Monday, August 16, 2010

A Heart of Gratitude

The little ones tucked in bed, I wandered to the front porch in search of some solace.
  Quiet in the twilight, I rocked and let my tired mind wander over the last few days. 
The night voices serenaded me as I rocked with a kitten on my lap; 
Crickets singing, kitten purring, 
boys chattering on the trampoline, where they were sleeping under the stars, 
Coyotes howling not too far away,
and the whisper of the radio coming from the girls room.
  A lovely peaceful evening, yet, my soul stirred as if I was forgetting something. 
I found that indeed I was.
  I had spent the earlier portion of the day discouraged,
and in the end, my loving Heavenly Father gave me an enormous gift which encouraged me greatly. 
But I had not given thanks.

  Turning matters over in my mind,
I had been blessed with several things in which I had not given thanks for the last two days
…no wonder I had been feeling low. 
Shame on me.  I know better. 
Daily, our family goes round the dinner table sharing something we are thankful for.
  And, nearly every morning I write a list of 10 things I am thankful for that day.  
I know that a happy heart is one that is continually grateful, the Bible clearly teaches this over and over.

“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” Ps. 96:2
“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” Ps. 105:1
“It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name o most High.”  Ps. 92:1

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” Ps. 107:1
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:20

I counted my blessings, which were many these last two days.
A heart of gratitude swept over me. 

  Twilight deepened and the stars sparkled in the vast night sky.
  I am so thankful just to be able to see these things. 
To see the beautiful colors of God’s creation.


  Or to gaze into another’s eyes, seeing soul-to-soul. 


Sure, there are things I wish I didn’t have to see
like that pile I have been avoiding over there,
or a hurt look in a neglected child’s face. 
But I would much rather see all these things, than not see anything. 
For this I am thankful from the depths of my heart. 

I am thankful to feel emotions. 
The thrilling joy of being with my love,
the delight of watching the children at play or falling asleep in my arms,
the happy moments filled with side splitting laughter,
the contented peace of spending time in God’s Word. 
O, the world is full of unhappy moments, pain, and stomach churning stress,
but I will take it all just for the glory of the good times. 
Think of the alternative; walking drones unable to feel heights and depths,
like a dumb animal, never knowing how abundantly good and wonderful life in Christ can be.
I am so very thankful to feel. 
What a wise and thoughtful Creator we have.


I invite  you to  join me in writing 10 things you are thankful for today,
and share it with someone. 
This habit of rejoicing is a beautiful way to restore tranquility,
or instill it in you for the day.

A habit of gratitude creates peace of mind versus a mind not at peace.
  “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Prov. 15:13
I believe that rejoicing confuses the enemy,
therefore, especially in times of trial or discouragement, it is vital to give thanks. 
When we fail to be thankful, we begin to lose our peace and joy, and eventually,
if not stopped,
our sanity.
“Be worried for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6,7

My list goes on as I rock the kitten in the dark,
but alas it is time to find my sweet husband and retire to bed,
my heart settled, my mind at peace. 
I think this has been a most beneficial way to end the day,
one I will have to repeat often.
 

1 comment:

Aaron and Amber said...

I am posting my thankful list on our blog, thanks for the challenge!