The Gratitude Initiative, Day 13

If you are just joining us and feel so inclined, check out this post to get caught up.

The Scripture for the day is (insert drum roll sound here):

Psalm 43:1-5

1Vindicate me, O God,
and plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
rescue me from deceitful and wicked men.

2 You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?

3 Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.

4 Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

This passage is incredibly timely for me. May I be honest with you all, at the risk of being kicked off of Gratitude Island? I’ve hinted at the fact that I’ve been going through some rough stuff of late. And I don’t want to over dramatize it, because it really isn’t that bad. I have shelter, food, clothes, and a wonderful family and friends. So objectively, things could truly be much worse. Subjectively, I’m not in a Little Miss Sunshine period of my life.

I know I’m to consider it pure joy when I face trials, and that sounds really good when I can mentally pick trials: “God, I’ll take ‘Why do I have no money’ for 500. And I’d like to buy a vowel.” But real life trials, by definition, tend to consist of a bunch of things you really, really don’t want to have happen.

My heart is heavy, and I wrote this post, I don’t feel very grateful. I know feelings aren’t everything, but I hate doing things that seem as inauthentic as this post does to me right now. I’m honestly sorry that I am unable to nudge my soul into the proper position of gratitude; I’m at the end of my rope and can only pray that the Spirit will redeem this poor excuse for a sacrifice of praise (Heads-up: in two days we get a post regarding giving praise to God for suffering. So get pumped!).

Here are my 5 little gratitudes for the day.

1) “Put your hope in God.” I can do that. I’m not good at it. And I sulk a lot. But I am blessed to have hope, and I can strive to take up my trials with joy in light of that hope.

2) Today is over. Tomorrow is a new day. God expects me to live each day in proportion to my ability–He doesn’t expect feats of spiritual grandeur during times like these. He just expects faithfulness, and He’s been extremely gracious in giving me everything I need for faithfulness.

3) The ability to read and write. Without the ability to give and glean communication through the written word, my life would be depleted of so much.

4) Blisters. I know, odd one, right? I was breaking in a new pair of flip-flops while in Greenville, and I got massive blisters on both sides of my left foot. They didn’t hurt at all, but because I’m essentially a two-year-old when it comes to impulse control, I popped one of them and realized that they actually serve a great purpose (the ground zero of a blister hurts a lot). And then I pondered how amazing our bodies are to have such cool little protective systems built right in.

5) Yesterday I harvested basil from my garden! Note to self: when planting herbs, don’t just buy the seeds and bung them into any old spot of earth. It’s very helpful if you put them in a pot so they are self-contained, and you don’t have to wander around nibbling plants in your backyard in hopes of finding them. After several minutes of chewing up a myriad of plants that all tasted like dirt, I concluded that either the sage and thyme are lost forever or they taste like weeds and I didn’t want them anyway. But the basil was delicious.

Ok, dear ones. You’re up. Hit me with 5 things for which you are grateful today. Oh, and while I can’t officially be grateful for you, because that would violate my “no repeats” rule, please know that you bless and inspire me greatly.

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3 thoughts on “The Gratitude Initiative, Day 13

  1. Good morning:) I want you to know that I think that is awesome you are being honest and real with your struggles of late. I believe God is opening your eyes. Helping you to keep focused on Him. You are dearly loved, sweet friend!

    I am going to keep in theme with my last blog post and add some more quotes I am thankful for:)

    1. “God’s faithfulness never fails us.” I have this little business card thingy in my kitchen window sill. I love being able to look at it while I am loading and loading the dishwasher. Two things I absolutely loathe.

    2. “I will trust and not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:2

    3. I love that I continued to read the rest of this chapter in Isaiah and it goes like this. God is so cool. Period.

    “for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:
    ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name be exulted.’
    ‘Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.’
    Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 12:3-6

    4. For some odd reason I just broke out my handwritten journals. I have been scared to open them for months, but this is what I found.

    “We cry too often to be delivered from the punishment, instead of the sin that lies behind it. We are anxious to escape from the things that cause us pain rather than from the things that cause God pain.” G. Campbell Morgan.

    I wrote this in my journal five days before my husband lost his job. Five days before I started graduate school.

    5. “God certainly blesses our prayer and our hopes, but to break cycles and provoke lasting change we must be willing to deliberately cooperate with Him.” Beth Moore. Boy, this is so hard to even type. But, oh so true. I need to be more willing to cooperate with Him and this is where true joy is found in Him. I believe it now.

  2. I’m going to stop and pray for you as soon as I’m done with this blog! Thank you for continuing to be faithful to this blog (which God prompted you to do) even tho you didn’t “feel it”.

    1) That I have lost count of the number of prayer requests God has answered in the past month. Wow. And why again am I overly worried about my current “unanswered”? Sheesh, Kate, catch on already!

    2) Isaiah 40:27-31

    3) Hugs. What a sweet way to show vulnerability, affection, closeness and love. Thinking particularly about Adelaide randomly running into the kitchen chanting “hughughughug”, enveloping me in one, and then dashing off.

    4) 911. Had to call them last night when North was choking and couldn’t catch his breath (he did, he’s fine, it was a croup attack)and they were here within 5 minutes. So much of the world does not have that luxury.

    5) Prayer. Got some horrible news tonight about my cousin and could do nothing but pray. What a treasure to know we are never helpless in any situation…we can pray to the Almighty Father.

  3. 1) That my instant, gut honest reaction to people thinking I am a guy is amusement. Rather than it sending me into an acute identity crisis like it has done to others I’ve known. Now, normally I can keep that amusement to myself and not embarrass the mistaken person. So I’m also glad that my huge grin today, sparked when a woman kept referring to me as “him” and never realized her mistake (which is a first), didn’t clue her in and make her feel terrible.

    2) That my baglama stays in tune incredibly well. Which is a new development since I first bought it.

    3) That wedding festivities begin tomorrow, which also means that my departure is quickly approaching.

    4) That God’s got the next week and all its insanity covered, despite the fact that wedding festivities begin tomorrow, which also means that my departure is quickly approaching.

    5) That all my various batteries appear to be working. Well, other than my iPod and headlamp. But those are being looked into as well. Hopefully with more efficiency than the previous attempts at battery repair.

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