Though this heart-touching, thought-provoking book was released in 2005, I feel so grateful it came across my path this week.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek suffered with a life-long and life-taking disease, yet he chose to embrace a life of honesty and gratitude. He wrote about, "What I witness, what I feel, what I think, what I fear, what I treasure."
What he treasured was life and hope, love and friendship. What he hoped for was peace and safety in our world. He called himself a "a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played."
Though he died in 2004 at the tender age of 13, he was a motivational speaker, the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for three years, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, and had ongoing peace-centered conversations with Jimmy Carter, Oprah and many other influential people who he considered not just "famous, but important."
Mattie called his poems, "Heartsongs" and defined the term as, "a person's inner beauty and strength" and "a person's special message and reason to be" in this world.
This has left me pondering my own "special message and reason to be." I look at what he accomplished in 13 short years and wonder what difference the rest of my life could make.
I've become a more grateful person as I've immersed myself in his poems. The wisdom and grace that flows through his words keeps singing to me. I'll be sharing more of his treasures in the future.
I highly recommend adding this book to your inspirational collection, reading it to your children and grandchildren, and using it as a meditational companion whenever you want to bolster your gratitude.
Nike N. Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction.
She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She writes monthly book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine.
Her recent contemporary detective series (HARMFUL INTENT and DEADLY DESIGNS) has garnered acclaim and has been called: sassy, witty, gritty, charming, and yummy.
Her historical suspense Sanctuary Point series brought on a crime wave that swept the south shore of Long Island during the 1940s (BURNING HEARTS, GOODBYE NOEL, PERILOUS SHADOWS, DARKEST HOUR) won acclaim and awards.
As we ready the last of our belongings to move from the farm, this sunrise felt like a farewell gift to us.
It's been an amazing place, but we are excited about the next phase in our lives and curious about all it will hold. After living around boxes for months, it will be good to be resettled and back to some kind of writing routine!
You have upheld me, Lord and kept my steps from slipping. You have tried me and strengthened me. You have restored my soul.
This day, Papa, put Your perfect will in my heart. Give me eyes to see Your face. To see your path.
"Lead me in the right path, O lord...make Your way plain for me to follow."
Psalm 5:8 NLT
Lord, if only I could grasp Your joy which is my strength. I want to run and hide, to leave everything behind. You alone give life and strength and the will to press on.
Come, Holy Spirit of Jesus and pour into me the blessing You have promised. Deliver me from the evil one that oppresses, and bring deliverance.
Please, bring clarity and hope. You have a path laid out for me that is called success if I follow. Show me again, Lord. Give me the will and the power to do of Your good pleasure.
This morning I asked You to put a prayer in my heart. You greeted me with this glorious sunrise and gave me Psalm 103:1-5. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits..."
My youth is renewed! I am satisfied with good things. You have poured lovingkindness and compassion on me and placed Your joy into my soul.
You said, "Be healthy. Create beauty. Be the joy. Sing praise." Papa, my mouth is filled with praise.
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