Google’s online dictionary states gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. I was inspired to review the Women Celebrate themes, not only as a way to look back and remember, but also as a way to share thoughts about each theme from the standpoint of a grateful heart. Here goes.

 

2002 “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20) Praise the Lord for knocking! Every day our savior knocks at the door of our heart. Oh that we hear the knock, swing the door wide, and welcome Him in!

 

2003 “Come and see all that God has done!” (Psalm 66:5) Thanks be to God for the beauty of His creation. As the last of the leaves fall from trees and we brace ourselves for the bite of winter winds, let us be mindful of the season of beauty we just experienced. The spectacular reds, golds, and burnt oranges of autumn create an awe in me; His majesty knows no bounds; His love for us is tangible in the world he created for us to live in. Thanks be to God for the beauty of His creation, indeed!

 

2004 “Then He breathed on them and told them, ‘receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) All glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—this holy community. Three persons in one is a great mystery of our faith. Yet, God’s Holy Spirit is here, alive, and working. Thank you Lord, for a spirit that lives and calls us into communion with you!

 

2005 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Thank you God and Father of us all for your Holy Scripture. Your inspired word leads us to always love more deeply. You love us so much and want us to grow in our relationship with you. We are blessed indeed, as we journey toward our heavenly home with your word as our guide.

 

2006 “The Lord God says: I myself will search for my sheep and take care of them.” (Ezekiel 34:11) Praise the Lord for seeking us! No matter how many times we fall short, God calls us to Him; He loves us and wants us to experience His joy. Each time we fall, we can say we are sorry and try, by God’s grace, to do better. Thank you for seeking us, Lord…and for taking care of us!

 

2007 “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelations 21:5) Thanks be to God for do-overs! J Yes, He said it; He makes all things new. Not just some things—all things! And we are the great benefactors of this newness in Him. When we say we are sorry, we are forgiven, the slate is clean, and we start fresh. Alleluia!!!

 

2008 “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Hope has a name, and it is Jesus! Thanks be to God for sending His only son to show us how to live. There is always hope because there is always Jesus. And we can soar like eagles and run without growing weary because our Jesus loves us. Amen!

 

2009 “Come, drink…and never thirst again.” (John 4:10) All praise and glory to God for the gift of His invitation; for the sacrament of baptism. We are grafted on to Christ; we become a new creation; we are in THE club! J And if we really believe that what Christ provides will “become a fountain within us…leaping up to provide eternal life” (John 4:14), then we have all that we need.

 

2010 “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” (St. Augustine) “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Glory be to God for restless hearts! I believe that restlessness is the voice of God calling us to Himself. When I stray in my prayer life, life tends to be a restless mess. When I am quiet, I can hear God’s voice calling me back to Him. I am grateful He keeps calling me. Listen for His voice, won’t you?

 

2011 The bride of Christ “…arise my beloved, my beautiful one, and come…” (Song of Songs 2:10) Thanks be to God for making us, faults and all. We are beloved daughters (and sons) of the King of Kings! He loves us; He calls us; we are His. Amen!

 

2012 Amazing grace “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Cor 12:9) Praise the Lord for the gift of grace. He truly gives us what we need, when we need it. He strengthens us when we are weary, He gives us patience when ours runs short, He softens our hearts when the world makes them hard, and He provides a chance to laugh when tears have been a constant companion. His grace is amazing and I am grateful for it!

 

2013 Jesus “…and who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29) All glory and huge thanks to the Father for the gift of His only begotten son. What would we do without our precious Jesus? He shows us how to live, how to love, how to be His hands and feet in this world which so desperately needs Him. Jesus is my go to guy and I am so thankful for His presence!

 

2014 “…because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Thanks be to God for love! This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Love, love, love! Not that we love, but that He loved us first. It has always been and it will always be; our God is deeply in love with us (Fr. Dave Beaudry). And what are we to do about that? We are to love each other, for in loving the other, we are loving Christ.

 

2015 “…fan into flame the gift of God that is in you.” (2 Timothy 1:6) Praise the Lord for the many gifts He has bestowed on each of us. All the gifts are for the building up of the body of Christ, the church. If we discover our gifts and fan them from a smoldering ember into a burning fire, what joy would fill the Father’s heart? What beauty the world would see? How much closer we would be to building the kingdom here on earth?

 

2016 “His mercies…are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Join us February 5-7, 2016 as we will grow in our love for Christ and in an understanding of His mercies…for they are new every morning.