The "Contemplations from Katie" for this month, will actually be "Contemplations from Katie's Husband, Luke."  During our family trip at the beginning of the month, he had some thoughts I liked and wanted him to share. Please read...

A couple of weeks ago, our family got to travel to Seattle.  It was a memorable trip filled with fun times with our kids and extended family.  Some of the highlights included an outing on a house boat with Katie's Aunt and Uncle, seeing the orangutan at the zoo, not having to fix meals, and just being together.

The main purpose for the trip was to allow me to participate in the Seattle Stair Climb. It's an annual fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in which firefighters from around the nation (and even a few foreign countries) race up the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle.  It's 69 flights, 1,356 steps, and it's done in full gear while breathing air from our SCBA's.  It's a punishing climb for a good cause, and I'd been hoping to participate since becoming a fireman. 

One of the most meaningful parts of the event was that on every floor landing and half-landing they had a picture of someone who lost their battle with the disease.  It was a sobering reminder of why we were there to climb.  The hardest portraits to climb past, and the most touching, were of children.  With sweat dripping inside of my mask, legs burning and lungs gasping, I climbed past more than one hundred pictures of beloved people that were no longer living.

It elicited a spirit of thankfulness in me.  I was reminded that, as Job 33:4 says, "The breath of the Almighty gives me life."  As I breathed my supplied air, I was so grateful that God had given me the health and physical ability to complete the climb.  I was thankful that He has given me breath.  I was even more deeply thankful for the health of my children and the breath he has given them.  Every breath we breathe is a gift from God, who holds our lives in His hands.  I know He can choose to do with my life and the lives of my family whatever He wills, and I fully submit to that perfect will.  

Too often I forget to give thanks for the simpler things.  I thank God for a fun day, for allowing me to go on an adventure, for the food I eat, or for the myriad other ways He provides for me.  Climbing up those stairs was a great reminder to be thankful for a basic thing like breath.  My prayer is that I will not forget to be thankful for every breath I get, for every breath my family gets, and that with the life He provides, however long or short, I will give the glory back to Him, the giver and sustainer of life.

By Katie Miller

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