Friday, March 2, 2012

Do you hear what I hear?

Have you ever heard the expression "A thankful heart is a happy heart"?

I've had the great fortune and abundant blessing of experiencing that truth for the past six months.  I am living and breathing a heart of gratitude every day.  Now this may sound like I'm getting ready to sell you some kind of "happy juice".  The fact is that I was very ill last spring and summer.  I suffered a relapse of a very annoying and pointless disease.  Essentially, my sleeping Epstein-Barr virus "woke up" and put me to bed...for months.

Unfortunately in my case, it causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was diagnosed with it when I was 15yrs old and every once in a while it rears it's ugly head.  I usually know when it's coming and I take some time to rest so it doesn't take over my body.  Well, last year I was just "too busy" to rest.


My body didn't take that thought process too well and decided to remind me that if I don't slow down, it is going to rest anyway.

And rest it did.

But this post isn't about last year, nor do I like to reflect on the negative things from the past. This is about every morning...and especially this morning.

Ever since I got my strength back, I started to walk again while always being mindful of any possible joint pain.  At first it was just a block but eventually I was strong enough to walk the children to school every morning AND it has been the greatest gift.

Our morning routine is to read the children's devotional -- which is actually all about nature. Then we leave for school. We sing two short praise songs and then start to pray together. We thank God for everything we can think of, starting with our family to finishing up with the school and everyone and every detail in between.

I enjoy this period of time with the children because it opens the eyes of my heart and reminds me to be thankful for the things I often overlook -- not because I'm ungrateful but because I am moving too fast.

This morning we were flooded with things to hear and see. Immediately, one of the praises said was "Thank You God we have ears to hear! How boring would everything be if we couldn't hear!"  We proceeded to thank God for all of our senses, including feeling a little cold and being thankful for warm clothes and shoes and a home with heat!

After I say goodbye to the children, it's my turn. I continue to worship and pray throughout the rest of my walk.  At one point I noted a Blue Jay (our daughter's favorite bird).  It seemed to be following me from point to point. I could hear it singing and then just a little while later I could see it fly in front of me and call out again. By the time I was finishing up my mile, I was laughing.

He really WAS joining me on my walk!

Did he not hear the "thank you" we gave the Creator earlier?  Did he want me to acknowledge his beautiful blue plumage? Was he trying to get me to remember the devotional we read about Blue Jays?

Finally, through a grin and a giggle I said "THANK YOU!"

And that is when I began to hear.

I heard the Blue Jays:

and Cardinals,

and Song Sparrows,

and Robins,

and Black Hooded Chickadees,

and Starlings,

and the first Grackles of spring,

I heard Squirrels warning each other,

neighbor's dogs barking,
cars driving,
trucks passing,
planes flying,
school bell ringing,
keys jingling,
footsteps on pavement,
a passer's "good morning",
trash truck serving,
my heart beating,
phone ringing,
police siren,
helicopter passing,
pedometer counting,
breeze moving.

I heard God say, "I am here. I am in all these things, in all of your steps, in every breath."

Before sitting with the children this morning, I had began my own devotional time thanking God for all of my senses. I thanked Him for my physical hearing and my spiritual hearing.  I had asked Him that my spiritual eyes see His love. That my hands and feet become His hands and feet. That I love with a passion that is only possible through Him, for Him and because of Him. That I see Him in the sinner and not just the saint.

And yet, it took a little Blue Jay to get me to slow down and remember...and truly hear.

Do you hear what I hear?

Be thankful in everything. Everything. No matter the joy or the hardship. Bringing Praise builds a fortress of Love. Being grateful is a powerful tool against any darkness that wants to overshadow you or your day. Know that to God even the darkness is light. He can see you, find you, bring you out of your despair and lift you higher than any discouragement.

Do you hear what I hear?

Sing in your OWN voice.  You are not a Blue Jay or Cardinal, or Robin, or Chickadee, or Song Sparrow, or Starling, or Grackle. Nor am I.

Do you hear what I hear?

He is not the CAUSE of my affliction but He is the SOURCE of my restoration.  I can rejoice and sing just as great as any bird I may see or hear. He is the same SOURCE of restoration for those around me who desperately need Him.

Do you hear what I hear?

If I am well then I can rejoice and be even MORE grateful and share that joy with others. I must remember that along my walk, this Christian pilgrimage, there will be times I need to slow down and look around and listen. Often times I don't have to leave my own neighborhood to find an opportunity. Most times, I don't even have to leave my own home.
"speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Eph 5:19-20 (CEB) 

Slow down to listen today. Give thanks for everything around you. Even the smallest of smalls. May your grateful heart bloom into a happy heart.

Blessings for your day,


  1. So very true. Thankfulness. Gratitude. Grace.

    Perfect. I needed this. :)

  2. I hear fish jumping, flags snapping in the wind, rustling branches of the live oaks and woodpeckers pecking and best of brewing. Love your writing my friend:)


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I look forward to reading your thoughts and sharing this space with you.