Thursday, November 24, 2011

Eucharisteo - Thanksgiving

It is a great word:  Eucharisteo:  "To be grateful, feel thankful.  To give thanks".

It's perfect.  I love it.  I need it. To live it.  I need to LIVE it.

I have recently been introduced to the book, A Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are.  One of my favorite quotes, thus far, is the reminder that "Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle".  Quite often, the "miracle" for me, is changing my perspective - turning my eyes from the mess of my life to the glory of Him who loves me through it.

It doesn't matter the situation - I am reminded that the appropriate response is thanksgiving.  Sure, it is easier when everything is going well - when I could effortlessly scream my thanks from the mountaintop. But it's in the midst of the struggle - the midst of REAL LIFE - that it has been most important for me to remember.

My friend, Karen, always reminded me, "there is a gift in the pain".... and she has been right.  I have never experienced a difficult or painful situation that didn't come with a gift hidden within it.  The challenge has been to search for it - and to trust that it is there.

One of the things I most appreciate about this book:  It is challenging me to remember (and frequently search for) the "Thousand Gifts" that surround me in in my everyday life.  The little things - perhaps more so than the great, obvious gifts.  The things I tend to overlook. The gifts from God that I walk right past because I am too busy or self-focused to realize are waiting right there for me.  Especially for me.

In searching for and seeking those things, those gifts, the miracle happens:  my perspective changes, my eyes are open, and I get to see Him at work, and experience His goodness.  Right here. Right now.  Right where I am... in the midst of my messy little world.  In literally thousands of ways!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
~ 1 Thessalonians  5:18

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting Back to Gratitude...

The day had been a little difficult, so I did what I have been taught to do:  Be of service and get back to gratitude.

I have been reading a book called "A Thousand Gifts", which talks about gratitude being the one thing... the only thing... and the only appropriate response to the "thousand gifts" we have been given. But that book... I am just beginning.... and deserves a blog post of its own.

The quiet portion of the day, I spent in stillness and preparing for a service project I'm involved with over the next few days and months.

But, I struggled with the gratitude.  I could list a few things, yes, but *feel* it... not yet.

Early evening, I headed out to pick up my kids, listening to a song - aptly named, "The Gift". The rhythm of the music lulled my heart.... and began the unveiling of my Gratitude List.

  • I am grateful for music that lulls my heart.
  • I am grateful for lyrics that touch my soul.
  • I am grateful for the people in my life who lead, guide and encourage me.
  • I am grateful for the people who have removed the stones and helped to "un-build" the walls I have constructed.
  • I am grateful for the places of healing and of growth.
  • I am grateful for the places of beauty and majesty so grand that there is no denying Him.
  • I am grateful for the places of rest and rejuvenation.
  •  I am grateful for the thorns that keep me depending on Him.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have been "convinced" that I need to actively pursue community in my day to day life.

Oh, I have people who know and love me, for sure.  And, I have people I could call in a pinch if I had a need, or needed help with my kids. 

But, what I need to develop is a community of people that know me and love me - AND know and love Jesus.  A group of people with whom I can be honest, and who will be honest with me.  A group who will challenge and encourage me to seek greater knowledge of and closeness to Christ, to be in the Word, and "sharpen" me with honesty, accountability and Truth.

Because, what I have realized - as we have been praying for community - is that if I am not involved in a community that is actively seeking Jesus, I will be actively involved in the community of the world. 

And I have been reminded, again and again, to be "in the world, but not of it".

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

~ Romans 12:2

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.  

~ John 17: 15-19

Friday, November 4, 2011

Morning, By Morning, New Mercies I See...

Lamentations 3:22-23

 22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
 23they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Good Morning.... I Love You"

As we drive through the rain toward school, passing by a stand of trees that arch over the road, we are showered in yellow and orange leaves as they fall to the ground.  Many strike the windshield, while others dance around the minivan.

"They must not like you!" my daughter says from behind me.

"What do you mean?" I ask. 

"They are hitting you.  They only fall when you drive under and then hit your car."  She had apparently noticed the same pattern I had - the leaves only fell as we passed by.

"We must have different perspectives" I replied.


"I see it differently.  I love it when that happens."

"You do?"

"Yes.  I love it when the leaves fall all around me.  So, when we drive under, and they fall all around us, to me, it's like God is saying "Good morning, Linda.  I love you".

"And that one that is stuck up there?"she asked as she pointed to the antenna, "That one is a reminder that is hanging around."