Thursday, February 20, 2014

Preparing for Rain

This week's gifts...
232. A car with gauges in the middle of the dashboard, so I can tape memory verses in the space
233. Spotting a soaring bald eagle on the drive home
234. The CD of Disney's Tarzan soundtrack my father-in-love gave me. Perfect trip music!
235. Time, multiplied
236. Adam safely home from Kentucky

Late Thursday evening/early Friday morning, an excited, prayerful, and slightly nervous group of bloggers began putting up posts about planting a garden in South Africa. They poured their hearts, their words, and sometimes more onto their screens and bravely clicked post. The responsive outpouring of love, sharing, and generosity was staggering - the first of a five-phase project, its goal was met double in a single day.

But that's the way that God works. Seeds are planted - small ones, hopeful ones, sprinkled in fresh earth - and then we watch the sky for life-giving rain. And He is so faithful to bring it! But if we plant the wrong kind of seeds, we may see the thunderous storm of His glory as a trial instead of a blessing - because what we plant in our hearts is what grows out of our lives. When we plant resentment, we grow bitterness. When we plant selfishness, we grow entitlement. When we plant grace, we grow patience. And when we plant gratitude, we grow a desire to give and share the blessings we've been given.

Because gratitude is a rare flower - beautiful, hardy, and fruit-bearing, all together, like a return to the original Garden. It is beautiful - standing out in the shriveled plots of weeds that our Fallen world has been overrun with, sending out a sweet fragrance that makes people look up from the dusty track below their plodding feet. It's hardy - continuing to bloom even when battered by adverse circumstances and the poison of the Enemy, digging its roots deeper and deeper and finding refreshment from the Living Water. And it bears fruit - wonderful, delicious, life-giving fruit, that can be plucked from the vine and given to others, so that they can taste and see that the Lord, this great and powerful, merciful and mighty God that we serve, is good.

238. A grocery trip to Whole Foods, all together
239. One tiny, hopeful wedge of Parmesan cheese
240. Adam asking what inspired my current design
241. An uplifting morning at church
242. Completion of Deadline Project #1, on schedule
243. Warmer weather and a walk down by the river
244. Beethoven's 5 Secrets
245. 30% off fabric at Hobby Lobby, when I needed fabric
246. A beautiful extra day to spend with Adam, especially after he'd been gone for a week
247. Brooklyn sighing in her sleep
248. That Adam is gluten and dairy free, too - because he doesn't have to be
249. The human body's ability to heal
250. Blowing raspberries at each other in the mirror on long car trips (that would be Brooklyn and I ;)
251. Slick-straight hair that I can't style, but that grows quickly
252. Adam staying up for us when we got home late, and then "making" me take a hot bath because he knew I needed one

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Grab a notebook or journal (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us in a weekly link-up to encourage each other by sharing all of the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts, add your own below (please stay relevant to the topic when linking up!), and if you don't have a blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Please check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other!
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Dolly [at] Headed Home

If you were a part of the outpouring on Friday (or any day since), thank you! And if you're just now hearing about this, won't you consider clicking the PureCharity link located in the sidebar and finding out more about this amazing project?


Kelsey Ferguson said...

This is beautiful, Sarah Jo! :) I know that when I'm being grateful for what I already have it's so much easier to look outside of myself to help others. When I'm self-focused, I miss some beautiful opportunities to be God's love. Thanks for great post! :)

Dolly Bigelow said...

"Because gratitude is a rare flower - beautiful, hardy, and fruit-bearing, all together, like a return to the original Garden." - I absolutely love this!!! :-D Excellent perspective Sarah Jo!