Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ingratitude and Grace

This week's gifts...
295. Mile-markers in the mall floor tiles
296. Extra time that I didn't expect to have
297. The continual dripping of melting snow - the rhythm of Promise!
298. That Brooklyn doesn't mind the stroller
299. Grace to not only get through a long day without Adam, but to do so with a good attitude
300! Happy bouquets of bright gerbera daisies
301. My parents getting to come for a visit
302. The rain holding off so we could go for a walk out-of-doors
303. Adam's three day Drill (abnormally) ending on Saturday, giving us a Sunday together
304. Breakfast in bed - French toast!
305. Pharrell Williams' song "Happy"
306. Inspiration from Sunday's sermon for a blog post on Tuesday
307. A stroller with a cupholder
308. Obliviously adorable armadillos
309. A warm sunny day
310. Adam getting my oil changed before he went to work, so that I wouldn't have to
311. White fluffy clouds providing just enough shade
312. Brooklyn sleeping (almost) all night
313. A smooth check-up with the pediatrician
314. Finding the answer to a mentally asked question unexpectedly before me, without having to do a ton of research
315. Safe travels and a husband who was waiting for me with open arms and a delicious dinner

"Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude...
In the beginning, our eyes were already open. Our sight was perfect. Our vision let us see a world spilling with goodness. Our eyes fell on nothing but the glory of God. We saw God as He truly is: good. But we were lured by the deception that there was more to a full life, more to see. And, true, there was more to see: the ugliness we hadn't beheld, the sinfulness we hadn't witnessed, the loss we hadn't known."
[from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp]

I spend each week looking for a particular Gift to write about - that way, I can be mentally writing it and preparing my heart before I actually sit down at my computer. This last week, nothing stood out (I know - shame on me. It's an exceptional list...) I read and reread it, then settled a bit unenthusiastically on one that struck me as having potential and being fairly easy to write about. (No, not this one.)

Putting pen to page may be the least expensive therapy (according to Ann Voskamp) but writing ultimately does nothing if there's not heart-change to go with it --- and the way to change is action. I have to act gratitude. Not act grateful - act gratitude, or perhaps a better phrasing would be to act on it. Am I grateful that Adam made dinner? I should clean up the aftermath in the kitchen. Am I grateful for the long nap Brooklyn took? I should happily sit down and give her my full attention, having accomplished more than I thought I would. Am I grateful for the beautiful day outside? I should spend some time out in it, praising God aloud for His grace. Am I grateful for the greatest Gift, His Son? I should share that Good News with others.

I need to work out my gratitude, living it outloud. I need to let what I think in my mind fill my heart to overflowing and pour out of my mouth and fingertips. And right now, I need to wrap up this post - I hear Brooklyn in her room softly saying her word for "I'd like to eat now" and we need to have an outdoor adventure this afternoon, reveling in the grace of a God who grants us the wonders of sunshine and of His Son, the breath of a breeze and the breath of Life, and allows us to redeem past moments of ingratitude with gratefulness in the now.

"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!

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] A Woman at Home

Please read Tuesday's post (if you haven't yet) for a chance to act on gratitude and share love (and be entered in a giveaway!)


Kelsey Ferguson said...

'I need to work out my gratitude, living it outloud. I need to let what I think in my mind fill my heart to overflowing and pour out of my mouth and fingertips.' <-- Yes! All week long I try to think of the perfect 'gift' to expound on, but more often than not it's not the one I start off wanting to write.

This simple exercise each week is growing something big in me. It's also showing me my tendency to ignore the beauty to focus on the ugly. I'm so glad to go do this with honest, transparent women, like yourself! :)

Kayla said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Learning this lesson as well (for the thousandth time, I believe). I love reading your perspective as you learn to work out your gratitude. He. is. good.