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More From Mary Ellen Piland

November 29, 2019 by Mary Ellen Piland (North Carolina, USA)
Mary Ellen with husband, Jim, and
newborn grandson Jameson

The grandson I wrote this devotion about, Jameson, is turning ten years old this month. Since I wrote this devotion, we have been blessed with a second grandson. The feelings of awe, praise, and love have continued. These boys are growing up in a loving home and are an active part of their church family in central North Carolina. We live only a few hours from our son and his family, so we are able to stay involved in their lives.

The unstructured and spontaneous prayer I mentioned in today’s devotion makes me feel closer to God during the whole day. Realizing that any moment can turn into prayer allows me to be more grateful and aware of the blessings in my life. On my daily walk, I pray for my neighbors as I pass their homes. I pray to be a blessing to my students as I work with them as a substitute teacher, and I try to slip in my Christian values through my actions.

While writing this devotion I searched my Bible to find scriptures that would complement my thoughts. This led to me take on the challenge that my pastor suggested—to read the entire Bible in a year. Now that accomplishment is almost complete, and I look forward to beginning again in January.

Mary Ellen on her birthday with grandsons
Whitton (left) and Jameson

The structure of a daily devotion and Bible reading time ensures that I praise God in a planned scheduled time each day. But the birth of our first grandson showed me that I could praise God through observing and adoring God’s creation and blessings any time. I encourage you to take a minute when you sit down for your personal devotion time, before you start, to notice your surroundings. Thank God for simple things like the beautiful sky, whether stormy or clear, the aroma of your morning coffee or tea, the quiet calm of the morning or the noisy bustle of your family starting the day. All these things are worthy of your offering praise to God.

Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. — Psalm 118:28


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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Emmaus helped me laugh again, and it brought joy back to my life after the loss of my child. I am now stronger than ever in my walk with the Lord. And to this day, I continue to sponsor pilgrims to The Walk to Emmaus. In my local church, I have led our discipleship team and have had the opportunity to start new Sunday school classes and various women’s ministries. ¡De Colores!”

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