I've been thinking a lot about gratitude. "Counting one's blessings" is a wise and healthy thing to do. For me this week I have been counting mine, repeatedly. Stepping out of the shower the other night I suddenly uttered "I love my family so much." And I meant it. My gratefulness for them just bubbled right out of my mouth on its own. It made me smile. Because there have been lots of times the spontaneous utterances of the past have been tinged with anger or frustration. Bitter words don't make you smile when they suddenly slip out. But I am crazy mad in love with my husband of almost 24 years, we have three not perfect but perfectly wonderful kids that although they drive me nuts a lot of days, I am really grateful to be their mom.
I took the time to write some cards this week. I wanted to express my gratitude for some of the women God has placed in my life. The Lord spoke to my heart about them being "pillars" in my life when I was struggling a while back with loneliness and isolation. God's brought new friendships since those days but more importantly he's made me more aware of certain relationships that have sustained years and years of relationship. And my heart has felt full and blessed because of it, so I had to say so.
I had an icky season with my health recently (icky is the best word I can come up with because scary seems too dramatic and difficult seems overstated.) And so as I have come through the process and learned more about my overall health, I am really grateful that I am pretty healthy, as are my husband, my children and for the most part my parents. Losing my beloved grandmother this year and seeing others lose loved ones as well makes me realize how blessed we are, but not to take it for granted - even still, tomorrow is not guaranteed, which makes me grateful for today.
Our home, our jobs, our old but running cars - we are pretty blessed. And I even find myself grateful that my 13 year old minivan is still running and I am car payment free for today. Grateful.
Being off Facebook for the last month has been good for me. It's calmed my spirit and quieted my brain and removed a lot of distraction from my life. It's given me the ability to focus on MY world instead of THE world and it's changed my perspective quite a bit.
But in all my thoughts about what I am grateful FOR, the thing that has run through my mind the most the last few days is WHO I am grateful TO. Because gratitude for the sake of itself does not compare to the sweet joy and fulfillment in recognizing Who I am grateful too, especially realizing how much more there is to be grateful for than the things He's given me.
God loves me so much. It's not some far off superficial thing when I say, "He gave his Son for me." It's Truth. Deep, powerful, foundational TRUTH that life is all about. Grace, redemption, forgiveness - real, real and mine. If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, it's yours too. If you really know Him, then you know you have a lot to be grateful for too. God is good.
God is good.
I am grateful.
I will give thanks to you, , with all my heart;