The Gratitude Endeavor, Day 3

I feel like such a wild thang, changing the name of this series each day. What can I say. . .it lends a sense of excitement to my life.

New to le blog? Check out this post to catch up (and my apologies to those of you who will be reading that same sentence every day for the next month).

Ok, Scripture reading of the day:

Psalm 107:1-32 (ask me how much gratitude exuded from me when I saw how long this is. Then ask me if I gave up and went to Bible Gateway to copy and paste it. Yes, yes I did. Then I decided that since that was exactly zero effort, I would go ahead and add the rest of the psalm, too. Bon appetit!).

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west,
from north and south.

4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
they nearly died.
6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them straight to safety,
to a city where they could live.
8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11 They rebelled against the words of God,
scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
he snapped their chains.
15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
he cut apart their bars of iron.

17 Some were fools; they rebelled
and suffered for their sins.
18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
and they were knocking on death’s door.
19 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
snatching them from the door of death.
21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

23 Some went off to sea in ships,
plying the trade routes of the world.
24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25 He spoke, and the winds rose,
stirring up the waves.
26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
28 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
29 He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
30 What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
31 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
and before the leaders of the nation.

33 He changes rivers into deserts,
and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
the dry land into springs of water.
36 He brings the hungry to settle there
and to build their cities.
37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
and harvest their bumper crops.
38 How he blesses them!
They raise large families there,
and their herds of livestock increase.

39 When they decrease in number and become impoverished
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40 the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41 But he rescues the poor from trouble
and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The godly will see these things and be glad,
while the wicked are struck silent.
43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

To be honest, dear friends, when I started this post, I was not in the mood to play. Of all the crankypants in the world, I was the crankypantsiest.

But in the name of not writing in a grouchy (otherwise known as a ‘New York’) state of mind, I took a few moments to meditate on this passage, to be still and know that He is God, that I’m not, and that that’s the best news I’ve heard in awhile.

And then, since I was being a sourpuss, I decided to start off my Gratitude List with one of the blessings of my life that is so basic, it’s usually invisible to me, namely:

1) Clean water. I have never in my life been forced for lack of an alternative to drink dirty water. Did you know that dysentery as a result of contaminated drinking water is one of the biggest destroyers of life in the developing world? What a privilege to be able to drink it, shower in it, and swim in it daily. Recognizing that privilege also makes me want to work harder to ensure that other people can have it, too. Gratitude begets generosity.

2) This man:

Aka: My favorite man in the world.

Aka: The best baba ever.

Aka: My role model in all things ‘holy.’

Aka: My “Marrying a Jerk Prevention plan”.

Aka: Also possibly my “Marrying Anyone Prevention Plan.” He raises that bar pretty high. And most of the guys I know wouldn’t ever have the guts to ask him for my hand in marriage. This could be a problem at some point. . .

Aka: Seriously. He’s like Superman, or something.

With the absence of present, let alone good fathers in the world, this one sets quite a standard. Plus, look at what an awesome kid he helped raise–can I get a witness? Anyone?

3) My trusty steed, Boaz. Boaz came to me in the most awesome “provision of God” story of my life to date. I needed a car, was looking for an old beater, and God said, “Oh here, allow Me to give you an awesome car!” Boaz is perfect. . .well, he’s far less perfect now that I’ve been driving him for a year. But he represents to me that God not only provides–He delights in pouring blessings out on his children beyond what they deserve or can even imagine. It brings joy to His heart when we accept said blessings with joy. So thanks, God.

4) You guys. Forgive the major cheese factor here, but I want you to know how delighted I have been with each comment I’ve received thus far, whether it be on the blog, through email, on Facebook, etc. I love rejoicing over you and your gratitude, your stories, etc. Communal thankfulness, even on the Web, is a wonderful thing. Oh, and you cats are hilarious. I don’t know if you mean to be. But you are. Which leads me to. . .

5) Humor. What a gift it is to be able to thoroughly enjoy a life in which I humiliate myself on a daily basis. If I couldn’t laugh at myself as I belly-crawl into the pantry to avoid the guy my landlords think should be the future mister, or engage in any number of other completely absurd activities–if I couldn’t laugh at life, at myself, and at carefully selected other people, my life would be so much more grey and dull. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Wow. I’m just brimming with gratitude from writing that. Clearly all I needed to change my craptastic day was a change of perspective. I am so blessed. Also, life is funny. And tomorrow, I will look back on today and laugh.

Aight, peeps! You’re up! What are 5 things for which you are deeply thankful today?

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3 thoughts on “The Gratitude Endeavor, Day 3

  1. 1) That you chose to set upon this gratitude endeavor with its accompanying reading from Psalms at the same time that I was beginning to bemoan fact that my chronological Bible reading schedule does not simultaneously go through the Old and New Testaments. Psalms about thanksgiving turn out to be a wonderful balance to Ezekiel.

    2) That I have not succumbed to the lies stemming from having most of my friends happen to randomly be out of town on the weekend that I come to Austin for the last time. It is not indicative of their love for me and does not need to color my memory as to whether or not I have had good friends here over the past four year. Plus this way I got to go hang out with Jesus in the greenbelt one last time rather than filling all my time with friends.

    3) That Jesus hangs out with me in greenbelts. That he ran a little strip of green creek life through the middle of Austin just for me. And that I soon get to be in the amazing forest that it reminds me of, going running with him again on my old trails.

    4) Late night taquitos from What-A-Burger.

    5) The huge final watching party with my college group that is not yet official but that everyone knows will materialize when we see each other at church.

  2. 1. a voice. I know I need to learn to keep it shut sometimes, but I love in this verse he says, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.” verse 2. He saved me and I have a voice, whether I say it inwardly to myself or to someone else. I am thankful for a voice.

    2. i am thankful that your dad raised a pretty awesome kid:) aren’t you proud….i used my voice to give a witness;)

    3. ice cream with creamy peanut butter all swirled up in it and the ability to lick the bowl:)

    4. the realization this morning that I can specifically pray for my real father in a way I hadn’t imagined before.

    5. coupons and dave ramsey

  3. 1) That the Lord answered my prayer that my husband would get to see North take a step before he deploys – he toddled to daddy this morning!

    2) For the sermon this morning that seemed so directly from God to the pastor to us that I wondered what the heck so many other people were doing listening in on such a private conversation? 🙂

    3) For a psychic octopus… God’s sense of humor made me smile today.

    4) For Joel. I feel like we’ve been married 50 years… in a good way. He loves me so thoroughly, so uniquely, so selflessly. He is a constant example of a servant-leader to me. I am the luckiest.

    5) For a good glass of wine.

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