A three-year-old who loves to cuddle with Mama

Sin discovered

The humbling, heart-breaking, joy-bringing honor of being parents

Friends who encourage and pray

Parents who have lived out unconditional love; who think I’m wonderful even though they know my flaws

holy experience