And this is the pattern of my daily efforts, this continual falling down but (by God’s daily mercies) getting back up. These once-a-week gratitude posts (that come late or not at all) are only the smallest slips, because other important things get neglected, I can assure you.
My kitchen floor is dirty. I am frequently impatient with my boys. My impacted wisdom tooth is crushing me with jaw pain and headaches. We aren’t doing school. I neglect my Bible reading for days. I haven’t exercised in over a week. I spent yesterday frustrated and grumbling because the starter on the Suburban went out, and our stove died and together that’s over $1000 and why do these things happen at Christmas?
Change isn’t overnight. It comes bit-by-bit, with the courage to get up and try again. Because of His Spirit living in me, I am not controlled by circumstances. I can choose JOY. Finances, health, family–all of these things are in His capable hands…yes? YES.
Let’s ignore the sticky floor for a moment and give a long hug to the grouchiest boy who (just like us) resents getting up to cold air and chores. Though the headache pounds, we’ll take strength from His words http://enewhope.org/bible/ as we indulge in a second cup of fresh, hot coffee. and it’s not raining. A long walk outside is a good way to ease back into the running, which we stop and start, so frequently…
no pressure! Some days there is only strength enough for small steps and that’s okay. Christ always leads with gentleness, so I will not step into His role of leadership in order to start whipping myself into action…
Renewal starts this way: we’ll set our minds to make the week’s list…because we KNOW that gratitude changes our attitude. Doesn’t He deserve praise, and honor-no matter the feeling or circumstance? Is He not GOD and due something of worth? Perhaps it is when we feel exactly like THIS, and yet praise anyway, that a real gift is finally given-for didn’t David say “I will give the sacrifice of praise”? There are seasons in life where joy and praise come EASY, true. But in this world we will have trouble and yet-He has overcome the world!
TODAY: I am grateful for
God’s timing. Our stove died over Black Friday weekend, so the new stove was heavily discounted in price. Oh and it’s beautiful, so Merry Christmas to me, the cook, right?!
God’s provision. The mechanic who fixed the old Suburban is honest, and a believer, and got the work done quickly. and it has 230,000 miles on it and keeps running!
God’s blessing. Josiah leaves for the Virgin Islands tomorrow, invited to vacation with dear friends of ours! (all I can think is just how can I crawl into his suitcase?)
God’s protection. The tooth started hurting bad last year, right before our cruise but went away (miraculously! the oral surgeon predicted just a few weeks before it would be killing me) for almost a year. I was able to enjoy our vacation, and put off the surgery! I won’t grumble about it now, I choose to be grateful it didn’t have to happen last Spring.
God’s mercies. How the children are happy to forgive me, when I repent of my irritable attitude. how they see my furrowed brow and know that it means another headache, and they get quieter and oh! how I feel loved and cared for, and grateful for their sweetness.
God’s creation. Crisp winter air, chattering bluejays, wind whistling slow through evergreens. A long walk out-of-doors is a precious gift, not a burden to bear!
God’s gift. It’s Christmas! He left heaven to come to earth and be Emmanuel, which means “God with us” The house is warm and bright with color and the calendar is full of celebrations with family and friends. There is so much to be glad about, I don’t want to waste even a minute in negativity or grumbling!