Category Archives: thankfulness

Enjoy the Moment

Dear One,

Right here, right now.   If I could give you one bit of advice, based on everything I know about you, this would be it:

“ENJOY THE MOMENT”.

If I could, dear Seeker, I would take you for a  long, slow walk just before sunset and have a conversation with you much like the one I had with someone yesterday and remind you of the simple things.

I know you want to trust God.  I know you’re tired of being stressed and fearful and feeling responsible for a future that you really have no real control over.   You believe that the LORD is Sovereign; so…

“The path of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.” Isaiah 26:7

Relax

Take a deep breath.  You’re alive.

Don’t let disappointments and frustrations control your day.  Days may feel long, but life is short.

  • Internet connections will run slow.
  • Computers will crash.
  • Health will come and go and come again.
  • Appointments and deadlines will be missed.
  • Events will be cancelled.
  • Kids will break things.
  • Appliances and vehicles will break down.
  • Traffic will back up and you will miss a turn.
  • Things will be misplaced.

It’s going to be alright.  You already know it: God is on His throne, and you are not.  Do you really think any of those unexpected-to-you, no-surprise-to-Him, things can thwart the plans of the Almighty?

Even “big deals” are not “big deals” unless we make them into “big deals” by forgetting about our bigger than we know God who made all things.  And, if what’s on your mind seems like a big deal to you, it’s time you put things back in perspective and relax. 

God can handle it.  He has offered to take all our cares if we cast them on Him:  off your mind, off your back, and on to his.

Don’t be shocked by these not so strange and unusual happenings.  It is what it is, and it’s not the end of the world.  He’s got it covered.

  • Things are just things. 
    • Things can be replaced, if they even really need to be.  Most things we can live without, and often living with them makes our lives simpler.  No “thing” will last forever, anyway.  And, remember, “nothing (no-thing) can separate you from the love of God”.
    • Appointments can be rescheduled.  Plans can be altered.  And, you’ll never know what you really missed/avoided by an inconvenient divine intervention.  Commit your day to the LORD, interruptions and all.
  •  People are just people. 
    • Kids will be moody and grumpy and disrespectful every now and again, just like you were when you were in the “still becoming” season of life.   (By the way, you’re in a “still becoming” season of your own.) 
    • Spouses will say things that can be taken the wrong way.  (Whether they meant it that way or not, they need to be graced and forgiven, just like you do for your own “speak before you think/pray” comments.) 
    • Friends will irritate and offend.  (Need I mention how this proverbial shoe fits you, too?)
    • You are just a person.  And, if you’re replaying something from yesterday, ask forgiveness or forgive yourself, or let it go if that is what needs to be done.

So, whatever has a tendency to upset your day, look up and say, “Thank you.”  Maybe it is an opportunity to build your character or your faith, but maybe it really shouldn’t be a big deal at all.  Maybe it’s just something you should let go and over look.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”  Proverb 19:11 (ESV)  … and I would add that faith makes us slow to fear, and it is also glorious to overlook an inconvenience or interruption or a disappointment, choosing to trust the LORD instead.

“Above all (NLT “Most important of all”), keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)

“Bear with each other” (NIV)  “Make allowances for each other’s faults” (LNT)  Colossians 3:13

 

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18

Rejoice

Your blessings far out number the things that you are calling “not a blessing” at the moment.  And, in the brilliant light of tomorrow, you’re “not a blessing” may wear a new label.

And, in the meantime, thank Him for the obvious.

“In everything give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Like one of my favorite old Evie song my parents played when I was a wee thing said, “Just be thankful for the good things that you’ve got…  The good things that you’ve got are for many just a dream; so be thankful for the good things that you’ve got.”

“give thanks for everything”  (NLT)  “always giving thanks for all things…”  Ephesians 5:20 (NAS)

Start thanking Him, now, in this moment.  Out loud, on paper, or in your head,… always, all through the day, for everything.   This is the secret of contentment and really living in and enjoying the moment.

  • for stained carpet, wobbly tables, leaky faucets, squeaky doors, pealing paint, …  find the beauty and the blessing in it, remember the memories made and the people you made them with…
  • the old neighbor with the long-long stories, for the town gossip, the kid with the runny nose and holes in his shoes, … for all the interesting people in your world.  Every book, every movie, and every life is better with unique and well-developed characters. (I’m thinking of Anne of Green Gables’s  Marrilla and Matthew Cuthbert, and Rachel Lynn, and Anne Shirley, of course.)

A bit blurry picture, but a favorite moment of my evening.  We stood silently for quite a while watching the doe on the middle of our wooded path.

P.S.

I thought you might like to know that I was on the receiving end of this conversation, and though Handsome’s words have been expanded upon by the Holy Spirit in the past 24 hours or so, the core wisdom and truth of his message to “enjoy the moment” are probably applicable to all of us women.

“ENJOY THE MOMENT.”

Tuck that away in your heart.

Slow down.  Look around.

This is where the LORD wants you to live… right here, right now, in this moment.  Trust Him.  God’s will for you is more than just enduring life.

