Early Morning Gratitude

Saturday morning my husband was out of town, so I porch partied alone. I woke up early, around 4 a.m., made coffee, and took my flashlight and Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling outside.

The air felt different that morning. Soft and cool on my face. Almost lavender.

Like Easter morning.

Maybe the air felt this way when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before He went to the cross.

I paused.

Almost thought about the cross, but I wasn’t ready.

Not yet.

Instead I pondered gentle things.

Pastel images.

The dogwoods had just bloomed.

I could barely see the branches in the darkness, but I remembered their splendor.

The Easter tree my mother-in-law made.

She gave it to us when the children were little.

I let my mind dwell on bright green Easter grass. Filling baskets. Egg hunts.

I thought about our oldest child’s first Easter.

While I sat rocking and thinking, I knew I’d return to the cross.

I remembered ten years ago, when I saw The Passion of the Christ.

That one scene.

How it undid me.

It still does.

When He suffered the beating, the scourging, the whips on His back, when His hands and feet were nailed to the cross…

My heart pounded with the heaviness of the Truth.

A weight fell on me,

So intense I couldn’t breathe.

For the first time I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt

What He did for me was Enough.

Now I wonder

Could it have been…

That moment was the first time I worshipped my Jesus of the Cross?

I couldn’t help but say it over and over again.

Thank You.

Thank You.

Thank You.

There was nothing more You could have done.

You did it all. 




  1. Patricia Martin says:

    How wonderful it is that even though we were sinners Jesus loved us enough to give His sacred life for us! His grace and love are always enough (((((: My elderly friend, Shirley, makes something beautiful for my family each year for Easter and we put it out for decoration– seeing your beautiful Easter tree reminds me of her gifts.
    Patricia (:

    • I know, Patricia. His gift is just so big. Whew. Impossible to fathom.

      Awwwww, how sweet of Shirley to make you something each Easter. 🙂


  2. Anna Haney says:

    WOW! This was much needed this morning. It’s the third day of one of the busiest times in the office and I am more focused on all that is going on, who needs what, why students can’t log into their accounts, why faculty are being disagreeable. Then I read this. I was ashamed. I have been focusing on me. But He didn’t just do this for me. He did this for all of us. My eyes brimmed with tears. Thank you Lord.

    • Love you, Dear Anna. You always, always bless me right back with your responses.

      Praying for you and yours….

  3. Incredible Julie! The spectrum of Jesus’s love and sacrifice for us does require thanksgiving. Lavender and Crimson are woven together to cover us with His promises. So thankful for you sharing your passion with us so we may see Him. Blessings.

    • Oh, that’s so good, Tom. Lavender and Crimson. Wish I’d thought of it!!!

      Thanks for sharing your gifts. You’re such an encourager.

  4. So powerful, Julie. So heartwrenching was that scene in “Passion” that I cried and cried and cried sitting by myself in the movie theater, my arms hugging my knees, tears dripping down my face. Maybe that is when I, too, felt Jesus so close to me.

    Your heart opens wide with love for others and the sharing of your words are powerful. Thank you!

    • Me too, B.J. Mother won’t see the movie. But I knew I wanted to. Felt like it He went through it, I needed to see it (even though I know it was a movie). It was so deep with me.

      Love you, my friend. So much, so much.

  5. What a beautiful post! I remember seeing the movie and coming undone also. I went with 2 friends and after we went for lunch and all I could do was cry. It was so real and awful. We should all be eternally grateful.

  6. Colleen McAllister says:

    Oh, Julie, that is so much how I feel. How I felt. And how I feel each Easter when I go to the foot of the cross to thank Him again. How we all should feel every single day. 

    Thank you for sharing.

    • So glad you let me know you feel this way too. Easter brings it out in my, and really, this deep sense of gratitude and worship deserves my all. Every day

      So much. So big.

      Thank you for letting me know this post touched your heart. Means so much! xoxo

  7. I didn’t know there was a 4 in the morning!! Amazing. How did you even get up? If I woke up that early, I’d roll back over and go back to sleep. ;o)

    • Ane, I bet you’re wide awake until midnight. I get sleepy around 8:30 or 9:00…and I’m not too smart after 4 p.m. 🙂

  8. You and I had the same response to The Passion. I kept having the song, “Thank you for the cross”, on my mind. While it was horrific to watch, I saw the beauty of God’s plan evident from Genesis to Revelation, a Sinless Lamb must be offered for our sin. And He was. Hallelujah!

    • Ohhhh, thank movie, Elizabeth. I’m sitting here even now thinking about it and feel goose bumps. Almost feel my teeth chattering.

      I’ll never forget the deep understanding that passed through me…this was Real. He’s Enough.

      Sure jolts us into praising.


  9. Sandra Walker says:

    Once again we are on the same page! Everyone needs to know just what Jesus did for us! May we never lose the wonder of His mercy! We are BLESSED beyond measure.

    • We live on the same page, Sandra!

      Love how you used the word “wonder” of His mercy. Beautiful, just beautiful.


  10. Mary says:

    Easter is like the turn of the page, isn’t it? I once heard a preacher say that it’s like a coin…. on one hand, there’s good Friday, and despair, and pain and anguish… but God turns that coin over to triumph and joy! I guess that’s what we all have to remember…. that in the depth of despair, God can turn that page or flip that coin for us!

  11. Beautiful xo

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