How can I neglect to give thanks for the joy that comes from the One who saves me? In a world full of pain and suffering, it's the joy sprinkled that saves. So when I focus on the good in the small, I can bring change to those around me. When I let joy penetrate the lines that living has brought to my face, beauty erupts from this soil of mine. I can only see my joy sprinkles if I am looking.
My God-gifts. I see them in the mornings when I'm still and evenings when day changes to night and it catches my eyes and I pause. Am I too busy in the between time to see them? God is the creator of time yet I feel I don't make time for God fully. Do I really need more time in my day? If the day is a gift, then I need to see more gifts in the time I have. Not more time in my day but more day in my time. If I want to live wholly, I must wholly live every moment. To be engaged with eyes wide open. Looking for the joy in the day of to do lists, errands to run, commitments to make. He is in these moments with me.
My thanksgiving list continues.
20. Folding clothes while praying for the one who wears them.
21. Listening to my son playing the piano. Music bouncing off the floor filling the entire house.
You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. Psalm 16:11
Friday, July 15, 2011
God is in all these details and when I put a name on my gifts I am making the invisible visible.
My God-gifts continue.
2. The smell of fresh coffee.
3. My sister’s laughter.
4. Mother’s tender self, persistent self.
5. Surprise phone call.
6. Quiet time.
7. Birdsong on the fence post.
Can I see the gifts in difficult situations? Can I see life in that which is barely alive?
8. Daddy’s eyes.
Coming home from a visit with Mom and Dad, it’s 100 degrees outside.
9. Tea kettle singing.
10. Big band music on the stereo while preparing dinner.
11. Hot cookies with cold milk.
Evening shadows invite the night.
13. The light of the moon as I let the dogs out one last time for the day.
14. Warm kisses.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
How do I live the fullest life here on earth that delivers into the fullest life in the ever-after? To have abundant life. I’ve heard these words a lot lately. Will I have lived fully or empty? How do I live fully so I will be fully ready to die?
These questions lead me to this one. Do I miss the grandeur in everyday life? How do I view that which is a blessing in the smallest visible sense? Do I expect my blessings to be obvious gifts of self-pleasure? Do blessings mean an abundance more of something, some physical evidence of right living?
I think about my family gathered together for a meal. We ask God to bless our food. Are we asking Him for more that what is on the table? Or for it to supernaturally taste better? No. We are asking that what we have be enough for completion of His glory. To sustain, nourish, and grow us. For what we have to be enough.
To recognize and receive these abundant blessings is a mystery. It’s not something we can hold in our hands, rub between our fingers, or enrich our senses. It’s really something that grows from the inside-out. I am discovering it is a learned behavior.
Encouraged by the book One Thousand Gifts, I am beginning a journey of penning my one thousand blessings. Along the way I hope to uncover the abundant God-gifts surrounding me.
1. The morning sun awakening me through my bedroom windows.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I am sobbing right now as one who has been touched personally by a loving God who cares about me in a most personal way.
It began with me awakening from the most sound sleep I recall having in a long time. But it begins before this as I will explain later.
I wake up and reach for my coffee and Bible study, as usual. Call my mother like I do every morning. As we are speaking on the phone, she is asking me questions about the near future. I said, “Mom, I just need to keep my head above water for the next 3
My head above water.
I hang up the phone and repeat those words. My head above water. Where did that come from? Suddenly, like a tidal wave my dream came back from last night. I was in a boat that was sinking. Frightened about drowning, my hands and feet were waving in fear. The voice of someone next to me said, If you keep your head pointed up, and relax, breathe slowly, you won’t drown.”
You won’t drown.
Does God speak to us in dreams? You bet He can. He can speak to us any way He sees fit. I believe that was a beautiful, personal message to me from my Holy Spirit.
He not only spoke in a dream but He gave me the most unusual sleep, without movement all night long. This never happens to me.
It was nothing less than a God moment.