Gratitude. My heart is warm and full with gratitude. The Father knows His plans for us and He places us where He wants us to be, for His purposes. Sometimes we kick and scream because we have our own purposes, our own plans, our own crazy ideas of what we want/need. Last year, I never imagined myself where I am right now. I had different visions of what my future, both near and distant, would hold. Yet here I was today, walking through side roads and main streets in downtown Akron with 9 yr old boys and girls taking turns holding my hands- not because they had to, but because, even if it wasn't "cool," they wanted to. Last year, I didn't know these children - in January, I was new to them. And yet, here I am - loving them, praying for them, and be so blessed by their love for me.
In Genesis we are told how God created this amazing world. He made man and we are told He specifically put him in the Garden. He gave him a job, a purpose. God was directly involved with where Adam was and what he was to do. He puts us where we need to be and where we are needed. When Pat died, I wondered what my purpose was -- sometimes I still wonder. I've always been very much happy with being the "helpmeet" for my spouse. I've definitely been in that "scorched place" that Isaiah 58:11 talks about." And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." Sometimes I've wandered there on my own, stupidly going off the path I should've stuck to. Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Like a stubborn sheep I've gone astray, and He has used events, circumstances, mistakes, and failures to herd me back toward the way I should be on.
Anyway, sitting in my reading group this morning, getting my kids excited about animal emotions, showing my 6th graders how they can strengthen their brains and build up the less dominant side (and seeing them have fun with it), and then walking the streets of Akron today surrounded by excited children... I know that right now, in this moment in my life, I'm where I'm supposed to be and I'm grateful.