Pausing for Thankfulness

By Jamie Harms

Years ago I was introduced to a spiritual discipline called praying the hours. It is a practice where you pause and pray seven times during the day to remember different aspects of the character of God. For example, in the morning, you remember God’s goodness and pray for the awakening of joy, forgiveness, and love in your day. As you head off to work, you pray remembering the sacredness of your work. Each of the seven pauses continues throughout the day to reorient your heart toward what God might be revealing about Himself or teaching you in that moment. The final prayer of the day is the twilight hour, which focuses on gratitude. It is a call to reflect back on your day and remember the gifts that God has given you. This is not just gratitude as in a list of things that you are thankful for, but gratitude to the Giver of those gifts. Thus, as Friday is the end of our week, I thought we as women of University Fellowship could pause and share with one another things from this week for which we are thankful to our God.  

A few things that I am thankful for this week are:

Amaryllis: Last year I was given an amaryllis bulb as a gift. I was not confident that I would be able to get it to bloom again, but it did! The reminder of new life and beauty of creation makes me smile when I walk into my kitchen.

Puzzles with John: Usually we are flying in all kinds of directions for school, youth group, cello, and other events, so puzzles only come out on New Year’s Eve. However, I am thankful for the slower pace of life, which is indicated by the fact that John and I finished an entire 1000-piece puzzle this week.

Cookies with Daniel: One of the things my boys said they wanted to learn before they left the house was how to make my chocolate chip cookies. Never a better time to learn and enjoy a yummy afternoon snack!

Silly Kitty: The newest addition to our household came to us in January. Our Harriet has provided me laughs and cuddles as she puts herself in all kinds of contorted positions and loves to play. In this picture, she is demonstrating her Harri-knot position.

Kids’ Bag from Aly: Even though we have not been able to meet in person with our UFC family, we are super thankful for the surprise on our doorstep from Aly and our kid’s ministry team with activities and challenges to dig deeper into God’s Word, while we are home.

We will practice thankfulness every Friday during this season of confinement to help us reorient our hearts to the One who continues to show Himself faithful. We would love to have you email us your pictures and captions of what you are thankful for this week. Put them in the comments below, or email them to ufcwomen.blog@gmail.com.

4 thoughts on “Pausing for Thankfulness

  1. Love this ! Also love that several in our ladies group have reached out just to check on us. I thank God for this group even more than usual. Judy

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  2. It’s so uplifting to see what brings others joy and gratefulness. I have enjoyed watching the birds outside the windows of our home as well as one clever squirrel who conquered the “squirrel proof” bird feeder. Like Jamie, I’m thankful for lots of downtime and puzzles with my kids, snuggly cats, and a teen who has decided to bake almost every other day! I’m also grateful for lots of uninterrupted time in the Bible and other books that have encouraged me that I’m currently working through: “Get Out of Your Head” by Jennie Allen, “Rhythms of Renewal” by Rebekah Lyons and “Get Your Life Back” by John Eldredge.

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  3. Faye, it is almost like we have been given a season of forced Sabbath. Just like the original Sabbath, it was given as a gift to mankind and can be a gift to us today too.

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  4. Judy, I am so thankful for our group of ladies too. Miss seeing you in person and look forward to a hug sometime in the not too distance future (hopefully).

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