I started... though have not yet completed reading this well known book by Ann Voskamp last week. It starts out as a really hard read... as far as digging right down to the core of the reasons we learn to live lives without thankfulness. It is an excellent read though as a result, as the author describes her own personal struggle... and the life changing results. She beautifully explores the word eucharisteo ... known as the cornerstone of Christianity and all that it entails. As I have mentioned so many times before on this blog, I am a firm believer that the Lord DOES inhabit the praises of His people. That the more we thank Him for who He is, the more we invite Him to do what He wants to do! On her blog, Ann invites other bloggers to list reasons why we are thankful on Mondays... and I'm joining :) I love the way she explained that the acknowledgement of the things God has given us, great and small, are in effect a way of accepting and claiming gifts that are from Him , rather than taking them for granted and becoming desensitized to them. We sure do have so much to be thankful for, and the more I see the things He does, the more I have fallen in love with who He is.. and although it's just a list on a blog I sure don't want to leave one stone unturned or miss one opportunity to praise the Lord for His goodness, and in turn ask for more of His presence in our lives!!! So here's just a few of the multitude of things I am thankful for today... (in only the order of randomness)
- The weekend. For time to play games with my kids, to watch them play without deadlines, to cook for them, and to be a family. For time to catch up on so many errands, and the wonderful feeling of knowing we got them done, even and especially the ones we didn't want to do!
- For my church. For a pastor I love and respect who teaches the truth, and lives by it. For a church full of people who love the Lord and love each other.
- For three little people fast asleep in their beds upstairs. For hearing them pray, for seeing them grow, hearing them laugh, watching them love on each other.
- For grace. For knowing I'm loved by the God of the universe just because He does. For knowing I'm forgiven for the sinful person I am. For knowing He sees my very often frantic, illegible efforts to live a life that's pleasing to Him and assuming He probably gets a good chuckle out of it and keeps on leading me along in peace and joy... because He's got somewhere for us to go.
- For watching my kids run around in the grass without a purpose but to enjoy the feeling of springtime.
- For grilled hot dogs... Dr. Pepper... and of course donuts.
- My piano.
- A house with a yard. And a fence :)
- For friends who are family. Who you can laugh and be yourself with, ask the hard questions too, and who stick around even thru the hard stuff. For the man who gets down on his knees to hug and talk to my kids, and his wife who's taught us a whole lot about love!
- That Sammy got his stars at school 3 out of 5 times this week... learned some lessons and is determined to get them every day this week :)
- Again... for grace. And for kindergarten teachers full of grace :)
- For a job I love and am blessed to have.
- For an insurance policy that seemed impossible to get for the insurance salesman... therefore allowing me to share about the God of the impossible when it came through!!! As a result I'm giddy with thankfulness at the prospect of some summer days at home with my kids!
- For laundry caught up, lunches packed in the fridge, and my bed upstairs :)
- For the warm weather forecasted tomorrow!!!
- A trip to Luray last week, the people there and the work God is doing!
- The assurance that "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to carry it on to completion." (Phil 1:6). That the Lord is my portion and my cup... He has made my lot secure. No. Matter. What. (Psalm 16). That He never leaves, never stops loving, and is so very kind and good.
- Hearing a friend in Sunday School this morning who has been homeless for years and considered unreachable and unchangeable by many... tell the whole class on the verge of tears how God has been breaking her down for the last couple of weeks... and she's been to church her whole life but is just starting to understand that He loves her... not contingent on what He does or doesn't do... but just because... that He's "never given up on her" and that He has a plan for her!!! Praise the Lord... I'm thankful for the reminder that no one is beyond His reach!
and for so. much. more.