The Gratitude Initiative, Day 14

Scripture for the day:

Psalm 56

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. To be sung to the tune “Dove on Distant Oaks.”

1 O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
3 But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
4 I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

5 They are always twisting what I say;
they spend their days plotting to harm me.
6 They come together to spy on me—
watching my every step, eager to kill me.
7 Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
in your anger, O God, bring them down.

8 You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
13 For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.

My 5 ‘gratitudes’ for today:

1) Music, particularly that which is paired with poetry. Mm mm good.

2) Education. I have a Post It note on my desk, courtesy of my roommate several months ago:  “I am blessed to get an education. That is why I’m in the library on a Saturday.” Kids in Ethiopia walk 2 hours a day on dangerous mountain trails to come to get an education at an orphanage with which my undergrad alma mater partners. I, on the other hand, drive my sweet little baby to class gripping a cup of coffee and lots of sharp pencils and nice, clean sheets of paper. It’s a wonderful thing.

3) An awesome mechanic shop. I found them through Google, and they are respectful, hard-working, trust-worthy, and all around nice people. (Have you noticed how often I’m grateful for something car related? I feel like a new parent with Boaz. I have no idea how to take car of him, so I’m just thrilled each time I get home and a wheel hasn’t fallen off).

4) My swimming pool. Yes, that’s right. I just said, “MY swimming pool.” I have one. Mine own. And I tell everyone about it, because I’m still in shock that it happened (I never, ever thought having a private pool would be possible for me. Even my white picket fence and 2.8 kids were always imagined minus pool). And then I look like a jerk.

5) The ability to read people. I think I tend to be pretty good at picking up on unspoken nuances in conversations, in expressions, etc. This does not, of course, mean that I have social skills; I’m too busy reading people to be able to carry on a decent conversation. But I think it’ll be useful if I end up doing anything counseling related.

What about y’all? What blessings have you noticed in your lives today?

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4 thoughts on “The Gratitude Initiative, Day 14

  1. 1) The passage for today. Which comes at a time when I find God pulling me back into something that has been on hold for a year. Something he promised he would heal. But only this time around am I realizing how much deeper and wider it is than I knew and how much different this is going to be than simply an intellectual mind game with him. Yet still “I praise the Lord for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?”

    2) A sweet looking gym-turned-reception-hall that will soon be even sweeter with the addition of water features and trees. Hard work, especially on behalf of a good friend, can be quite satisfying.

    3) Really talented, creative friends who write and share beautiful, very real songs.

    4) Time. That keeps marching even if we don’t. If I were to leave for Germany when I am ready, I would never get there. So instead I have time which is going to hound me, forcing me to get ready and still sweep me away before I’m fully prepared.

    5) That doing something by choice can make it so much easier to do it willingly and intentionally, even if you still don’t want to or it’s hard. Like writing these 5 right now. When that thought popped into my head a second ago that I thought it was a bad thing – some vestige of a demand for autonomy, like a kid throwing a temper tantrum unless he’s the one who gets to be the one to put on his own clothes, even though they’re the same clothes that would have been put on him by his mom. But no, it can’t be intrinsically bad. Otherwise why would God have been so insistent, at the expense of his own heart, to give us the choice as to whether we love him or not? I just hope I take that realization of the freedom that choice gives to do what doesn’t come naturally to the way that I love him – willingly and intentionally, even if at a particular moment I don’t want to or it’s hard.

  2. 1) My daughter Adelaide. She is truly an amazing child. Not only is she brilliant and unique in her way of learning but she has such a sweet spirit, eager to obey, to trust, to follow with a joyful attitude. I can hardly wait to see her grow more at the same time that I wish she could be “my baby” forever.

    2) Different cultures. I am very eager to see what God is like since His children are so diverse. What an amazing world!

    3) My dear friend Krystal. She is one of those people that is TRULY always there for you, puts you above herself, remains loyal no matter what and remembers everything you say, important or not. Love her to death.

    4) The Post Office!!! I just sent a box to Japan for under $4 to get there in less than 2 weeks. Sure beats the Pony Express.

    5) My house. It was a Godsend. We really didn’t want to be in an apartment but all the houses we’d seen were either too expensive or your neighbors were the mafia. This little house dropped into our laps at an awesome price, on a safe street with neighbors who fall over themselves looking after us. Talk about above and beyond, God.

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