Perhaps by saying that each day lately has been attendance in the school of gratitude, and I feel like I'm sitting in the front row, furiously taking notes. The theme for December's term was "Being Thankful in Trials 101." Even in the hard times, God is still good, and He is still a giver. I told my husband a couple weeks ago, "I find my joy is directly correlated to my gratitude." Not what happens or what doesn't. Not if I fail or fail really hard. Not if people are happy with me or angry. No - my strength to hold onto the joy He pours out every day into my hands is correlated to the measure of how thankful I am for each blessing, every gift.
I am entitled to none of them. This very breath is grace.
So here are a few I've recorded lately. Please feel free to keep track of yours too. It's the closest thing I can make to a joy guarantee.
- healing for ____, and lessons learned - sin purged in physical pain and illness (1 Peter 4:1)
- time to organize my art mess, and a table ready for me to craft
- the privilege of teaching boys what is gentlemanly behavior
- blue sky and bright sun in my eyes
- birthday gifts from a friend - just what I like
- Your strength to laugh at myself when I could be drowning in shame
- an evening to catch up on my to-do's, and K's help with dinner
- Your comfort after a disturbing dream
- these lyrics "Whispering fingertips, leaving Your fingerprints all over everything" [Flyleaf]
- a baby's strong cry at the post office, followed by sweet, loud sucking on a pacifier
- a "furball of a bird" given to a friend as a sign of faith and peace
- Your strength to take another breath, another step, another beat. I'm nothing without You.
- Britt Nicole, Jaime Grace, Brandon Heath, Chris August, Group 1 Crew, Toby Mac and more in concert. So much fun with C and the boys!
- a kiss from J, blown off the balcony to me
- privilege to pray with teachers
- Your beautiful hands that hold me, and give me confidence to be and do what You've created me for
- Psalm 37:7 and perfect comfort for such an imperfect tragedy. "Be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans." (HCSB)
Lord, I'm thankful. My gratitude is not lost. My praise is not silent. Are You pleased, and do You get to shame the devil again today? His attacks will never cause me to curse You, only praise and thank You all the more. I hope I've passed this course in "Life and loving You." You are so worthy, and there's nothing I wouldn't give You. A thousand kingdoms and a million songs don't even do You justice ... but here is my worship of thanks again today.