good days, hard days, and gratitude

good days, hard days, and gratitude || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

good days, hard days, and gratitude || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Monday and I used to be tight. I loved the fresh start and possibility she brought each week.

But not so much lately. Lately, she’s felt bossy and overwhelming. And {because I suppose there is a 14-year-old girl inside me still} I’ve resisted her urgings and demands, even though she wasn’t altogether wrong.

This week is different though. Not because I was up at 5 a.m. writing like I should have been. {More like 7:10 so I could drive my girl to school.}  Not because I had a good night’s sleep and woke refreshed an ready for whatever the day brings. {I watched The Hunger Games in the middle of the night since I couldn’t sleep.} And not because I was starting the week with a clean house and caught up laundry. {This one just makes me laugh.}

good days, hard days, and gratitude || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Today is different because of yesterday.

Something happened yesterday. Not to me. Not to our family. But to a precious family in our church. Heartache I cannot even fathom. A young woman faced the tragic decision to remove her mother from life support. As the Ruiz family knelt together in the altar at our church, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. I hurt for them, ached really.

But I also saw the church, my church, wrap their arms around this family. A steady stream of couples joined the family at the altar, linking hearts and prayers for wisdom and peace and healing and comfort. Paul admonishes the church in Rome {and all of us since} to “Let love be genuine” {Romans 12:9} and then provides us with specific examples of what that looks like.  Yesterday, I watched this verse happen —

… weep with those who weep.  Romans 12:15

At 5:30 p.m., the machines were turned off and the Ruiz family said good-bye to a much-loved mother, grandmother, and aunt. Our 6 p.m. worship service was not as crowded as normal. Many of the normal faces were at the hospital, standing with friends in the middle of a heartbreaking situation. But those of us gathered sang these words —

I’ll be breathing in Your grace and breathing out Your praise.

I whispered the words, a prayer for me, for my family, for our church, for the Ruiz family. Because in this life, there are good days and hard days. But there is also grace. Sufficient, overwhelming, powerful grace. And  our response to such amazing grace must be praise — gratitude to the One who strengthens our weaknesses, stands when we fall, speaks hope into our hopelessness, and brings light into our darkness.

good days, hard days, and gratitude || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Today, will you breathe in grace and breathe out praise? Whether the week brings good days or hard days, choose gratitude.

xo,

Teri Lynne

2 Replies to “good days, hard days, and gratitude”

  1. This message was just what I needed. Yesterday was hard, very hard & remnants of it may show up today but your message to breathe in grace & breathe out praise blessed me beyond words. I need to do more of that and focus less on circumstances. Thank you!

    1. Praying for you as I type, Maria! It’s so easy to get caught up in our circumstances and miss the God who in control. Blessings!

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