Heavenly Hope and Practice

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again…Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  – Philippians 4:10-13

“I’m grateful for the beautiful mountains, fresh air, and healthy children,” I texted.

“You’re it,” I said, submitting to a virtual game of gratitude tag my co-ed daughter challenged me to yesterday.

We had finished a socially distant walk with her border collie, Buddy, and she indulged my weekly COVID vent session when her piercing crystal eyes cut to my soul. Or maybe it was her words.

“You need to be grateful, mom,” she implored.

“I am, baby girl,” I pleaded, searching her gaze for understanding before I continued.

“And…I am on six or seven hours of meetings every day, balancing home school, which takes five minutes instead of five hours, and then I try to keep the boys from melting their brains on video games all day.”

I was out of breath, not hot air.

Her eyes were still intent, expression soft.

“You’re gonna get through it,” she said, cocking her head to the side for emphasis like an exclamation point.

“I want you to be happy,” she continued.

Burning. Welling. Rushing physical pain invaded my chest.

Conviction.

I want to be happy…even when middle school moves into my dining room.

I want to practice gratefulness…even when my desk is my lap and my office is an unmade bed.

I want to hope in God alone…even when my circumstances do not match my desires.

She called it.

“I’m thankful for my family, my animals, and Netflix haha,” she texted.

Amanda and Buddy

Hope takes practice. Gratitude takes practice. Contentment takes practice.

Thank you, Lord for the reminder that with You, I can do it. And thank you for the opportunity to practice.

I am grateful for a daughter whose perspective encourages me back to You.

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