Seeing the Grateful in Front of Us


“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT 

I was doing my favorite 70’s pre-holiday dance.

The hustle-bustle.

That morning I was on a mission…

To do all the to-do’s on my To-Do List.

With a pocketful of leftover Halloween Hershey’s and a get-er-done attitude.

But, when I turned the corner, something unexpected happened.

My pace slowed. 

My demeanor changed.

I was instantly mesmerized by two strangers strolling in front of me.



Even their steps were in sync!

Instead of rushing past them…I mean, how rude would that be…I chose to hang back a bit and observe.

I wanted to soak in the splendor of their story.

Unplanned and yet, divinely planned, my priorities changed.

I love how God gets our attention.

Suddenly, my wonder was interrupted by their pause in front of a coffee shop.

And, I had a decision to make.

Keep on, keepin’ on or share the blessing of them…

With them.

It wasn’t even a choice.

“You two have brought me great joy today!” I blubbered through my excitement and awe.

They turned towards me at the same time (of course), surprise saturating their wide-eyed faces.

“Watching you enjoy each other’s company is so beautiful,” I continued, as their suspicion was slowly replaced with really big smiles.

She replied first, “Well, YOU have brought us joy today!” as her husband finished the sentence, eyes twinkling, “…and, we hold hands so we don’t get lost!”

We laughed together, then parted ways…them towards the aroma of pumpkin spice and me in the direction of…ummm…what was so important anyway?

I moseyed to a nearby bench to gather my thoughts. 

How much “right-in-front-of-me” magic have I missed on the way to check items off of a never-ever-ending-to-do-list?

Have mercy.

In my ponder,  I discovered three takeaways that I needed to, well, take away.

Every. Single. Day.

Perhaps you do as well?

Take their hand. 

It’s no secret I’m a softie when it comes to souls (especially ones older than me) holding hands. 

But, that morning, I witnessed so much more.

I saw caring and sharing and love.

I saw grateful.

Oh friend, in the crazy busy of our lives, does it even cross our minds to hold another person’s hand?

Not just literally, y’all.

Whenever we linger with another to listen, to laugh, to weep, to see them…

We’re holding one another’s hand.

We’re living one another love.

And, it’s pretty amazing.

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 NLT

Take a break. 

When they stopped outside the coffee shop, I could have walked on by.

Man, I’m so glad I didn’t.

People are all around us, aren’t they?

Strangers, yes…but also that familiar clerk at Target or the talkative teller at the bank or that co-worker who never makes eye contact.

Not to mention, our friends and family.

Beloved, it’s time to take a break.

Tell someone today that they matter.

That they are special.

That they bring grateful to your world.

Who needs to receive joy that only you can deliver? 

They are waiting for it, dear one.

Believe me, they are.

And, in the midst, it will make their day.

And yours.

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NLT

Take the time.

When I set out for the day, my sights were sailing on a sea that was all about me.

What a shame.

I needed to slow down that morning.

Yet, not just that morning.

I needed to count my blessings, name them one by one…

Lovely, in this season of all things grateful, let’s take the time to savor life.

It’s way short, you know.

Enjoy the journey.

Make the memories.

Share the love.

“How do you know what your life will be tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15 NLT 

I had no idea I was looking for grateful.

But, there it was, where it always is, right before my eyes.

And, it’s right before yours, sweet friend.

Oh God, pause us all to see grateful, to sprinkle it as wide as stars in the sky!

Not just one day a year, with a side of cranberry sauce, because we think we have to…

But, every minute and every moment, because we love to.

Thanksgiving grateful from my heart to yours. XOXO

Spread your joy,



  1. Tina, what a perfect reading to awaken to! I am going to share this with my daughter, a hustler-bustler (although I will say she is fun loving and experiences a lot of life), and with a friend who follows your advice, being aware of people and letting them know that they have brought her joy. And, I will try slowing down, too! I have NO excuse for not connecting more – well, maybe a little timidity.
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING, to you, Tina, and to your handsome hubby!

    1. Oh Liz, thanks for sharing! You bring me (and many others) BIG JOY, dear friend. Happy Thanksgiving love and blessings to you and yours! XO

  2. Tina, this is so beautiful. I love how you can find a blessing and some encouragement in any situation. Your story-telling draws me in!

    1. Julie, your words touch my heart, friend! Thanks for being such a beautiful encouragement to me … always! XO

  3. Tina, as I’m out shopping and see a couple walking hand in hand, holding the door open for their other half, a couple walking and talking to each other with smiles on their faces just makes my heart go awww! Thank you for beautiful stories and you have a God given talent for expressing your thoughts.

  4. Tina,
    You have done it again. Another beautifully written masterpiece. I thank God that he has chosen to give you this talent to write such powerful stories that make us all pause and realign. I hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Much Love.

  5. Tina, As always your words, your spirit and your JOY touch so many lives. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit and sharing the experience with us all. Blessings my friend, JD

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