Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Family Dynamics Are Adversely Impacted

How does one find a nugget of gratitude when life presents you with a family-altering event beyond divorce that actually impacts the dynamics of family as you knew it? How does one make preparations to walk and lead with head held high in a humbled heart state? Can the attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness be found? Is it really possible to live and love out loud with hope?

Well, please allow me to take you on a personal scenic outlook overview at a cliff that stood very high and hidden. Perhaps it shall reveal that those very real down deep questions and the nugget-finds of gratitude can be found. And let me say first, that the answers do not nor cannot lie in a one-person excavation of the precious gratitude jewel because often the actual nugget can be too massive to unearth alone. Remember that I am all about #givingyouhope. 

While there are numerous folk over the last 34 years who have been people of faith influences to me, please take a few extended moments to follow along of a few #standout vessels whose lives and words each incited the reverberating walk out the God-kind of agape love-out-loud and live-out-loud faith echoes in the chambers of my being. Here goes my account of live-out-loud and love-out-loud inspirational cliff-dwellers of encouragement with picks, shovels, jack hammers and all the necessary tools to assist me in finding my nugget of gratitude that led to this very 31st day of December 2016…

  • My two awesome kiddos, Leslee and Aaron, of whom I am very proud and before whom I committed to the Lord and to self to guide in a godly manner a model live-out-loud faith and a love-out-loud love that rises #above ANY circumstance in life. 
  • An associate pastor and his wife who actually came to my life before marriage and the birth of my kiddos. This couple now residing in Tennessee whose live-out-loud God-the-healer Jehovah-Rapha kind of faith was prayed over me in 1980 when first we met, as my body was lying very high-temperature weakened on the floor of a Contemporary Christian Choir touring bus that pulled up into their church parking lot. That incident turned out to be a divine setup for our lives to be forever entwined with an unconditional love-out-loud bond as I was adopted into their unbreakable commitment to God and family.
  • A senior pastor formerly of Trophy Club, TX who chose to Deuteronomy 28:13 rise above the circumstance and 1Peter 5:6 humble himself and place a love-out-loud phone call to me regarding a mutual friend of his family and mine. He spoke these thought and life-impacting words to me through uncontrollable live-out-loud tears, “Rainey, I need the Lord to teach me how to love as He loves…a new and deeper kind of love.”
  • A dear precious friend in Tennessee came to me in a love-out-loud manner in 1996, gently cupping her hands over mine, looking into my eyes with the compassion of Jesus and softly and tenderly exhorted me in a still quiet voice as that likened unto my live-out-loud Lord, “Rainey, always be gracious. Whatever you do, always be gracious.”
  • A local senior pastor and his wife who accepted our family with a love-out-loud embrace in 2001 with an unconditional unspoken love commitment to our family from then through and beyond present and spoke words of live-out-loud faith-filled words of life and Jehovah-Rapha healer to my son over me in 2004. All of this was yet another Divine plan for me to regularly glean from that dynamic marital duo as they became senior pastors in 2007 to my redefined family and a live-out-loud model to do what love-out-loud love requires with grace and truth.
  • An incredible newlywed lay couple couple in a Louisiana church we met 1998 with whom lives we became intertwined, who later accepted the calling of pastors. The wife and I shared an intentional live-out-loud intimate admonishing one another impenetrable bond of love and faith. In 2008 while in the midst of an excruciatingly emotional and physically painful stage 4 breast cancer live-out-loud faith, she painlessly expounded with words that rendered captivatingly enlightening wisdom to my many years of quandary in the 1982 obedient response and commitment to the Lord to a love-out-loud daily denial to self on a long journey which presented many twists and turns. 
  • 46-year glorious friendship of two incredible women whose respective life journeys compelled them to stand firm in a commitment to live-out-loud in faith for healing through breast cancer and a vegetative stroke coupled with a stand strong love-out-loud above ALL adversities, whose lives resound as loud testimonies to me. 
  • A remarkably coachable and teachable woman of God on Maui, HI, whose unbridled outspoken character began being tamed as yet another setting of live-out-live to teach to me to love-out-loud to a people I did not understand, yet for whom I was to be the vessel to bring increases to the Kingdom. 

So while there are many others to whom I have great gratitude, may I ask of you to #STOP in the midst of your own challenged circumstances to live-out-loud and love-out-loud? Then #DROP to your knees in humility before the Lord and the whomever/s He would or has placed in your life to help you #ROLL the care of the seeming madness onto the Lord by an unrelenting determination to dig deep in search of your nugget of gratitude. I think you just may find that amazing jewel of gratitude was found while in your drawn focus to THE bright shining #LiveOutLoud #LoveOutLoud Light of the world. Wishing you a blessed and prosperous 2017 of many exciting nugget finds of gratitude. 

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens and All Words Matters

“Yea!! It’s official!!! I will be the new Academic Counselor with Uplift Education at Summit International Preparatory!!!! God is so good!! This is a huge blessing!!! Leslee loves the kids!!!” Reminiscing as those words were the joyous caption on this picture 3 years ago.

Now 3 years later, this same gal will begin her second year in law school to arm herself with knowledge and wisdom to effectively advocate for scholars, students and humankind. 

This spectacular stair step showed up to be a sequenced stage of a savvy, sassy, sensational, selfless, shaker-up individual who savors no silence in springing forward to speak out in support of ALL students/scholars in seeking schooling that surpasses the slanted surmise of society

Whew! It took a little time and energy for this wordsmith to write, research, write, research, write, research and deliberately write and research some more for the accurate wording in the above paragraph. After dismissing the exclamatory thought, “Has Miss Rainey  lost her mind?!”

What did it take for you to read and comprehend that paragraph?

I would venture to say it stimulated heightened thought processes to actuate the reading slow-down rate to take your time to read, reread, read, reread and carefully read and reread again to understand. 


The realization that if you read too fast without giving proper singled attention to each individual “s” word, the whole of the words could become confused, mispronounced, run together, misunderstood or attract missed understanding and thus respectfully frustrated declarations be made that, “Miss Rainey, this that you wrote makes no sense at all!” Argh!

The truth is that the beginning “s” in ALL the words matters…a deserving consideration of embrace to understand the whole. Yep! It did take a little extra time, which many of us including me are short on, for comprehension. Feels like mental gymnastics. To capture the depth of understanding in the essence of what was written, you had to ‘slow your roll’ to read. In so doing, you perhaps had to research to get understanding before proceeding with wisdom. This is in alignment with Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV), “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Now insert a P-A-U-S-E break… and take a moment to read that scripture passage in different translations and Bible versions… then B-R-E-A-T-H-E in deeply and out slowly… and M-E-D-I-T-A-T-E intentionally. 

Whoa! This has unsuspectedly turned the direction of my simple-intended memory-sharing post into a lesson, which should come as no surprise when called to be a teacher. So WORDSMITH + TEACHER = PASSION of the word-riddled Miss Rainey. 

Let it be known that the Leslee is my daughter of whom I am very proud. Her passion began at an extremely young age. It is continually fueled by past and current events of social injustice physical and/or word-inflicted abuse and assaults hurled at the underserved, the voiceless, the stifled voice, the silenced and quenched voice of victims and the victimized. The nugget of gratitude found here is this discovery of one willing to choregraph world-changing words when life happens. Composing a rhythmic pattern of words that matter is a powerful  demonstration of a courageous stand in advocacy to make a positive difference globally, in our nation of America as well as internationally…all underscored by love to silence the hate. 

Miss Rainey signing off for now and #givingyouhope until next blogpost.