Need Inspiration for Appreciation?

“The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines–I finished it yesterday. Their being ‘real people’ who have done a lot with what they’ve had impressed me. I found myself relating to their ups and downs. When I’m immersed in a fiction book, without trying, I find myself taking on the persona of the main character. While “The Magnolia Story” is not a fiction book, I still found myself remembering life happenings of my own not so different from theirs.

One instance referenced Chip saying, “If I lived anywhere else besides Waco, it could be Kansas City.” One of his best friends lives on the Johnson County side–that might have added to the attraction. He noted the combination of old and new here; the openness of the people; the combination of small town feel in a metropolitan area.

Is it possible that we take life in the Midwest United States for granted? The Gaines’ book of inspiration and meaning ignited my appreciation anew. Some of the following come to mind this week:

(1) Long time friends from Florida spent three days with me last weekend. It is wonderful to have friends like Loy and Glenda Reed who you can ‘take up where you left off the last time you saw them.’ They always have new ideas and this time introduced me to Marley Lilly monogrammed online.

(2) Two friends have husbands in hospice–Roberta Mills’ Roy is at North Kansas City Hospice House and Debbie Davis’ Vic is spending his last days with hospice at home. Even though I know from personal experience they must walk through this emotional pain themselves–my mind races back ten years when I walked this same walk. While substituting at GriefShare last Wednesday night, I found myself congratulating two in the group whose son and brother had died in an auto accident Easter weekend. Three months after Don Davidson died, I could not have been as composed.

(3) My two Kansas City grandsons leave for church camp–one this week and one the following week. A generation ago, it was 4-H camp and GA camp for me–should I bother to tell them what a treat they are ‘in’ for? Close relationships will be formed quickly, God will seem so near, and worship will be both fun and ‘real.’

(4) Yesterday our church celebrated the ten year anniversary of Tiger Pennington’s being the pastor. Not a thing seemed to left out–His parents were there from Kentucky; his daughter sang with a praise team; videos of church members expressed thanks; emotions reflected both happy times and sad times across the congregation. I sat in the audience glad for him and grateful he could manage this time with not even a Kleenex. Isn’t it wonderful for others to be honored?

Chip and Joanna Gaines don’t know Zeta Davidson from anybody; however, they inspired and inspire me to appreciate anew the meaning of living in the Midwest-where our metropolitan area has a small town feel.  Lord, thank you for this time to appreciate and be glad. Amen.

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