Grumbly or Grateful?

My husband and I arrived at Columbia Metropolitan airport from Ridgway, Pennsylvania, late one Sunday night. 

Our luggage, however, did not. 

We’d been traveling for nine hours—three by car and six by plane, with another 30 minutes or so still to go. We’d eaten lunch in Ridgway, dinner in Pittsburgh, and a snack in Charlotte. We’d added 1,306 miles to our travel log, completed 3 days of ministry, and now it was 11 pm. We were weary. 

And our luggage was nowhere to be found. 

The carousel was dark and silent, and so were we. “So close!” we lamented, “so close.” 

It took another 45 minutes to fill out an “incident report,” including a description of our luggage, approximate weight, and last known whereabouts. I wondered if the next step was to print flyers to post in the nearby airports with a reward offer. 

Two pieces of lost luggage is chump change compared to the big uglies that often threaten our positive outlooks and sunny dispositions. 

They do, however, invite us to consider the choice we face every day: 

Grumble or be grateful. 

The grumbly side of my disposition sounded like this: 

These airlines never get anything right. They charge you a fortune, squeeze you into a seat built for a toddler, offer you half a glass of flat soda, and make you pay for every piece of luggage you check. And then our suitcases aren’t even there when we arrive. Woe is me! 

Psalm 119:64 offers another perspective: 

“The earth, O Lord, is full of your mercy.” 

Every day we have a choice to make—grumbly or grateful. 

The grateful side, humbled by the truth of this Scripture, sounds like this: 

Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of ministry. Thank you for caring for us as we traveled 1,306 miles, through four airports, and across five states. Thank you for kind people along the way, from the friends who hosted us and drove us to the airport to the little old man who delivered our wayward bags to our door and told me I was pretty. Thank you that any inconvenience we suffer in your name is miniscule compared to the great and high price you paid on our behalf on the cross. Thank you for the promise that when we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

Today, life’s circumstances will offer you a choice: 

Will you be grumbly or grateful? 

May we all choose to celebrate that the earth is full of God’s mercy. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on grumbling vs. gratitude. Please leave a comment below and share them with us all.


And for  you who would enjoy a peek into our weekend, here are a few photos from the "Getting Connected" women's retreat in Brookville, Pennsylvania.

The amazing women's ministry committee of the Good Shepherd United Methodist parrish who worked so hard to bring this conference to the area.

"Sleep Is a Waste of Time (NOT)" Session:

A fun exercise called the "Web of Connections" to build relationships and share how to maximize our time and still get enough sleep every night.

 Our Ridgway hosts and precious friends

I'll be leading a DEVOTION WRITING WORKSHOP in Columbia Saturday, Nov. 15 from 9-12
New Testament Baptist Church, 300 Sims Ave.
Registration is required. $25/person. Contact

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