Renewed Appreciation

Author: By Terri Jo Hayes
March 30, 2016

In today’s dynamic, multi-tasking, “I want it yesterday” environment, many of us often go through each day on automatic pilot.  That is, we don’t take time to intentionally smell the roses or pause to reflect on life’s blessings, specifically as it relates to our own journey. We don’t take time to ask ourselves, “How did we get here, what have we learned, and what’s next?”

My involvement in Sligo’s community outreach ministry, Action in Montgomery (AIM), has challenged me to pause and reflect on my own story, as a way of gaining a better understanding of what makes me passionate about helping others.  As I’ve contemplated my journey, my Father has provided me a new and refreshing perspective.

In particular, I can clearly see how God appointed special people to help me by giving me exactly what I needed during critical times in my life. For example, a senior official at my alma mater took me under his wing and assisted me in getting a grant throughout my years as an undergraduate student.

On another occasion, I was concerned that I might have to quit my part-time job because of irregularly-timed mandatory laboratories associated with my college major.  Instead, a senior government official, who noticed my work ethic and understood my need, authorized a work schedule for me based on my availability.

When my children were young, I was blessed with an after-school care provider who graciously allowed my children to stay at after-school care—after the allotted time—when I was stuck in unpredictable beltway traffic.

These were all times of great need in my life; and God purposely allowed these individuals to bless me.   

As I consider these examples of favor, grace and mercy, I am moved to do two things: First, I want to recognize those whom God used to bless me, by offering a special prayer over their lives—my gift to them.  Second, I want to show my gratefulness to God by blessing others—thus my passion for helping others. I always knew it, but I see even more clearly that I’ve been blessed with much, even during tough times, so I have much to give in return, by God’s grace.

I feel a new appreciation for my life’s journey and the blessings of favor, grace, compassion, and mercy along the way.  Understanding what God has done for me motivates me to praise Him with my life. 

So, my question to you is, “What’s your story?”  If you don’t know, I challenge you to pause, and consider your personal journey. Write it down; read it over and over.  And I believe that you too will gain a renewed appreciation of God’s blessings over your life.





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