Scripture for the day:
Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
We’re free, we’re free!!!!!! We never have to be grateful again! I kid. Technically, now that we know how easy it is, we have no excuse not to make obnoxious little Pollyannas of ourselves wherever we go (side note: I always disliked Pollyanna. I thought she was foolish and naive. I was a very jaded 3 year old).
So to cap it all off, I am grateful that/for:
1) This initiative did change me. I didn’t do this challenge perfectly. There were days when my ‘gratitudes’ were done just to do them, not because I was actively grateful. I was not changed entirely, dramatically, or even forever (certainly the gains will not remain if I don’t work to maintain them), but I’ve noted several times over the past few weeks when I’ve changed my attitude about a circumstance in order to be more grateful. Being grateful is a like passport to joy. And what idiot wouldn’t want to put herself in the position to live a joyful life?
2) Yesterday my friend Marty did a quick-fix job on my bumper, which has contained a bit of a gap since I got in a fender bender a few months ago. As the embodiment of sophistication and empowerment, I slapped some Scotch tape on the gap so that water wouldn’t run into my bumper and then proceeded to live my life with the kind of reckless lack of concern that one would expect from a girl driving a taped together car. Marty, on the other hand, was humiliated for me, so he popped the bumper more or less back into place. I was instantly freed from my compulsion to hum the Beverly Hillbillies theme song every time I drive. Lovely.
3) Showers. There’s something about a shower that starts a day off right, or brings comfort to the end of a long day.
4) Beauty. I love it when I’m walking through life and BAM, see some infusion of beauty that forces me to just stop and stare. It’s such an awesome glimpse of things to come.
5)My friends. Though I wrote about a few throughout the challenge, I could easily have highlighted a friend for whom I am grateful each and every day of this challenge–friends like Cherilyn, Cate, Carole, Lauren, Megan, Nathan, Jessica, Katie, Lara, Dave, Anne, Sarah, Marty, Friday, Allison, Joanie, Becky, Chelsea, Stacy, and many others. At least once a week I take stock of my friendships, both past and present, and think, “I do not deserve them.” They bless and enrich my life so much.
What about y’all? I am SO thankful for my readers who stuck with me, and hope and pray that this has impacted you in some way. On a separate note, are there any other virtues for which you’d like me to create a similar sort of challenge? (And all my subscribers promptly unsubscribe–thanks especially to those of you who were willing to have your inbox cluttered with my writings every single day. I promise I’ll give you a bit of a break now).