Friday, August 17, 2012

Having a Heart of Thanksgiving

"Worship or Whine
The importance of this matter of gratitude can hardly be overstated. I've come to believe that few things are more becoming in a child of God than a grateful spirit.  By the same token, there is probably nothing that makes a person more unattractive than the absence of a grateful spirit.

I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways:
And I can't worship without giving thanks.  It just isn't possible. When we choose the pathway of worship and giving thanks, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances, there is a fragrance, a radiance, that issues forth out of our lives to bless the Lord and others.

On the other hand, when we give in to whining, murmuring, and complaining, we end upon a destructive slide that ultimately leads to bitterness and broken relationships."

Excerpt from Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

My thoughts:
I have to tell you, the first time I read this I felt as if I had been hit square between the eyes.  This summer has been especially hard for me, coming off of a wild and crazy year that really changed the dynamics of our family's life.  I was weary, very weary.  I was whiny, very whiny.  I couldn't focus and it was all I could do to survive the day.

It all came to a head at our Ladies Retreat at church in mid-July.  So many things hit home with me that day.  My heart was heavy.  I bought this book with a plan to add it to my "to read" pile.  Who knows in what year it would have actually made it to the top.  The next evening I found myself crumbling down and completely falling apart as i was sharing with Christine and our pastor's wife.  My pastor's wife strongly encouraged me to immediately start writing down anything I could think of to which I am thankful.

I went home and took a pretty blank journal that I actually got at the retreat and ...nothing.  This wasn't going to be easy.  I was going to have to purpose myself to do this.  A whining spirit doesn't just turn itself off.  My spirit of worship had to over power it.  And how did that happen?  One thanks to God at a time.

There is power in Eucharistia, the giving of thanks.(pg 32). With each thanks to the Lord I wrote, I was sowing a seed of thanksgiving, which allowed the Lord to begin cultivating my heart into a heart of gratitude and worship.

These lines of thanks aren't all thought provoking (# 4 left overs), some are (#18 for reminding me Your love for me does not stop just because I sin, just like my love for my children doesn't stop when they sin.). These thanks are not all scripturally based (#85 mobile electronic devices that add to our convenience), but many are (#174 for being slow to anger with me and your continued lovingkindness no matter how many times I fail you- Psalm 103:8). Regardless, they are all heartfelt thanks to my Lord and Savior.

It has been just over a month since this started and I feel like a renewed woman.  Things aren't perfect and I still find some things challenging.  But I am learning I can always find something in which to give thanks to the Lord no matter what else is going on in my life.

Christine, this one is especially for you ;)
# 177 for giving me the courage to remove the new speech therapist from our family's life.

I hope you all have a bless day.

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