The Gratitude Initiative, Day 12

3 John 1-4

1This letter is from John, the elder.

I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.

2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

I was initially slightly confused by the today’s verses. Ms. Demoss ties it to how spiritual well-being can be reflected in personal well-being; that is, studies have shown that people who are purposefully grateful are less depressed, more likely to exercise, etc, etc. So I’m going to be really, really grateful this week to inspire me to get off my duff and run. Yes, I just said duff.

Anyway, Ms. Demoss encourages the reader to note any changes in one’s well-being at this point in the challenge. I know that I’ve become less prone to moping around like a two-year-old child, which leads me to a lot more laughter and joy. I actually am enjoying getting up more, too, excited for the challenge of rooting blessings out of hidden spaces (though so far, I haven’t had to try too hard).

Incidentally, Joni Erickson Tada, the woman who has been a paraplegic since she was 17 (I don’t know how old she is now, but it’s been decades), is a co-writer of the gratitude book. Wow. Speak of inspiration (anyone else feel ashamed?).

5 things for which I am grateful today:

1) Surrender–and peace. While driving home from my awesome visit with Tarek yesterday, I had a bit of a ‘moment’ with God (and by ‘moment’, I mean approximately 120 minutes and one megaload of tears. I was a hot mess. Mostly mess). And in the midst of pondering Christ’s sacrifice, my current struggles, and God’s goodness and love, I was, for about the 3,892,018,903,218,901th time, brought to a place of surrender. It wasn’t fun. It still isn’t fun. But it’s right. And it’s peaceful, because the fight was entirely one-sided. And it’s a good place to be.

2) The fact that flowers and trees in Columbia bloom in a staggered fashion. One or another type of pretty plant-like thing (my botany knowledge is nil) has been in bloom since May.

3) My older brother, who is extremely helpful and service-oriented. Case in point: a few weeks ago, I told him I wanted a new computer. He found one for me, bought it, and shipped it to himself so he could set it up because he knows that when I think of ‘technology’ images of wheels and horseless carriages come to mind. He’s a good man and a blessing in my life.

4) While I’m at it, I wanna brag on my sister-in-law. We’re all still kind of in shock that she joined our family, and I think we’re all pretty sure we don’t deserve her. (This is a girl who got up at 5 AM one morning to make my little brother and myself monkey bread). She’s one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever met, and is always willing to house, feed, and entertain myself and various friends when I go up to visit Chicago. Also, she’s really funny. She’s awesome, and I’m blessed to finally have a sister, and that it’s her.

5) My time with Tarek, which included, but was not limited to: good conversation, bread and cheese, wading in a waterfall, and clambering on rocks like goats, which is one activity at which I truly excel.

Ok, friends, your turn! A) have you noticed any changes in yourself/well-being since starting le challenge, and B) what are you grateful for today?

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3 thoughts on “The Gratitude Initiative, Day 12

  1. 1. I am too thankful for surrender and peace. Yes, I am coping you:)

    2. Thankful for my prayer group. We met last night and I always feel refreshed after meeting with my sister’s in Christ.

    3. Thankful for my run this morning. I haven’t run in a week and was kind of dreading the prospect of the humidity. But, I did it and survived.

    4. Thankful that the Holy Spirit has convicted my heart that feeling grateful is so much better than discontentment. Also, that I can practice gratefulness and be content that it(my life) won’t ever be “perfect.”

    5. Community Coffee.

  2. A) Well, as I already told you on facebook, my prayer of “I don’t get it, why did this happen and I thought you were going to come through on this and what’s up with that” unwittingly turned into “thank you for this and this and that.” Okay so maybe not unwittingly, I did have to consciously chose to switch but the thought that I could switch came unwittingly.

    B)
    1) That even though I have done almost nothing but sleep since I posted on the last one of these, I can still find/chose to find another five things.

    2) That last night’s Ezekiel reading was finally about Israel’s restoration and the dry bones in the valley. This is the side of God that he’s revealed to me and reading about his wrath and the impending destruction of Israel and Edom and Babylon and Egypt for 35 chapters is a challenge on many levels.

    3) That my 6:30 awakening this morning was not forced by any annoying alarm clock or phone call that pulled me out of my sleep. Granted, I would have preferred to have slept later but if I must be awake in the morning it’s better to have it be because I couldn’t sleep than to have alertness be a requirement that I am failing at fulfilling.

    4) That a week from today I will, hopefully, be boarding a plane for Germany. Actually for Heathrow and then Basel and then a drive to Germany but such a route is infinitely better than JFK, Frankfurt, then train to Basel a mere two days after a root canal… as a sixteen year old.

    5) For letters. The hand written, old fashioned kind.

  3. A) Well, I had Joel get my stationary bike out of the attic today and put it in my living room (so tacky) in front of the tv (motivation). But I don’t think thats exactly fruits of the gratitude project. More just a realization that baby fat is not going away without effort. Ugh.
    Lauren, I’m so glad for your #1. Thanks for being willing to share.

    1) Waking up to Joel’s sweet face smiling at me and him saying, “You look so cute when you sleep, like you’re taking it so seriously.” I will miss that come next week.

    2) The Canadian Tenors. I just love them. Their voices give me that achy feeling in my soul and I love adding my own seriously inferior harmony. 🙂

    3) My slow cooker!!! Takes ten minutes to chop and load stuff in it in the morning and then you get to smell it slowly cooking (hence the name) all day and VOILA! dinner is served.

    4) Twilight. And absolutely, 100%, COMPLETELY NOT the self titled “saga”. (excuse me a sec, I think I just barfed in my mouth a little). I mean the real deal, when the sky is breath-taking and “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” lingers on the lips. (Beat that, Edward)

    5) My stationary bike (as mentioned above)! I found it for a great deal at a garage sale and have put many miles on it since… and then left it in the attic while I had two babies back to back. Here it is again, cluttering my living room and (hopefully) toning my flab. 🙂

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