The last link-up for the launch of Being Ok With Where You Are was this week. I'm a little late to the party but chapter 9 is about thankfulness.
"I wonder what if would look like in my life if I determined everyday to praise God, regardless."
Bur what would my life look like if I didn't determine in my heart the praise God?
Oh I know all about that one. It's a bitter, angry, selfish place where everyone else has everything I don't. It goes hand-in-hand with not being ok with where you are. It's lonely, dark and sad. Living without thankfulness is much harder than living with it.
Just like Stacey, I started counting gifts with Ann way back in 2008 after a Sunday School class taught at my church. Not all my gifts make my public list (which I keep between Twitter and here) but I count and search and hope that I am installing thankfulness in my daughters.
Living without thankfulness is like cutting off your own arm. It is like punishing yourself to continue a pattern of bitterness when you could start to count gifts in your life and begin to see God's grace in your life.
How can you honestly not find a single thing to thank God for today? I've had some bad days in the last few years. But finding even that one thing is sometimes just enough to remind me that the grace of God is just a short prayer away.
It's also an amazing way to keep record of how God blessing is near, if we will only recognize it. Going back through these lists is like flipping through the pages of a photo album. I can see exactly what was going on around me for many of them. It's a reminder to be that God is good. God is so very good. Even when it seems like we have no idea what is going on - God is good.
Have you started counting gifts yet? Did you notice that the leaves are the most amazing shades of orange and red right now? Did you pause to thank God for that smile on your child's face? Did you thank God that the bills got paid, even if it's just by the skin of your teeth? Did you just thank God that your children, husband, parents, friends woke up and you were all given another day today? There is always something. Just find that one thing and remind your tired heart that the grace of God can be real in your life.
"Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles." (Psalm 34:3-6 NIV)