An Advent Lesson on Gratitude

Some words from John Calvin to meditate on this season, which for us should be a season marked primarily with thanksgiving:

“For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.” Luke 1:49-50

“If our hearts and minds were truly stirred by the thought of God’s particular gifts and mercies to us, we would most certainly be led further, to the point where we would praise him overall for his power and goodness.” “When, however, we are dealing with God, thee is nothing about Him which does not humble us in the presence of his transcendent majesty, and which does not testify in some way to his glory. His power, wisdom, infinite kindness, and righteousness are brilliantly displayed both in heaven and on earth. God’s name will always be holy. Only our ingratitude stops us giving the honour he deserves, and our ingratitude will not go unpunished.”

“All of us, I repeat, must not only praise God for the good things he has given us and for the blessings he has poured out on us; we must also take a longer view, and observe the evidence of his kindness on every hand, so that our mouth may always be open to glorify him. This should also be the mark of our common unity. We prove that we are true members of the church when we rejoice in our neighbor’s prosperity, just as we ought to show sympathy when they suffer trouble. For whoever rejoices in another’s prosperity is at the same time led to glorify God. This is the proper way to apply Paul’s injunction in the first chapter of 2 Corinthians: ‘Let thanks from many lips be given to God when good is done to any of his servants.’ “


“We can thus be sure that God’s goodness is always open to us, and that He will not cease to guide us both in life and death, until he has accomplished our salvation. This is because God cannot be defeated. his purpose is constant: always he continues to do good for us, for his generosity knows no bounds, and his gifts and graces are without repentance, as Paul assures us in the eleventh chapter of Romans.

In order to share in God’s gifts, we must first begin with the promise he holds out to us. We must lay hold of it by faith, and allow it to take firm root within us. For only through faith can we remain obedient to God and walk in his fear… The fear of God which Mary speaks about here is the fear that keeps covenant with God.”


“The fact that God takes and chooses instruments at will does not undermine our claim that it is he who does all things. We humans, however, are so wicked, that whenever we see lesser means operating we assume that God is idle in heaven! And we are so mindless that when our hunger is fully satisfied by the bread that comes from the earth, we do not have the wit or wisdom to look up and give God thanks!”

May we be drawn to walk this Advent season with wide-open eyes and grateful hearts. This is the only response for all of those who have seen Him, the Son of God, in the Garden of Eden, in the Wilderness, in Bethlehem, on the Cross and in our daily lives reigning with glory.



Thankful on my 42th Birthday

Waking up to a new day is always good, and waking up to a new year is such an incredible blessing. I am so very grateful!

My heart bursts as I meditate in the many ways God has blessed my life, and again I can only say with a grateful and humble heart, “Why me, God?”

Today I am grateful for….

The lessons He has taught me, the sweet and the bitter ones.

For the many times He has drawn me to repentance and has forgiven my trespasses.

I am grateful for the friends He has given me, each one different, yet everyone very special, hand-tailored to help me grow in Christ.

Having friends that are much wiser than I am, friends who have taught me through their example -and have encouraged me- to hold my tongue, to pray more, to be humble, to be quiet, to persevere, to speak the truth in love, to stand firm in the Truth when the easiest way would be to do otherwise. I am grateful for each friend who has been there to teach me, to mentor me, to help me become the woman I am now. Thank you for living your lives as open books that I can read and from whom I learn so much. I love you, each one of you.

I am grateful for the years I have been given to serve breakfast, and lunch, and dinner to my 4 children. But even more, I am grateful that God gave me His Word to nourish their souls each day.

Now two more of my children are leaving to college and I am so grateful to see them ready to embrace what lies ahead. I am grateful for every hug, every kiss, every tear, every conversation, every song sang, and every melody played. As I hold them tight and I swallow hard, and tears fall I am more than anything else, grateful. So grateful for each moment shared together.

I am so grateful that when they were little ones God delivered me from the two words that kill the beautiful moments: “Hurry up!” Oh, how grateful I am that by his Grace, we learned to slow down. In a sense, it does feels that Time did fly by rapidly, but I am grateful it didn’t escape from our hands. We have lived fully and that is a blessing.

When I think of the many ways I have failed to fully trust and obey God, of the times I ignored the warnings He clearly showed me, I can only be grateful for the way He disciplined me and forgave me, and  held me. Oh how grateful I am that His sovereign hand never ceases to direct our ways even through our shortcomings!

That God is Sovereign overall, that He is in charge of my children’s stories, that I can rest assured that He will finish the work He has begun in them makes me burst in gratitude.

I am so grateful for my Man. For the way he has loved me and chose me day after day. I am blessed to be his and to know that he is mine.

I am grateful for the times of waiting. For the times of quiet. How much they have helped me grow!

For friends that pray.

For songs in the night.

For my little one that looks up to me with a smile and holds me tight. How much I love her and how much we still have to share! I am grateful for each moment that awaits for us and for the grace to live fully each day and every opportunity we’ll be given to make memories.

For the Church of Christ that knows no boundaries.

For bread in the oven and wine in the glasses, and friends and family to share it with.

God is good and His faithfulness endures forever.

To God be the glory!


