Monday, November 17, 2014

getting my gratitude act together


"take a picture my transforter, mama."
i hope he never stops asking for photo ops. he's very interested in taking pictures, sometimes he's keen to actually be in them. i'm so grateful for those times and we jump at those chances!

we've been here for nearly six months. how is it possible? halfway through kindergarten and i hardly need google maps to get me around town anymore. you could say we're settled in. for the most part you could say that, because we all know, it ain't one hundred percent settled up in here. we love this city! but man. we greatly miss living so close to my sister and her family. we even miss the north dakota weather. i'm thankful for good memories of those years and for a relationship with family that makes miles apart something to cry about. we feel mostly at home in alabama, and we're excited for our future here.

elijah's bad cold turned into a fierce infection over the weekend. we landed in our new pediatrician's office this afternoon, and wow. i love that place, and the doctor is everything he was lauded to be! we've scored, and i'm so thankful. elijah likes him too, which is the most important thing.
i'm in the thick of wiping noses and screaming because of wiping noses, topping off the orange juice cup and watching a dozen movies, i'm grateful to be here and be the one to do those things.

i'm a hypervigilant/intensely observant person. i notice everything. because of that i see plenty to love and plenty to irritate or discourage me. by his grace alone, especially during this last year, the lord has helped me to see more beauty to be thankful for. and honestly, sometimes it's not even a beautiful thing for human eyes. it might be a hard thing that he's turned toward himself so i see his reflection, making it easier to bear. pretty or painful, he's giving me new eyes to take it all in. last week i felt a fresh challenge to do something about all the details i notice and store up in my heart and mind.

"the unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings." henry ward beecher

most people learn best through hearing, seeing or touching. my strength is probably visual learning, but you know what? if i really want to know a thing, i listen/speak out loud, look at it/read it and feel it. scripture verses? i say it aloud, read it, and hold and actual bible in my hands and run my fingers over the words.  our pastor mentioned in church membership class that he learns people's names this way. he sees their face, hears their name and repeats it back to them, and shakes their hand.
if i really want to start living thanksgiving, i need to start talking and writing more. speaking audible thanks to the lord. not so he can hear me, but so i can hear me thanking him. i need to hear it especially when i don't feel grateful. i totally believe that thanksgiving is the doorway to rest in any circumstance god has me in. keeping a thankful journal is another step to making this a way of life. blogging and social media isn't bad, but it can't compare to pen and paper. at all. once upon a time i had a great habit of keeping track of my gratefuls, but i'm sad to say i haven't done so in forever.

this time of year seems appropriate to get my gratitude act together. with thanksgiving quick around the corner, it's time. time to speak and time to write. time to focus on the maker of the details, the giver of the gifts, the bearer of my burdens. he sees me and knows me, that's grace. i want to see him, know him, and thank him. that's worship. that's how i want to live every season of the year.

"make a joyful noise to the lord, all the earth! serve the lord with gladness! come into his presence with singing! know that the lord, he is god! it is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! give thanks to him; bless his name! for the lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." psalm 100

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