Monday, September 13, 2010

An Exercise In Gratitude

The other day I was shaking something out & the corner of my eye caught something very disturbing.  It was the skin under my arms shaking back & forth.  If you're a woman you know what I'm talking about!  I guess it's time for me to start participating in my husband's exercise classes!

In some ways God made our bodies very complex, but in other ways they are very simple.  Muscles for instance- you want them stronger?  You use them.  You don't use them, they grow weak.  I think the same applies to our attitudes, we can practice being grateful and that part of our attitude becomes stronger.  I want to flex my grateful muscles right now, and maybe you can follow my lead and practice some gratitude too.  I'm going to pick some things I would not naturally be grateful for & flex!

I am thankful for the bugs- cockroaches, ants, millipedes- that attempt to invade our home.  It means we have a home, and I know there are many people nearby who do not.

I am thankful for pillows made out of lumps of foam.  It means I have a safe place to lay my head at night, while children who live on the streets sleep in drainage ditches.

I am thankful for a car that has been nicknamed "The Blue Beast".  It means we are able to get where we need to go (most of the time) when we want to go (most of the time).

I am thankful I am homeschooling Nate.  It means he doesn't have to hate "going" to school because of not being able to meet other's expectations.  (Now, him hating doing school at home is a whole 'nother thing...)

I am thankful for cooking from scratch with ingredients that are limited or different from what I'm used to.  It means we have food in our house, even if it is not always what we want, while many people are wondering today where their next meal will come from.

I am thankful for things that are different, or new, or unexpected, because it means we learn to "just let go" of our expectations.

I am thankful for hard times and struggles and prayers still unanswered, because it means I draw closer to Jesus to lean on his strength and I live by faith- not sight.

Thoughts I had the other day:  If we never needed to use our anchor, we would never know how strong and sure it is.  If we never encountered a storm we would never know the relief that comes from finding a safe harbor.  If we never found ourselves in situations that were beyond what we felt we could handle, we would never know how God can give us His strength. 

The gift found in the midst of hard times is being able to know your savior more.  We get to see that His promises are true: His peace, His joy, His strength, His grace, is freely given & does not depend on our outward circumstances.  Just like the anchor, it is unchanging in spite of storms all around.

I pray you are able to flex your gratitude muscles today & in so doing you are brought closer to being able to "consider it all joy" (James 1).


 And, yes, I am even thankful for the feral (wild) cats that live outside our house.  Because, after all, being awakened at 4 or 5 am by the cat's meowing just gives me more time to pray (while I try to fall back asleep), right?

This post is also linked up to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.


  1. I found you from Heavenly Homemakers link up. It's my first time joining in.

    Love your post! So very true about what you are thankful for. We all need to remember that when we start complaining about dishes, it means we have food to eat. The laundry just means we have enough clothes. Thanks for posting this reminder!

  2. @Nicole- thanks for stopping by & I agree- I think I need to read this post everyday! :)

  3. Lisa,
    I am encouraged by your post. God is good and supplies all we need. I really look forward to meeting you in October (by the way...I work for All God's Children) Erica and I will be bring a team to you guys!

    We're in this together; the fun, the exciting, the challenging, the hard, the is a journey that we're on and God is leading.

    Thanks for your encouragement! You truly are making a difference in the lives of those in Rwanda and all who get the change to read your posts- though they seem insignificant God can use even them to bring Glory to His name. Keep writing. :)

  4. @Rebekah- thank you, I look forward to meeting you too & having some good times in ministry with your team! God is good! Blessings :)