The Giving of Thanks and My Obedience

@Jim LePage Crux Sola Project

The giving of thanks can only begin when the gift of the divine Word is acknowledged; indeed, only when I am immersed in the study of the divine Word. How could one begin to give thanks to God and not concern oneself with his Word? What kind of thanks would it be to receive the gifts but refuse the required obedience to the giver? It would be a pagan thanksgiving, which is indeed widely practiced.
That is not a giving of thanks to the Lord God, but rather to an impersonal fate or fortune to which I am in no way obligated. Thanks to God that does not proceed from an obedient heart is presumption and falsehood. Only when God’s revealed Word has made our heart want to obey him can we thank God for earthly and heavenly gifts… 

I thank God because I want to learn and know what he requires of me, but I thank him as one who is still only learning, who still lacks everything when measured by God’s righteous judgments. So thanksgiving leads me back to the giving God and then forward to the commanding God, in order finally to find in him his righteousness, which I experience anew as righteousness given to me. “Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:24).”

Bonhoeffer, Meditating on the Word (emphasis mine)

Today as I fix my heart on the Cross, and I am drawn to give Him thanks -over and over again- for His perfect sacrifice, for His atonement, I am also drawn to pray, “Lord, help me to show you my gratitude through my love and obedience to your Word.”


Grateful for God’s Infinite Liberality

“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.”  John Calvin

#1490- 1509

A week away with my Beloved.

Tulips in bloom

Having lunch with a dear friend of our family, a godly young man we love very much.

Meeting with friends we hadn’t seen in almost 13 years! What a blessing it was to share a meal, good laughs; talk about our children, our memories, our plans, and our love for our God.

Our little one visiting with a beautiful family. How many memories to treasure!

This smile.

Spending time with wonderful friends and enjoying a great meal.


Tears in the car and and a lump in the throat.


Sunlight coming through the window. Beautiful.

My Beloved and I holding hands in the plane.

My little one falling a sleep on my lap.

Books that make me think and others that make me cry.

A big embrace from our children back at home.

Grandparents loving our kids.

The Word of God, my anchor in life.

The Holy Spirit, drawing me to the Father.

The Father, hearing my pleas.

The Son, interceding for me.

May we always have a grateful heart,

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:18


Grateful for Our Love Story

Because it is February and “love is in the air”…

I woke up close to my man, and as he noticed that I was awake he held me closer. And just being there, in my favorite place to be, I kept thinking with my eyes half closed.

Isn’t this why waited? To wake up together in bed.

Isn’t this what we dreamed of?  To sleep side by side all nights, all of our lives.

Isn’t this the story we desperately wanted to live?

And now we are in it, we are living it. It is for real.

After all these years we are still making and living our love story, and I don’t want to forget that.

The dreams we dreamed many years ago. The words we spoke. The promises we made. The Yes-I-Do. The growing old together. All this is actually happening and I want to enjoy every second of it; after all, it is our love story. I am the wife and I am married to the man of my dreams.

Who have thought that the “And they lived happily ever after” is true, not because happiness is easy to have, but because the trials are many. The living-happily-ever-after, happens because together we have fought dragons, and walked through valleys of desolation, and have seen not only our physical nakedness, but our naked souls. Because we have not only said to each other “te amo” a thousand of times, but because we have also forgiven each other more than a thousand of times.

Somehow, when one has been married for several years, it is easy forget that we are living the love story we dreamed of. Why? When did we stop seeing the daily routine as the frame in which our love would grow stronger? In what page number of our story did we stop looking intensely at each other’s eyes? In what chapter did we stop getting excited to listen to each other’s voice over the phone, and long for a long embrace at night?

All good stories are worth reading over and over again. And when we don’t understand a part of it, we must go back and re-read, and find the missing pieces to try to understand. Why not going back… a few pages or maybe a few chapters and see what is it that we have missed?

Maybe a long kiss has the magic to bring fire to that love story again…

Maybe a yes…

Maybe a note…

Maybe an embrace when he gets home…

You know how you started your story with the one you love; reread the beginning and find, please, by all means find whatever it takes to keep the fire on. Do whatever it takes to keep dreaming and writing, and living your love story.

Today I am grateful, deeply grateful to my God and my husband…

#1489  for our beautiful love story. I want to keep on writing it with him… living it at his side.


Grateful for Changes to an Unchangeable God

“Holy Spirit, influence my heart, and tune my tongue, that I may gratefully give thanks unto the Lord, praising him not only with my lips — but with life. O for grace from God, that I may daily give thanks to God, and speak of his goodness, and celebrate his mercy, in every possible way!” James Smith (1858)

1475. I am filled with gratitude to my Unchangeable God because in the different seasons of our lives, through all the daily changes that happen as our children grow and as we become, in a sense, only spectators of what the Lord is doing in their lives, we can trust that His plans for them are unchanging.


1476. I am grateful for those songs that you can sing all day long, over and over again (and children that just smile at you… and by now also know the words for the songs by heart)

1477. Surprises.

1478. Friends over for lunch.

1479. Healthy parents.

1480. Sunlight coming through my window as I read my Bible.

1481. The expectation of doing this.

1482. The best comfort food ever (and always satisfying).

1483. These words spoken by one of my dearest friends, “You become afraid of the future, only when you start trying to look beyond today” So true. Didn’t Jesus said it too: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.?

1484. A mid-term exam week over.

1485. Long conversations and longer hugs.

1486. Our family devotional book: We Shall See God

1487. That He hears me and hides me under His wings.

1488. My life, how He has changed me and how He has given me the desire to “daily give thanks, and speak of his goodness, and celebrate his mercy, in every possible way!

Under His sun and by His grace,