My 10

My last post (scroll down) was about finding 10 things each day to be thankful for.

Here are my 10:

(in no particular order, but starting with a funny one…)

1. For my dogs.  Someone told the joke the other night: “How can you tell who likes you more, your girlfriend or your dog?  Lock them both up in a trunk for 4 hours and see who is most happy to see you when you let them out.”  Ha ha, but boy do my dogs faithfully welcome me back with leaping and wagging each and every time I have left the house and returned–even if it’s to get something out of my car.

2. For my husband.  I will have been married to my best friend  20 years this January 1st. God has been faithful in growing our marriage through the wonderful and the hard.   Jonathan is such a serving, loving husband and I am so thankful for him.

3. For being able to sleep on a mattress each night when so many around the world sleep on the ground.

4. For the fireplace in our home which you will find me sitting by if I am not grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking or working.  I am thankful for warmth–another comfort so many go without.

5. For my three beautiful children.  Life as a parent is often messy, and complicated, but never dull.  I am so grateful for the three lives that Jonathan and I are responsible for, and how I see God working in their hearts.  They encourage me to be a better mom each day, so that I can love them the way they deserve. They are amazing people whom I am blessed to know.

6. For our extended family.  We are so blessed to have all of our parents and siblings in our lives.  They are amazing grandparents and aunts and great aunts and uncles to our children and the love they give is a gift I do not take for granted.  I do not know what I would do without them.

7. For Wheat Chex.

8.  For knowing God, and Him knowing me.

9. For my friends.  I cannot express how grateful I am for the friends, near and far, that God has brought into my life.  They are my rock, my joy, my laughter.  They encourage me to be a better person, and I am thankful for that.

10.  For provision, although lately catching my self sometimes wishing it was more than “just enough” but so thankful that it is “just enough.”

There are my first 10 and I’m just scratching the surface…..

 

thNVZCWN79

 

Problems Only The Rich Have

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Apparently, I had never heard the phrase, “Problems only the rich have,” but after our pastor’s sermon last week, it was crystal clear to me.

Here’s an example he used.  One of his frustrations this past month has been that the battery in his garage door opener is wearing out, so once in a while when he pulls into the driveway the door doesn’t automatically go up with the push of the button.  He actually has to get out of his car and walk up to the garage and push buttons to make the door open. Can you believe that??

Well, actually I can. Sadly.  I guess I’m a rich person, because I came home from church today and proceeded to have problems that other people in the world just don’t ever have.  Like being annoyed that the key cover for the period on my laptop is missing.  Or upset that our faucet continues to leak.  Or bothered that the kids clothes are all over the floor of their room.  Or, (this one really did me in) VERY frustrated when the Costco size syrup that one of my sweet children precariously balanced on the edge of the fridge shelf fell and oozed all over the kitchen floor (think sticky).  All problems that other people don’t have.

Because they don’t have computers.

They don’t have running water.

Their kids only have two shirts.

They don’t shop at Costco, or have syrup….or a fridge.

Our pastor’s point?

Thankfulness.

Not just thankfulness, but what he calls baseline thankfulness.  Our baseline in America tends to creep up quite a bit more than in other parts of the world because we live in a culture of convenience, efficiency, and discontentment.

As Christians, we need to push that baseline of thankfulness down, down, to the very basics of life.

We need to be thankful for (A HUGE VARIETY OF) food, (ABOUNDING) health, running (HOT) water, a (COMFY) mattress to sleep on, a yard to take care of, and the list goes on.

Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens.  That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.  Thessalonians 5:16-18

I have recently wrestled with potential change in my life, and that change meant losing some things that are dear to me.  Throughout that process, my baseline thankfulness changed.  I gained a whole new perspective of things that I had taken for granted.

You might want to try that exercise.  Think about losing some important and not so important things in your life–your marriage, your job, your cell phone, your church, your computer.   All of those things may have parts that are frustrating, that you wish would be different–but what if they were completely gone?  And you had to start–over. What things would you appreciate again?

We have so much to be thankful for in America–material possessions, freedom, opportunity, choice.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner…maybe it can take on even more significance in our homes as we shift our baseline of thankfulness.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:5-7

What are your problems?

(Darn…my voicemail doesn’t work as well now that I’ve shifted to the new IOS system on my iPhone).

Being Thankful

Written By Amy

 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our family has been in Texas visiting life-long friends of ours.

Yesterday we feasted on all the traditional dishes of the holiday, stuffing ourselves past comfortable, but enjoying every minute.  After the last busy scuffle to set steaming dishes on the table (which Jodie beautifully set with her grandmother’s china), I approached my chair to take a seat.  I took a brief second to view the overflowing dishes of turkey and gravy, creamed corn and green beans, soft, warm rolls and cranberry sauce.   Around the table, in cheerful conversation, sat my family, whom I cherish, and good friends. I felt very thankful.

The idea of thankfulness is important to God.  He reminds us to be thankful for him, in his scriptures.

David, in the book of Chronicles, actually assigned a job to some of the Levites to thank and praise the Lord before the ark of the covenant (Chronicles 16:4) .  What if your sole role in life was to thank and praise the Lord?  I can’t think of  any modern-day job with that description, but…what if it became even a small part of our every day?

Here is what David asked of a few of the Levites in the book of Chronicles:

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad:

Let them say among the nations, “The Lord Reigns!”

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Chronicles 16: 8-12, 25-29, 33

 

We are given some great tips for thankfulness in these scriptures:

1.  Remember what God has done and tell people of his greatness

2. Look to the Lord to remember who he is, which stirs thankfulness in our hearts

3. Give the Lord the praise and glory  due his name

May God bless our hearts and stir them toward daily thankfulness.

 

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