I stand outside in the brisk morning with my puppy, so crisp it feels fragile, breakable.  Steam rises off my coffee like a shroud as I gaze at the frost. Its white coat hugs each blade of grass, weighs heavy on my rose bushes and the last of the most stubborn perennials.  Above is an azure sky, clear and breathtaking.  I am enjoying my reverie when suddenly puppy Riley is startled by the falling leaves of a huge pink Japanese magnolia in the backyard of our next door neighbor.  A slight breeze, accompanied by last night’s hard freeze, has loosened their hold on the tree and the dead leaves are falling by the hundreds.  As they hit the ground, already covered by a soft cushion of their large kin, they make a rather loud sound, (especially for a twelve week old puppy)…it’s the sound of rain…a steady rain.

During this season, between Halloween and the celebration of the birth of Jesus, we in the western world are inundated with Christmas decorations in every retail store we dare to enter.  Last week, I went to get a manicure and even there, the lights and trees were everywhere.  Thankfully, the Christmas music was not assaulting the patrons, yet.

Please don’t misunderstand; I adore the season of Christmas – the lights, the music, the decorations.  But…

We just don’t seem to have time for giving thanks, do we?  Life is too busy; we are on to the next project or the next event or the next job or the next church thing or…

What comes to my mind is a chorus a friend and I used to teach our four-year-old Sunday school class, lo those many years ago.

We have so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much to be thankful for!  

We have each other to be thankful for; we have each other to be thankful for.  We have our parents to be thankful for; we have our parents to be thankful for. (chorus)

Indeed…we have so much.  We can be grateful for another year of life here on earth, food to eat, clothes to cover our bodies, warm homes, faithful friends, families who love us or who drive us a little crazy , our country – as flawed as it is, the right to vote (even if your candidate(s) were not elected).  And that’s just the beginning…

Today, I heard a man on the radio who has battled cancer for eighteen months.  He had a grateful heart.  How?  You may ask; because I believe and he attested that when you meet death, but don’t succumb to its grip, you learn to thank God for the simple things, like another breath and the laughter of a child; hope…small mercies, like rain falling on a parched ground or a parched soul.

This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:21-24

In the mid 90’s, Vineyard USA recorded a song called Mercy is Falling.   It was and is a lighthearted song filled with gratefulness, reminding me of the Lamentations passage.  Standing outside in the crisp cold this morning, listening to the raining leaves, reminded me, too, of mercy falling like “sweet spring rain.”

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