Sometimes I feel dry as dust, as empty as an abandoned house.  Inspiration is far from me- even though I pray  for ideas- they just don’t come.  Hollow, useless, and lonely,  I want some kind of epiphany that will transform and refresh me.  But….”I got plenty o nuttin'”.  Only in my case, unlike the fictitious Porgy’s, it “ain’t plenty for me”.

Life is a collage of experiences that we race through to reach “better” and “more significant ones”.  I often miss the meaning in the moment. I cook food for the babies, painstakingly cut it in small pieces  and watch as they eat it.  I forget to take joy in their eating because I am too busy longing for the freedom that comes from babies in bed and a clean kitchen.  And as natural as this is, and as often as I have been guilty of it, I am the loser when, burdened by the moment, I forget to be grateful.

A heart that is full of ingratitude has no room in it for trust, and it is trust that leads to joy and peace.  It is therefore imperative to my spiritual survival to be grateful. And this is rarely easy:  I have to recall God’s blessings- and I have memory problems. We all do.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the Biblical description of us was “and they were a remarkably retentive and grateful people”?   Too bad, but we don’t work that way.

The fact is- that I  have to make an effort to REMEMBER: when things aren’t going smoothly, when things go terribly wrong, when things go amazingly well.  But even faulty remembrance and partial gratitude is enough to restore my perspective and protect my communion with the Creator, who cares for me even when I am ungrateful.

What does it matter if I don’t feel particularly visionary, useful or happy at any particular moment?  “It is God who works in me to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

He will accomplish what concerns me.


6 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Jenny Thornton says:

    So true… and so eloquently written. You are a writer, Deb. If Bitty (or even if she doesn’t) continues to struggle w/ completion, a devotional book maybe?

  2. Tracey Parrott says:

    Just what i am learning and so well put! loved spending time with you! now remind me again what you called my life experience with so many interests…I can’t remember you can email me at

  3. Charlie Murphey says:


    I saw something on Facebook about this blog of yours and had to venture in. I get it that “memory issue” and ingratitude are what this piece is all about. But may I rewind a bit?

    In my eyes you are one of those rare, rare, (and did I mention) rare individuals who has a sharp wit and sharper mind. You are one who makes this life interesting for the rest of us. You challenge us to think deeper than we particularly want to.

    I remember that the president of the Bible college that Kenny, Millie, and I attended used to say, “It’s lonely at the top,” as he was challenging would-be pastors and church leaders to “boldly go where no pew-sitters have gone before.” Of course, my internal response was something like, “Well, spend some time with your friends and family; take them with you; do something else if you don’t like to sit on top of that mountain by your lonesome.” But some people can’t help but function as high-achievers. And they’re going to end up in mental/emotional/spiritual places that others can’t share.

    Now, I know that you are all about family and other values that are shared by many. But your thoughts probably take you to such high levels that you are often left feeling alone, or (from your intro) dry, empty, uninspired, hollow, useless. Let me try that again: I would guess that you can think yourself to places that aren’t easily shared with many, so you may conclude that you don’t impact many. WRONG!

    I see your wonderful family and marvel. You have accepted some daunting challenges through the years. You saw your husband through the toughest of times, and my hat is off to you for that. You have made lifestyle choices that go against the flow, when your college education would have dictated that you be on the college campus in a full-time capacity. You embraced high values and thought of others more highly than yourself. You are one of my favorite characters on this turf we call Earth.

    Your friend who is rotten at staying in touch,

    Charlie Murphey (the dad version)

  4. Priscilla says:

    This touched me, had me in tears, and caught me off-guard in how much I was relating to it. Blessings, friend.

  5. Dennis Lint says:

    Sometimes, maybe often, you just have to toss the diet coke and have the real deal. The kitchen will be there tomorrow. The beds will be waiting in their disheveled state. They’re in no hurry. Clean kids will recycle into their natural self. Disorder is natural, embrace it, live it, love it. But in those rare moments where the dog is at your feet content, the bills are all paid, the washier is washing the dryer drying, the roof roofing, the kids all asleep, the kitchen has not one dirty dish, pan or spoon…..rejoice, for it is a small taste of Heaven.

    You are an inspiration my sister, even if you don’t feel it.

  6. Jan Fowler says:

    I am grateful that God has blessed you with the gift of communication through word. I love your word pictures, your insight and vulnerablility. Thank you for sharing! Twenty years ago you gave me a copy of a piece you wrote and had entitled “The Quilt”. I have somehow misplaced it and wondered if you had a copy of it? Bless you dear friend. Jan Fowler

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