He has yesterday and tomorrow all under His Sovereign reign, and He really does have “the whole world in His hands”… that includes you and me, sister…and your itty bitty baby, and my not so little 6’4″ baby

…and the doctors, and the politicians, and the teachers, and the bankers, the soldiers, the college professors, the tech support, and the UPS man,  everybody here, and everybody everywhere.

Knowing God is in control means we really can enjoy life, every moment, every day, and in every season.

It’s the enemy, not your heavenly Father, that would want you to shroud your spirit with gloom, worry, anxiety, fear, bitterness, doubt, insecurity, anger, frustration, hatred, resentment, tension, strife, or any other unsettling emotion that would smother your faith or douse your joy.

Remember who God  is, enjoy Him and enjoy this moment with Him.

He is “I AM”, living and ever-present.


Dear Seeking Friend,

If you’re reading this, I am praying for you.  May you remember that you are safe and secure “in Christ” and nothing can take you out of His hand; so may you rest peacefully in Jesus tonight, wake up refreshed  in Jesus tomorrow, and walk in abundance in Jesus all through the day.   May you see the handiwork of God all around you and hear the heavens declaring the glory of God when you look up.  May the Holy Spirit quiet your heart, calm your spirit, help you to slow down, and enable you to view your circumstances with an unhurried gaze.  May you have a twinkle in your eye and a happy expression as a result of your Heavenly Father’s love and the hope of eternity in your heart.  May you be a source of contagious blessing to others as you choose to enjoy your moments, one by one.  And, may you find yourself enjoying a divinely appointed walk with the LORD and hear Him say to you the words you are most needing to hear.

Keep Seeking Him… and enjoy the adventure, moment by moment.

L.E.A.P. – thankfully (November 29)

“Give thanks to the LORD for He is good…”  Psalm 107:1

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“In everything (in all circumstances) give thanks; for this is the will of God…”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

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THANKFULLY.

It’s one of the first words I chose for my L.E.A.P.-Year.  I’ve been anticipating this word, this month.  (And, if you’re an American, you’ve probably have had “giving thanks” cross your mind with the celebration of “Thanks-giving”,… and maybe you’ve already moved on.) 

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I intentionally chose to L.E.A.P. (to focus on living, enjoying, adding, and praying) THANKFULLY this month, rather than starting on October 29 which would overlap the traditional American holiday, for several reasons:

  1. It seems more personal when it’s not the popular/cultural thing to do.  —  I wonder if God feels about our giving thanks for one day (or one month, in November) like I feel about getting roses in February on Valentine’s Day.  I sure appreciate the gesture, but it’s even more special when Handsome brings me flowers other times of the year, when I know it’s not at the prompting of the culture, advertisers, and businesses that are looking for monetary profit.  — I want to tell God “Thank You!” and “I love You!” now, when the fall decorations all all put away, just because I am thankful for all He has done for me and I love Him, not because “it’s that time of year”.  (And, honestly, sometimes Thanksgiving takes me by surprise.  How can it already be November!?!  So, this year, Thanksgiving is just the start of the “giving thanks” season.)
  2.  I want a thankful heart especially this month. — This is the time of year when materialism and consumerism goes into hyper-drive.  Black Friday creeps into Thanksgiving-Thursday, and before the turkey leftovers are in the Tupperware and chilling in the fridge, the shoppers are warming up their engines for their race through the stores. — But, for most of us, this is the time of year when the simple things, the spiritual things, the relational things (not so much the physical things) means more to us!  — Many of us can honestly say, I don’t NEED anything, and the “things” I WANT aren’t “things” at all.  Still, it’s easy to forget, to be preoccupied and distracted and lured into the consuming tidal wave of “MORE”!!!  — I want to appreciate the physical “things”:  trees, lights, music…  but to treasure the more precious “things”:  people, memories, Advent, hope, joy, peace, worship, the presence of God in my heart and in my home…
  3. I have a lot to be thankful for at this time of year. —  As I come to the end of the physical year, and enter the season of reflection, of writing letters, flipping through family calendars and prayer calendars, skimming through journals… asking, “What have we done?  What have I learned? What were my goals?  What are my dreams?”  … I find great material to prompt thanks-giving!

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In the past, I have made long lists of 1,000 gifts and more, but this month, I am going to make several very specific lists of 29 things I am thankful for…

#1 – the 29 things (not people) that I am most thankful for…

  1. the Bible
  2. prayer
  3. freedom

#2 – the 29 people who have meant the most to me over my life…

  1. Handsome, my wonderful husband
  2. my dad
  3. my mom

#3  – 29 daily “just for me” special gifts from my Heavenly Father

  1. a Charlie-Brown tree – God planted it on our land in a particular place so that Handsome would say, “It needs to go.”   Then, he and Little One cut down and carried it home just for me.

and #4 –  29 bites of “daily bread”; each a specific and timely word from the LORD

  1. “… for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

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Why don’t you choose a special way to say “Thank You” to the LORD this month?   You could make a “Thank You – list” or two, or maybe you could be creative and come up with something totally unique, something just between you and Him.

