Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thankful on Thursday {without anxiety}

I pull out the Scripture-printed leaf at random from my bag of gratitude verses. It's perfect, as if The Holy Spirit handed it to me Himself:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." -Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
And of course I have some anxious thoughts to lay down at the Cross today. Some days are harder than others.

But it's every situation that needs prayer (surrender), petition (asking the One who can and does provide), and thanksgiving (gratitude for who He is and everything He gives). This is the way to submit requests to the God who set the stars in place and keeps every atom of my frame. Truly the only way to approach Him with the honor He deserves. 

It's hard times like this when I need gratitude most. So why has my journal not been filling as fast these past few weeks? How can I remind my soul that I need to thank? That it's the best coping I have ...

Eucharisteo. Thankful joy for grace given from on High. Eight english words I just had for one in Greek. And that's just what gratitude does: reduces my focus back from all the anxious what-if's into the surrender of thank-You. Peace I couldn't manufacture. Stability only He offers.

On Thursdays I share a few of my counted gifts. I've found counting them keeps me thanking, and I hope the same joy for you. If you haven't ever started a journey to seek joy on the path of gratitude, I encourage you to begin today, because it's today when He's giving something to you. Do you see it? Are your hands open? Will you secure the holding of it by saying thank-you to Him before the devil snatches it away? Here are a few of my counted blessings - I hope they will inspire you to start (or keep) counting too!

- a little toddler carrying a baby-doll in the parking lot to the grocery store

- affordable glasses for J, and that we live in a nation where he can get them ... and also for insurance and health care

- inspiration for some bookmarks made from my paper scraps, and the freedom to get the paper back out again

- "Perhaps life on this fallen earth is no longer meant to be perfect, but we were meant to trust the One who is. Suffering is God's tool to expose our false belief, and the mess in intended to drive us back to the only sure hope we can have." - Gary Thomas [in Authentic Faith]  
- fat squirrels chasing each other in the rain

- homemade caramel pop-corn

- funny games with my toddler-niece at the table: "Whose belly is this?!"

- this invitation to follow You that humbles me. Floors me.

- tiny squeaks and snuggles with my newborn-niece - nothing fixes hurt hearts like baby-fixes, Lord. Pure therapy - thank You.

- "Fearing people is a dangerous trap,but trusting the Lord means safety." Proverbs 29:25
- hope (a precious gift in and of itself) expectant - waiting for good; Your definition of good

- free Beth Moore books on my new Nook - and time to read at work

- K & J fighting over a "blessing" at the store - You have a good sense of humor, Jesus

- for daily bread, and daily Bread; enough for my tummy and my soul

- sudoku, and the gift of mindless stress-relief

 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people." - Jeremiah 31:33 (NLT)
- laughing and catching up with R again at Panera

- this veil to protect my heart

-  "Your need seems great to you, but it is nothing for Me to bestow on you. Help you? Fear not! If you had a mere ant at the door of your granary asking for help, it wouldn't bankrupt you to give him a handful of your wheat. And yet, in comparison, you are not even a tiny insect when you stand at the door of My all-sufficiency. 'I myself will help you.' (Isaiah 41:14)" - Charles Spurgeon 

Lord, You deserve my utmost gratitude, for You give abundantly every day, every hour, every breath. Jesus, I am thankful again today and I pray You will be honored and praised through this counting. May You use these words to inspire others to praise You as well in their own looking, counting, thanking, praising. You alone, Oh God are the Giver we seek. You alone hold our hope and our strength. I am so thankful for You. 

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