Henri Nouwen said, "Where there is reason for gratitude, there can always be found a reason for bitterness. It is here that we are faced with the freedom to make a decision. We can decide to be grateful or to be bitter."
I want to be grateful.
I want to have eyes that see the gifts, big and small, that God gives me. I want ears to hear the quiet whispers of assurances He speaks to let me know that He's with me. Whispers that let me know that He sees and that He cares. I want a heart that is full of expectation, watching for what This Good God of Mine will do next.
So, I have a plan.
I have joined with a group of other believers in a Gratitude Community. A community where each person documents 1000 gifts from God. Some members share their gifts on blogs, while others write them in private journals.
I need accountability so every Monday I will be sharing my gifts of grace.
I'm sure you will see many gifts listed that you've received, too. But, many of the gifts I'll give thanks for might cause you to scratch your head and wonder what in the world I'm talking about. My gifts, as well as yours, are given from the Father above who sees our individual needs and fears. He knows those moments in our lives when we need His comfort and His encouragement. The Father also knows what makes each of His children laugh, what makes them want to get up and dance, or what makes them feel significant in the most insignificant places.
If you want to join the Gratitude Community, click here.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
I've received some gifts from the Father that I haven't wanted.They weren't what I had in mind. They were gifts that didn't look like gifts at all. He's given me gifts I have begged Him to take back, to exchange for something else . . . anything else.
But, I know God is good. And, He's giving me the grace to believe, in the dark, as well as in the light, that nothing comes from Him that is ever separate from His absolutely perfect love for me.
Nouwen also said about gratitude, "What fascinates me so much is that every time we decide to be grateful it will be easier to see new things to be grateful for. Gratitude begets gratitude just as love begets love."
I'm counting on it!
Father, help me with my choice to be grateful instead of bitter. Please give me the grace to accept what you have for me and the discipline to "give thanks in all thing." May my gratitude glorify you.
I Am Grateful for. . .
3. my guys
4. a good night's sleep
5. Seth's new job being an hour away
6. being able to see Ethan eating my fried chicken
7. Jim's strong back
8. a pool for Ethan
9. people that pray for us
10. my Bayley girl
11. a sister that babysits Bayley Girl
12. a car that helps me get to the people I love
13. mercies that are new everyday.
14. singing birds that remind me of those new mercies
15. a day without seeing any skinks or geckos
16. my momma and daddy
17. Ethan's new laugh
18. God throwing my sins into the sea.
20. air conditioning
21. medical insurance
22. brain tumors being benign
23. boxes full of photographs
24. healing rain
25. God calling me His friend.