Always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 5:20
Nancy Guthrie writes in The One Year Book of Hope:
"God gives, and God takes away. But let's be honest. We just want to give, don't we? . . . Genuine gratitude is a response not to the worth of the gift, but to the excellence of the Giver. If gratitude fluctuates with our estimation of the gifts, then it's not really gratitude. In reality, that kind of gratitude is disguised idolatry.
I know you can barely stand to think about being grateful in the midst of your loss. You may think I'm crazy to suggest that you could be grateful to God for who he is and all he has done for you as you face the empty chair, the empty bank account, the aching emptiness of what was once your life. But if you refuse to nurture gratitude, you will become bitter. So would you turn your eyes from your loss and disappointment to the great Giver, asking him to reveal more of himself to you so that you might grow in gratitude? Would you ask him for peace and joy that only those who nurture gratitude are given?"
It's just another week here at my house. No huge losses. Nothing as weighty as the above quote might suggest has happened to test my gratefulness. But such circumstances have happened in the past, and will no doubt surface in the future. So today it's time to train myself in the simpleness of a thankful heart for the everyday blessings:
601. My dearest friend, Robin, coming over for an evening of pizza and chatting last weekend. 602. For friends who pass on clothes to us when their kids are done with them, so that we don't have to spend lots of money on kids' clothing. 603. The screen door on, ready for summer breezes. 604. Cuddles with Sophia. 605. A long Sunday afternoon nap and a Sunday afternoon drive.
606. Windows cleaned for spring. 607. Sophia "singing." 608. God's grace on our marriage and that we truly don't have many conflicts. 609. Boys' help at the grocery store, pushing their own little carts around. 610. Six pints of homemade stock to freeze made from pastured chickens purchased from friends.
611. Selling a camera bag I don't use within 2 days of posting it was for sale. 612. Weeding flower gardens. 613. Reading to the kids outside on a quilt on a spring afternoon. 614. First ice cream trip of the year to Broom's Bloom Dairy. 615. Sophia talking more, saying words like: draw, car, paci, stinky, brothers.
616. Freshly mopped floors. 617. Lilacs on the kitchen table. 618. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies 619. A quiet morning with rain falling, the sound of wind chimes. 620. A rainy lazy Sunday. Time to knit and watch Forks Over Knives and an episode of Doc Martin.
621. Praying through Psalm 19 and 51. Thankful that God purges my sin, creates a clean heart, and restores me to joy.