Bearing Fruit


I have a garden in my backyard that consists of all kinds of citrus trees and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I have been for God’s provision and the beauty He creates all throughout the earth. My citrus trees are in fine form, branches drooping with ripe Tangelo’s, lemons starting to turn a nice yellow color and larger than anything I see in the grocery store. The grapefruit looks as if it is getting close and I just can’t get over how I have trees overloaded with juicy sweet citrus fruit – especially as the cold and flu season approaches.

Yesterday afternoon I stepped outside with a large bowl to go retrieve some of the fruit on the Tangelo trees and just felt overwhelmed with gratitude.

The late afternoon light was streaming through the citrus trees and glistening out on the water beyond like sparkling diamonds, and a perfect breeze was rusting though the leaves of the trees.

I could feel the preciousness of the moment.

I can’t explain it except to say that a feeling of perfect contentment and gratitude settled over me. It made me stop, look around and soak in that beautiful stillness.

As I picked the fruit, I spent time savoring the experience, taking my time, enjoying the peace of the moment. Quite frankly, moments of peaceful contentment and enjoyment don’t come often enough nowadays.

The Perfect Gift

So, as I picked, I delighted in the little moments just dedicated to smelling the aroma of the citrus, savoring little bites of the fruit and experiencing the beauty surrounding me. It was a perfect gift of time from my heavenly father.

I couldn’t help but be overcome with thankfulness for the gift of God’s creation. God could have created everything utilitarian and not aesthetically pleasing. Yet, in His grace, He went far above and beyond by developing His creation with the intent to provide pleasure for mankind.

In that moment, I was moved to stop and worship him because it all points back to Him and ultimately, to our worship of Him. What a marvelous, loving God to have created all of this beauty and the gifts of His goodness with us in mind!

How many moments to give thanks to our heavenly father have I missed because I was too busy to stop, listen and look?

A Thanksgiving Challenge

I encourage you to embrace this Thanksgiving holiday as one who feels the love of the Father through His creative gifts. How amazing that we have a holiday dedicated to pausing to reflect on all we are thankful for.

During the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving preparation, I have often failed to stop and honor the true reason for this special holiday. By the time we all make it to the table I’m spent; inviting the Holy Spirit to fill me with gratitude is not on my radar.

This year I feel called to do things differently. My heart’s desire it to hold fast to the humbling experience of allowing myself to be overcome with thankfulness for all of God’s good gifts.

As I write this, I’m curled up on my couch gazing at a fire crackling in the fireplace, captivated by the simple beauty of the dancing flames.

I allow my fingers to stroke the soft blanket my sweet daughter Sydney (yet another precious gift) lovingly placed on me just a few brief moments ago. My hand drifts over to rub her arm and she reaches back. Pulling my hand to her chest and wrapping her arms around it, she hugs it tight and presses her lips against it for a kiss.

Thankful

I am thankful for this moment.

I am thankful for the warmth and beauty of the fire and for her innocent, wholehearted love.

I am thankful that Connor is home from Auburn and our whole family is all here together under one roof.

I am thankful that all feels peaceful and perfect on this beautiful night.

And most of all, I am thankful for God’s grace that allows me to savor and enjoy it all.

Originally posted: November 16, 2016

Our Prayer


Father God, help us to be intentionally thankful not just for this Thanksgiving holiday – but during our daily lives. Ingrain a sense of humble gratitude in us for every good gift of your beautiful creation. All good things are from you and of you. We worship you in reverence for the generous love you pour out on us through all that you are and all that you give. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Scriptures for Meditation


~ John 15:4-5

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

~ Romans 1:20

“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse.”

~ Psalm 148:7-10

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds.”

~ Ecclesiastes 5:9

“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil–this is a gift of God.