A Song for Every Season

If you’re visiting from my guest post at (in)courage, heyyyyy! Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to look around and find some encouragement in the archives.

It’s been a while since I submitted my writing to anyone, so it felt super sweet to get the acceptance email from such a wonderful Christian women’s site.

My (in)courage post talked about how counting my gratefuls helped me get through the hardest season of my life. If you haven’t read it, you can go check it out here.

Today, I find myself in a different season. Life is much sweeter these days. I’d go so far as to throw out the H-word.

I am happy,

I keep catching myself smiling for no reason.

If feels like I spent years sloshing through a dark swamp and finally stepped out into the sun and onto solid ground.

Life feels light again, and I’m so, so grateful.

As I sit here reflecting on all this, I see how gratitude is a song for all seasons.

Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them (Isaiah 42:10 NIV).

For the longest time, I was in the deep barely treading water. Once I finally made it to land, I isolated myself for months on an island of my own making. I was petrified to live, yet I kept singing my grateful song, sometimes through gritted teeth. Something inside wouldn’t let me give up hope.

Today, I’m not singing the blues. My song sounds more like sunshine.

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18 NIV).

My dark days taught me to notice the smallest graces. Now, with the sun on my face, I’m careful not to take my blessings for granted.

I have the pleasure of doing life with my sister and brother-in-law in their peaceful and comfy home out in the country. From the horses grazing in the pasture to my sister’s doting dog-talk to her pup and mine, I love it here.

I have the sweetest group of students to teach and cherish. Yesterday, one of my girls said, “Ms. Merrill, you’re so pretty when you write.”

My relationship with my three young adult sons  is solid and sweet. Those boys make me smile every day whether they mean to or not. I’m so proud to be their momma.

I’m healthier than I’ve been in ages. Extra weight is slowly slinking away, and my skin is responding beautifully to the LimeLight by Alcone products I’m using and now selling.

Insecurities I’ve battled for decades are more like gnats than poisonous snakes. Not completely gone but surely not the problem they once were. What a relief!

Dear friends, new and old, pepper my life with support and sweet fellowship.

Probably best of all, the guilt, grief and shame I thought I’d never shake is gone. I feel free. I am free.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation (Psalm 118:21 NIV).

Lord, in the dark and in the light, You are my faithful, beautiful God. I cannot thank you enough for all You’ve done for me, but I’ll die trying. You are worthy of ALL my thanks and praise. I love you, AMEN

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Review: A Very Thankful Prayer

Fall is here!

I love the falling temperatures and the falling leaves, but the thing I love most is how gratitude seems to fall from our lips a little easier than other times of year.

FrontGate Media provided me with a complimentary copy of a delightful children’s book that combines two of my favorite things: prayer and gratitude.

A Very Thankful Prayer by Bonnie Richner Jensen features the warm and cheery illustrations of Natalia Moore.  A sweet addition to Tommy Nelson’s “A Time to Pray” series, A Very Thankful Prayer helps children remember to thank God from the time they wake up ’til they’re tucked tight in bed. Sounds like the pray without ceasing life to me!

The easy-t0-read rhymes pair beautifully with the whimsical illustrations of little animal children dressed in their fall and winter clothes and busy doing their fall and winter things.

This sturdy board book is the perfect addition to my auntie library. You can get your copy on Amazon or at your favorite Christian book retailer.