The one thing you should do when life surprises you

Ruthie Gray faith 14 Comments

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“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
  to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
  to declare Your steadfast love in the morning,
  and Your faithfulness by night,
  to the music of the lute and the harp
  to the melody of the lyre,
  For you, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work;
  at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.

  How great are Your works, O Lord!
  Your thoughts are very deep!” 

  Psalm 92:1-5

Today is a new chapter in the lives of the Gray family.

More specifically, the Thompson family of which one used to be a Gray.  Namely, our oldest daughter.

Back last spring, we had a long family talk out on the back deck while enjoying the balmy weather.

Sawyer (number one grandson) sat in his beloved swing while different family members took turns pushing him.

We talked about life and goals and possible changes.

The Thompson family then formed a plan to put their home on the market, in readiness to pursue a possible job change.  “If it sells quickly, we’ll know that’s what we’re supposed to do, only nothing is moving on the market in West Virginia right now, so we’re probably safe.”

The house sold in ten days. 

Of course, if you’ve had any prior experience with real estate at all, you know that it doesn’t happen over night.  So the kids had a couple of months to process it all, and then, last weekend, they loaded up the moving truck and left their home of the past three years. 

The only home they’ve known since marriage.  The home they built, putting thought into each detail – wall color, lighting, countertops. They left it all behind.

It’s hard to say goodbye.

But you can’t convince me (or them) this wasn’t of the Lord.

Have you scouted the realtor market in West Virginia lately???

And so, God has a plan for these kids.

But for now –

…they are moving in with us. 

That’s right, the near empty nesters are getting a prefab family in their basement and we will get to see number one grandson every morning when we wake up!

Life is not looking so dull after all.

(Actually, since becoming a near empty nester  – there’s still one at home attending college – life hasn’t slowed down.  Don’t think for a second that once the kids leave you get to sit by the pool and drink lemonade all day long.  They busted that myth a long time ago and I am here as living proof.)


If you think of it, would you do me a flavor and pray for this little family, that God would show them the next step as clearly as he has the last one?

(Because you know, you never get to see all the steps at once!)

Because in the midst of it all, we got another surprise.

Grandchild number two is on the way!


And so, Psalm 92, which I read just two days ago in my Bible reading, is especially a balm to my soul these days.

Because it’s always good to give thanks to the Lord.

  • in the morning regarding His steadfast love
  • in the night because He is faithful
  • to music (I don’t have a lute or a harp, so we use piano, mandolins, guitars, violins, and drums ’round these parts).

For you, oh Lord, have made me glad by Your work;
 at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.”

Only God could have orchestrated that conversation out on the deck just four months ago.  Only God could sell a house in a snail paced homeowner’s market in 10 days.

“Your thoughts are very deep!”

Aren’t you glad God has deep thoughts?  Those deep thoughts are about you, friend.

Don’t forget Psalm 139:

     “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.  I awake, and I am still with you.” (17-18)

And Jeremiah 29:11:

     “For I know the plans I have your you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Putting God first in our lives results in a win/win scenario.  The above passage speaks of searching for Him with all our hearts. 

In order to receive God’s plan for us, we must receive His best for us. 

And that is His Son and the abundant life He offers.

And what about the person who’s waited ever so long for her prayer to be answered?

God still hears.  We don’t understand why He doesn’t work on our time clock.  More often than not, the answers do not come within ten days. 

Don’t forget to give thanks.  It’s good to give thanks to the Lord.  His love is steadfast, and He is faithful. 

And you, my friend, are in His thoughts.

I don’t know how long my daughter and son-in-law will have to wait for the next step. 

But I do know that it is good to give thanks.

When God said “I know the plans I have for you…” He was comforting Israel, because they were homeless too.  Only they had been uprooted and carted off by King Nebuchadnezzar 500 miles from home.  They lost everything.  Their whole lives were turned upside down.  They didn’t know what to do.

David repeatedly fell on hard times.  Running from Saul, hiding from his enemies (even his own son), yet he still gave thanks:

     “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds.”  Psalm 57:9-10.

From his prison cell, Paul gave this advice:

     “Addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”  Ephesians 5:19-20

Giving thanks takes the focus off of us, and gives God’s perspective.  God is working all things out to His glory, and He is using you to that end!  What a joy for the believer to be used of God to further His purpose.  It is a high calling…

     for which we should be thankful.

Next time you don’t know what to do, or why it’s happening, or what it means

Give thanks.

Because that is one thing for SURE that you should do.

What changes are you going through today?  Have you been able to give thanks?  I’d love to hear!

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
  to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
  to declare Your steadfast love in the morning,
  and Your faithfulness by night”  Psalm 92

{Thanks for reading, friend!  If you enjoyed this post, would you consider signing up for email?  I promise nothing spammy will come your way!  Only my posts, 2-3 times per week. God bless you, friend.  Remember to give thanks today!}

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Comments 14

  1. What exciting times for you! And to have your grandson in the house. Ours are both out of town, so we cherish every visit. I'm so glad I jumped over from #RaRaLinkUp. Enjoy a blessing-filled day.

  2. Ruthie, I like your conversational writing style. It's much like my own (oh that sounds a bit conceited, doesn't it?). Anyway, I'm sure God will reveal His plan to the Thompsons in His Time…oh, it's so hard to be on His schedule isn't it? Thanks for great sharing. Blessings-your neighbor at #RaRaLinkup

  3. Amen! Last night my husband and I read Psalm 50 – call unto me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you! We're definitely in an uncertain time, and your post was a tremendous encouragement. Isn't there such joy when we choose to praise God in times of trial and uncertainty? Thanks for sharing! (Stopping by from Tuesday Talk)

  4. Change is among you friend. Although waking up to that little grandson of yours is going to be AWESOME! I love when God moves His people and His people are obedient. Look forward to seeing how this all plays out for your family.

  5. Whitney thank you for sharing about your uncertain time right now. The Psalms are such a comfort because so many of them came from David during times of uncertainty. I pray encouragement and direction for you today! 🙂

  6. Read this in my inbox and have had you on my heart ever since. Just now making it over here to say so (tweet not withstanding 😉

    I had never thought about the connection you draw as to the timing of God saying, "I know the plans…" and His people being homeless. Love pondering that.

    But my favorite? This.I.Know… It is good to give thanks. The enemy can't stick around when we are praising and thanking. These verses. Ahhhh.. I could just marinate on them all day.

    Fun times ahead for the Gray family. What a blessing to hold those grandbabies near for a little while longer. (And by plural, I know the one in the oven is held when you snuggle his/her mama.)

    Love you so! Love being drawn into your life!

  7. Ruthie, what beautiful words. And I love seeing God move in such obvious ways. And, I love your suggestion for responding when life surprises us. It works even when the surprises aren't so pleasant. Give thanks. yes, yes, yes. We can always find something to thank God for. If we look beyond our circumstances. Congratulations on grandchild #2 being on the way!

  8. Thanks, Tex. I hadn't thought of the connection either until I did some digging. It helps to know the background of that verse, doesn't it?
    Thank you for always being supportive, even as I flounder to explain things well at times. You know I love ya, Tex! Praying for you!

  9. Hi Jeanne! Thanks for taking the time to visit, and for the kind expressions. Even after I wrote that, I've had to remind myself to be thankful! (God holds us accountable like that, doesn't he?!) And yes, yay for grandkids times two! Woo hoo!

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