Today I got to visit one of my favorite places: Joshua Tree National Park. It’s in the middle of nowhere in SoCal—a feat in itself—with huge piles of massive boulders decorating an otherwise desert landscape. Aside from its rugged beauty, it’s the best place I know of for amateur rock climbers to scale a legitimate summit with a great view. Because this was the first time our whole family got to climb together, what set this visit apart from previous ones was watching my 3 year-old negotiate the terrain. I was absolutely astounded how his young mind and body were capable of positioning, advancing, ascending, and descending so well. The versatile abilities God has given us to perform helpful and productive acts are nothing short of amazing!
And it’s not just physical aptitude that’s impressive; it’s relational versatility as well. Which brings me to Jenny Hughes. A friend for many years now, she has spoken and done many things I am thankful for, and as I was considering how to consolidate them into one category…I couldn’t. There was that time she excitedly expressed appreciation for something I had done that I didn’t consider to be very significant. There have been our casual but real disagreements where she has shown courtesy and respect for my perspective. There was a moment of failure in my life when she knew exactly the best way to respond. There are some really thoughtful compliments I remember that she went out of her way to give. There was an instance I said something not particularly nice to her, and she both held her tongue and remained encouraging at the same time. And along with everything else I could say, there has been a wonderful consistency in her friendship that I am especially grateful for. Not to mention that her husband Jim exhibits much of the same awesome aptitude, so you basically get a 2-for-1 special there! Thank-you for being so fantastic on pretty much every occasion; I have always and will continue to appreciate you greatly.
Got someone in your life who seems to have just the thing for every occasion? Heal their hereafter today by thanking them for their versatile acts of aid and encouragement!
To value those I am grateful for, I ask them to share a cause or website they are excited about. Jenny would love for you to check out the blog of Sophie Hartman, the story of Jenny’s friend from Hope College who followed God’s leading to Zambia to love and learn from the orphans there. Sophie is a person multiple people have independently told me they respect, so read her story here!