Gratitude in summer

We’re starting a series on Philippians at church. If you’ve ever read Philippians, you know it’s about joy. And if you’ve read 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp, you know how joy, grace and thanksgiving all go hand in hand. It really is true. And it becomes a habit. To look at the day with thanksgiving is to see the God of grace in unexpected places.

My list for the week:

Three gifts from today’s conversations:

  • encouraging words from others, as we start the week afresh
  • funny sayings from my little guy
  • phone call with a friend

Three gifts found in Christ:

  • Jesus Girls and our Monday night meetings
  • “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
  • “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

A gift of peace, of hope, of love:

  • a week of kids at VBS and Scout Camp
  • hearing my sister and I are so close to going to Ethiopia to get her baby
  • a church spending hours loving on kids in our neighborhood. Their commitment to loving children is amazing

Three gifts ugly-beautiful:

  • newly hatched baby birds (they really are ugly!)–the parents’ watchful care and constant attention to these tiny new babies
  • total mess of my house, with the contents of my attic spewed about, getting some reorganization accomplished
  • the evidence of the mouse in my attic (which is why my attic contents are in my den)–but he’s been caught and not too much damage was done. And it wasn’t a rat.

Three gifts in what I am reading:

  • “The splendor of a human heart that trusts it is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.” Brennan Manning in Ruthless Trust
  • “The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratefulness. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace-as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father’s hand. Such recognition is itself the work of grace, and acceptance of the gift is implicitly an acknowledgement of the Giver.” Brennan Manning in Ruthless Trust
  • “Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love.” Brennan Manning in Ruthless Trust

Three gifts work:

  • not getting called off and actually getting to work today!
  • working with my favorite care-partner
  • wonderful Arabic translator that made my job so much easier

Three gifts that really made me smile:

  • Amazing sales at Goodwill and Thriftsmart, picking up things I need to take to Africa
  • After the church service was over, looking around the sanctuary, seeing a small group of women spontaneously praying for a fellow sister in Christ
  • friends gathering diapers for me to take to an orphanage in Ethiopia

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Filed under Gratitude, Joy Dare

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