"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Grateful Heart

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances or this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Over a year ago, I began a gift list sparked by reading Ann Voscamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Cataloging God’s blessings in my life commenced a journey of awareness. It was easy to fill up a page or two…hubby, children, friends, home—you know what I mean. Eventually, I ran out of ideas and that’s when I had to dig deeper. I opened my eyes a bit wider to everything around me—scanning the horizon for evidences of God working. Looking below the surface meant delving into areas in which finding anything good is a challenge. What good is there in pain and suffering or divorce and disease? Yet, God does ask me to give thanks “in” all circumstances.

My journey thus far has taken me to number 908 gifts:

881.     Alix graduating from high school with honors.

882.    Enjoying time with my parents.

883.    Savoring yummy Amish cooking.

884.    Car trips playing “Categories” naming every candy bar in the world.

885.    Preparing a graduation party with mom and my future daughter-in-law.

886.    Leisurely mornings and great conversations with mom.

887.    Lots of coffee and chocolate.

888.    Playing dozens of games of cards with the family.

889.    Strolling through shops in Nashville, Indiana.

890.    God’s grace in giving me amazing parents.

891.     Tough conversations that end in prayer.

892.    Barn swallows protecting their babies until they fly.

893.    Mommies and daddies protecting their babies until they leave the home nest.

894.    Bowing the knee desperate for God’s guidance and discernment.

895.    Husband who loves his wife well.

896.    A godly, gentle father who loves me unconditionally.

897.    Chatting with the best brother ever on Father’s Day.

898.    An amazing father and stepfather.

899.    Internship opportunity for Nick with his stepdad.

900.    Kids in VBX reminded that heaven is their true home.

901.     Soaking in sun and precious friends at the pool.

902.    Reading with Maddie.

903.    Spontaneous discussions with Alix.

904.    A son who works hard and expends every last ounce of energy.

905.    A focused hubby studying diligently for his upcoming test.

906.    A growing garden

907.    Praying through a horrific headache.

908.    God’s mercies, new every single day! 

Gratitude brings joy as I focus my thoughts on all the ways God has blessed me, even in the painful parts of my journey. For when I ask the question, “What is the good in this tough situation I am facing?” The answer is clear—God’s abiding presence is always the blessing. Even when I can’t find one other gift about the difficult, the pain, the hard, I know He is with me!

Start counting your gifts…

1 comment:

  1. I like your phrase, "Gratitude brings joy..." So true...Glad I discovered that you are blogging!