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This week's gifts...
337. Getting to walk outside - and see turtles
338. Bedtime (it was a long day)
339. Hot vanilla in Adam's "Mr." mug
340. Tea tag wisdom: "Gratitude is the open door to abundance"
341. The occasional shred of cheese
342. Buoyantly bouncing squirrels
343. Safe travels to Fayetteville
344. A gluten-free place to stay
345. A Mum who is still happy to see me
346. Sitting in the sun and being calm with Brooklyn
347. A coffee date with Dad
348. A hot bath in a deep tub (being an apartment-dweller has its down sides)
349. Being in Fayetteville when Brooklyn got an ear infection
350. and being able to see her pediatrician on less than two hours' notice
351. A little nap
352. Forgiveness, grace, and the ability to unsay "never"
353. Getting to pray with Adam before his test
354. Mama Carmen's Espresso Cafe

The leaders of the IF : Gathering conference put together a study through the book of John that's been going for a little over a month now. You read a few verses, have a journaling prompt, and there's a short video of a couple of the ladies talking through the passage. I've really been enjoying it (I love the book of John, especially over the other Gospels) and yesterday's was particularly convicting.

John 13:1-20 tells how Jesus washed His disciples' feet, in order to demonstrate that if He, their Lord, could humble Himself to such a task, how much more should they. But what stood out to me this time was that John mentions that Jesus knew that Judas was about to betray Him - but He washed his feet, as well.

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside His outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then He poured water in a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.
[John 13:2-5]

I've heard sermons and read blog posts about the humility demonstrated in this passage, and it's definitely a story that I'm familiar with. But my heart was struck with conviction on a point that I'd overlooked before: He didn't only serve the deserving. Some of the men gathered there died horrible deaths later on for His sake - and one of them died by his own hand, overcome with guilt and shame because he had betrayed the innocent Son of God. But He washed all of their feet.

How often do I withhold my service, and my gratitude, until I feel that it's deserved? Keeping a mental tally... I'll thank Adam for doing that after I'm sure it's going to become a habit... Selectively giving of myself and my time (neither of which really belong to me, anyway)... I would help serve the homeless with the group from church - but, how many of those people are homeless by choice and just looking for an easy handout? Acting as though I, too, can see the hearts of those around me, instead of just what's on the outside... Of course I'd forgive them - if I was sure that they weren't still harboring resentment. They started it, anyway, not me!

We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves - period. We are called to forgive our brother seventy-times-seven - period. We are called to extend the grace that was extended to us - period. Thank God that He didn't wait until I was "good enough" to reach out and give me a way to Him! Everything I'm given is meant to be passed on --- and who am I, I who don't deserve grace either, to decide who I will dispense God's love and grace, service and gratitude to? The gift that was given to me is unconditional - and my gratitude for it should inspire me to also give unconditionally.

356. Two 3-hour intervals of sleep
357. Having my gratitude journal handy to slay a spider with

"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? Just grab a journal or notebook (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 and 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

Have you been placing conditions on the gifts God has entrusted you to share?


Kelsey Ferguson said…
'Thank God that He didn't wait until I was "good enough" to reach out and give me a way to Him!'

This has been on my heart all week, and you put it so eloquently. It's crazy how many times I decide if someone is 'worthy' of my time, forgiveness, love, serving, etc...

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