Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
I have walked Malaysian beaches, galloped through the woods in the Philippines, ridden an elephant in Thailand, dodged the traffic in Delhi, climbed the Great Wall of China, floated along the Venetian canals, skied the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Alps, wept gazing at the Pieta at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, pondered the graves of Arlington National Cemetery, kissed my husband atop the Taj Mahal, renewed my marriage vows in the Garden Tomb of Jesus, relished fireworks at the foot of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, slept in the hotel room that Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in, and enjoyed picnics under the Sequoias. I have been to the mountaintop and to the pit of despair; and I have chosen to walk the path of gratitude.
This crooked, uphill, downhill, sometimes overgrown path that I have chosen as my life’s journey has taken me to many destinations; yet, it was the journey, not the destinations that helped shape who I am.
My journey is one of stretching, making myself a little uncomfortable, so that I am always striving for something beyond what I have proven I can accomplish, honing myself, and, at times, choosing to reinvent myself.
Reinvention and innovation. That’s the language of today’s business environment. It’s uncertain and uncomfortable. It takes purposeful stretching and flexibility.
In July, my wonderful husband of 41 years, Keith, stopped me as we walked Vatican City with a group of students we were leading on a study-abroad course, “Who would have thought that a poor Tulsa girl would be doing this?”
That poor Tulsa girl became a Christ-follower when she was about eight-years-old at Vacation Bible School.
I remember reading my Bible and trying to understand it. Oh how I loved the Lord. I basked in His creation and loved taking walks alone, so that I could talk with Him. The journey was a delight. He led me beside the still waters.
Jesus walked me through the Valley of the Shadow of Death in my late teens. All the while, I felt His presence. God sent a preacher who had suffered from polio and was confined to braces and crutches to mentor me through the tough recuperation and to be an example of a Christ-follower whose joy in the Lord spills out onto others.
Keith and I married, even though he thought I would not live to be 30. The love of a man like Keith is far more precious than rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. He blessed me through his selfless, servant-leader approach to marriage.
Trials, challenges, and mountaintops have enlarged our borders as we have delighted in the ways of the Lord.
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:5
What a precious promise! God has given me the desires of my heart as He has stretched and continues to stretch me into the woman who will accomplish the works He planned for me from before the foundation of the world.
I am grateful for this life’s gratitude adventure.
My prayer for you:
Father, You have directed our footsteps and lit our paths. May we bless You and point people to You as You pour out Your Spirit upon us. May we show forth Your great compassion, mercy, and grace. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Wishing you a journey of joy and adventure as you stretch your capabilities and impact others for good.