Predetermine how you will L.E.A.P. this month…

  • Live THANKFULLY
  • Enjoy THANKFULLY
  • Add THANKFULLY
  • Pray THANKFULLY

Seek the LORD.  Find His will for you this month.  Then, share what you find and be a blessing over then next 29 days!

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I can’t think of anything He’d like more than your company.

12 Days to Pray - Christmas
12 Days to Pray – Christmas

If you’d like some specific and creative ideas to jump start your time alone with the LORD, check out the Pray 12 Days – Christmas Challenge?

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http://www.theseekingone.com/seeking-tools-challenges/retreats/1-1-1-1-prayer/

Or, check out some of the other L.E.A.P.-Year posts

Included in this LE.A.P.-Year Challenge (February to February), you’ll find prayer tools (notebooks, calendar, and journal ideas) and ideas to help you Seek the LORD 366 days a year.

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If you’re reading this sentence, I am praying for YOU!

One Million Gifts?

I am thankful, and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet!

#1 – music & how thankfulness slows me down to hear & listen – lingering in a store just a little longer after checking out to finish listening to the song that’s playing

#26 – my boys both curled up with pillow, blanket, & book… this warm wintry moment — one in Narnia, one in the Shire, and me… all here!

#135 – a phone call … and a realization that a burden has become a blessing – who would guess that what I dreaded would become a delight… not wanting to go back (or have back) the thing I “gave up” – wondering, why all the struggle & hesitation to let go? – finding freedom & blessing in the loss… discovering that holding on was yoking me to a burden from which God was freeing me … and all this revelation from one phone call.

This morning I logged #615

Who but God can truly count the gifts of God?

Some entries started as one thought and ending with mini-lists filling 2 and 3 journal pages

With 20+ lines on a page, and multiple “gifts” on a line, how many “gifts” are wrapped up in a number?

Someone’s name
I’m thankful for the blessing of their friendship,
and so many wonderful memories associated with the thought of them.

One moment
and the details that make that moment special.


a season,
a holiday,
a weekend,
a date,
a day dream,
a meal,
a surprise,
a place
… and a chain of presents tied to each gift.

Even the abstract blessings of
freedom,
peace,
hope,
grace,
faith

inspire line upon line of concrete blessings.

I ponder the math.
What number should I multiply to give an estimate count of His good gifts?

When I started this gratitude journal in January I thought I’d reach 1,000 within a few months, but with Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, I doubt I’ll have numbered 1,000 gifts by then.

“1,000” … what is a number?
Since this is a habit I intend to keep all my life,
how many volumes of journals will I have?

And what number will I reach when I write my last entry?

And how many gifts will have gone unwritten?

Only God knows…

Every heartbeat, every breath, every sunrise and sunset, …

If the average heart beat is 72 beats per minute…
72 x 60 mins x 24hrs x 365.25 days = 37,869,120 blessings every year

Gifts I’ve Been Given = ?

I have been most blessed by a most generous God.
I’ve earned none of it. I deserve none of it.

I am rich.

Miracle in an Apple

Fields and fields,
endless acres of apples.

One crisp, juicy bite… miraculous.

All the ingredients and elements, the most intelligent scientists, all the time in the world, and still, only God can make an apple.

He makes us in His image
and gives us apples…

and we create:
apple pies,
apple cider,
apple sauce,
apple butter,
apple juice,
apple crisp,
apple jelly,
apple dumplings,…

The apple wasn’t the forbidden fruit. But, we were we not content with apples.

or peaches, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, blackberries, raspberries, pears, plums, grapes, watermelon, oranges…

There is no shortage of yummy blessings. Oh, what is it in a soul that longs for the forbidden? Even when tied to the promise of pain, the out of reach is the goal of the eye.

Oh, contentment, be my close companion. Remind me of my blessings and the possibilities.

Inspire me to creative creation!

I miss out on heartache when I remain inside my own garden;
so in this garden I will stay!

Lord, You have hemmed me in behind and before. You have placed Your hand on me. Thank You. You have established my boundaries, and they have fallen for me in pleasant places. Thank You!

You have been generous, and I will treasure the abundance that You have given. It is more than enough. You are more than enough.

country roads

…take me home.

had to drop a few things off at a friend’s house; no inconvenience to take an evening drive… down quiet misty country roads.

peaceful. unhurried. only passed one car, and the driver was pulled off to the side of the road to chat with his neighbor.

simple things, seen and enjoyed. appreciated, acknowledged. driving along and looking out the window… even backing up to appreciate the view a little better.

Life is for Living!

What’s the hurry? Where are we headed?
…in a rush to the grave?

My husband took my sons and a few other boys camping the other weekend, on Monday, the father of one of the boys was killed in an accident… it was his older brother’s birthday. Left behind was a wife and three kids…

Life is fragile. Life is precious. Life is made of moments… memories made… or moments missed.

Miles and miles of country roads … more dirt than paved… connecting me with people, places…

and bringing me back home, to my own driveway.