It's such a blessing for me to join some other awesome ladies in reading through Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.
I have always been all about community, and am grateful that though I live on a little Indian Reservation, the Lord STILL manages to provide me with beautiful community.
He is SURELY good.
Be sure to check out the other ladies and what the Lord put on their hearts through reading Chapter 1 of One Thousand Gift's:
So the Lord NEVER ceases to amaze me.
I must start there.
The Lord always seems to use themes to speak to me and is usually extremely repetitive when pulling at my heart.
He knows me well and knows that that is very necessary with me.
The theme the Lord has been putting on my heart lately is essentially found in James 1:2-3:
"Consider it PURE joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
They happened to Ann Voskamp, and I was moved by her honest questioning:
"Does God really love me? If He truly, deeply loves me, why does He withhold that which I believe will fully nourish me? Why do I live in this sense of rejection, of less than, of pain? Does He not want me to be happy?"
Because this has been the theme the Lord has had on my heart for the past couple of weeks my eyes directly shot to, "why does He withhold that which I BELIEVE will fully nourish me?"
How many times have I thought this?
How many times have I chosen bitterness over THANKSGIVING because I THOUGHT I knew what was better for me than my Creator?
I just shared in the post before this of a tragedy that a family suffered, but through the tragedy MANY came to Christ.
The family handled the tragedy so gracefully because they knew that GOD knows and we don't.
Because that's just it.
Our minds can only fathom what the Lord created our minds to fathom.
We can't BEGIN to fathom all that the Lord knows.
How can we decide a tragedy is a tragedy if we don't have the all knowing power that God has?
I was stretched even further.
What about not just understanding and accepting trials because God ultimately knows best, what about fighting for Thankfulness in the midst of these trials?
" That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart- aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave."
What if this tragedy let us see into the heart of God?
Then maybe I could choose gratitude.
Maybe then I could be thankful in my brokenness.
It's very encouraging to realize how much we need God.
I need him desperately.
I need him to help me be thankful in the midst of my brokenness.
I can't do it alone.
He knows that.
So this week, though the Lord is taking me through trials of my own, He is pushing me to be grateful in the midst and to fight for thanksgiving.
Each week I'm going to list 10 things that I found to be thankful for throughout the week. Some are RANDOM, but just made me smile. I'm thankful to smile. Some make me laugh. I love to laugh. Some are simple. I'm thankful for simplicity. In some the Lord just quietly whispers and reminds me that He loves me, and in those things, I am thankful.
1) Canadians who travel with Maple Syrup
2) Having a tissue handy when I have to sneeze
3) Hot coffee at the perfect time of day
4) Sleepy time tea
5) When a house guest unexpectedly folds my laundry for me
6) The wind blowing the curtains through an open window and bringing a chill in the house
7) Overhearing my husband tell his friend on the phone how much he loves me and our marriage.
8) Homemade brownies
9) A youth lighting up when they run into me at the grocery store
10) A full pantry of food
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
Have a wonderful day!