Monday, September 27, 2010

48 Hours

The visit was short - fewer than 48 hours. We picked up our daughter, Riley, from the airport and headed for home. Even though she'd only been in college for three weeks, and we had communicated almost every day, there was still so much to catch up on. Classes, roommates, and adventures. Never a dull moment. But it's true, there's no place like home.

While college life is definitely exciting, it also has its share of challenges. Some of the simple things she didn't give a second thought to while she lived at home, have suddenly become much more special. Sleeping in her own bed and using her own bathroom, now rank high on her list as true luxuries. Eating home-cooked meals definitely rivals the cafeteria experience.

In the short weeks since we dropped our girl off at college, things have changed. Riley is maturing. She values things she once took for granted. She realizes the sacrifices we've made to send her to a Christian college. We found a note that Riley slipped under our door on Saturday morning. "Thank you both so much for letting me go to PCC. It has been amazing so far. And I just wanted you to know how thankful I am for letting me go there..." I'll always treasure the words she penned in that note to my husband and me.

What a good reminder for me when I get caught up in the busyness of life. Am I careful to express gratitude for the things God has so richly blessed me with? A loving family. A comfortable home. Dependable transportation. Plenty of food. Or do I display an attitude of entitlement - acting as if I deserve God's blessings?

Remember the story of the prodigal son? His sense of entitlement carried him off to a far away land, where he quickly spent the inheritance granted to him by his father. Times got tough and a famine plagued the land. The friends who had been attracted to his wealth disappeared when his money was gone. No one offered to help him.

In order to survive, this young man had to take a job feeding pigs. "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants" (Luke 15:17-19; KJV).

How often do I act just like this prodigal? Foolishly thinking I deserve my Heavenly Father's blessings and complaining when I feel I'm entitled to more. What wisdom can be learned when I humble myself and take my rightful place as a servant, giving thanks to the almighty King for all He's done for me. Tuning my heart to be thankful. The Psalmist said, "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night..." (Psalm 92:1-2).

Today is the perfect day to begin practicing praise. Take the Psalmist's advice, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24)!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for the many times I take Your blessings for granted, and live with a spirit of entitlement. Help me to submit myself to You, taking my rightful position as Your servant. Thank You for Your love and mercy. I choose to praise You, today! Amen.


  1. Practicing praise and thankfulness is a wonderful thing. I need to do it more. Thank you for the reminder. Glad you had a good visit!
    Karen :)

  2. How sweet it must be to have Riley home even for a few hours. Bless you as you adjust to this new chapter in your lives. You are already reaping the fruit of raising a child to appreciate and show thankfulness.
    Much love
    Dorothy :)
    PS I met a few lovely Atlanta girls at conference. I'm imagining you are just like them :)

  3. Thank you for this post Maria! That is how we always start our day: this is the day that the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!

  4. Karen - Giving thanks is so important! "O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 117) I'm thankful for the gift of blogger friends like you!! God bless!

    Dorothy - We certainly enjoyed Riley's visit! So glad to hear that you had a successful conference - and how fun that Atlanta was well represented! Looking forward to hearing all about your BIG adventure! Any contracts in the works?! Do tell!! Hugs & Blessings! :)

    Marja - It seems that God is constantly reminding me that I have a choice in the attitude that I adopt for the day. I can choose to focus on self, or my great God! I'll take Him any day! Have a glorious week basking in praise to Him!! God bless!

  5. I'm ashamed to say I have the spirit of entitlement. I'm so thrilled the Lord has humbled me this past summer. I love looking at the world through the lens of humility. Blessings!

  6. Thank you Maria. For reminding me that I am not the only one on the earth. That there are folks that need the Father as much as I do. I never want to be selfish. I ALWAYS want to be humble.

    I thank God for you and that he used you to remind me his humble servant. Hugs

    I am so thankful you got to spend some time with your precious daughter. How wonderful!


  7. Yes...the entitlement issue...don't we all deal with that...but the fact we got up today and could breath...well that is something to be thankful for...He owes us nothing.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog

  8. You will continue to see your daughter change and mature even more. I have every note our daughter wrote us also thanking us and expressing gratitude while in college. She's now 26, and I just can't part with those notes.

  9. You have a sweet sweet daughter. She will continue to grow each day there:))
    I take nothing for granted anymore. I used to but have found it takes a moment, and life changes like that. I am thankful for a roof over my head now and the food I will cook for our dinner. I praise God for his gifts each day!

  10. My wife and I raised 4 children and none of them realized the sacrifices we made for them until they got married and had children of their own.

    And I'm sure it will be the same with their children. And you know what? I was the same way! :-)

  11. Hi Maria,
    Enjoyed your post as always. I have just finished posting on my blog "Days Touched By Grace" on being thankful as I remember this day a year ago I underwent major surgery. I am so thankful I had the Lord to see me through and to be beside me! How He has blessed me!!
    God bless you.

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