Gratitude

Today I began a gratitude journal.

It was a long time coming.

Months and months ago my best friend and I went on a journey of learning more about being grateful, especially when we didn’t “feel” grateful.  Gratefulness and thanksgiving have been recurring things that have popped up in both of our lives ever since…as we learn how to be thankful even when everything around us seems hard, bad, tiring, unlovely.

We started this journey through Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ website (www.reviveourhearts.com).  It was a 30-day challenge to choosing gratitude.  I haven’t been the same since that challenge.

It can be very hard, being grateful.  I tend to be so consumed with my own life, what’s coming against, what I have to do, what is hard and how it could be easier, asking the “what if…” questions.  How can you see the gifts from God that surround you when you can’t even see past the tip of your own nose?

I’m learning.

Now precious Ann VosKamp has released her book, “One Thousand Gifts”, where she shares the hardships she has endured and shows her weaknesses to emphasize that even in the midst of all of that God taught her how to be grateful, how to see the grace gifts all around her.  So she began a gratitude journal and began to number and write all of these special moments and things and people and she learned to be grateful.  She learned that life can be beautiful.  That God has loved us so lavishly and we miss those love gifts because we are living life in a whirlwind…when we don’t have to live like that.

So my journey towards gratitude continues with these…

1. The smell of bar-b-q chicken baking in the crock pot

2. Hair that naturally falls into curly, wavy locks.

3. Kitty cats giving themselves a bath.

Will you begin this journey with me?  Let’s count our blessings together.

Choosing Life in the Whale’s Belly

Jonah 1:3a (NIV) – “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish.”

For personal reference that verse could easily read: “But Becky ran away from the LORD and headed for Norfolk.”

If you back up to verse 1 and 2 of chapter 1 you find out what made Jonah run: “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Ninevah and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

The word of the LORD.

“Go.”

<insert Jonah running in the opposite direction>

I know about running away from God’s call to “go”.

My call from God goes back to childhood.  My mother had a wooden plant stand and at the age of five I had already begun to preach from that stand, Bible laying flat upon it.

My pulpit.

Faith like a child.

And when I became older and discerned God leading me to attend seminary for further training…I ran.

After receiving my bachelor of music degree, instead of packing and heading for seminary, I went back home to Virginia.

Comfort zone.

Comfort zone?

I had driven myself right into the belly of the whale of disobedience.

I prayed and cried out to God just like Jonah had (2:1).  Except I didn’t realize the belly-life I was living.

Just existing.

Not being fully used.

Disobedience hinders growth.

Disobedience hinders ministry.

Disobedience takes a lot of wrong turns.

Nothing I attempted could move me beyond and out from that whale’s belly.

Nothing I

Selfishness.

But when I began to seek HIM first,

in earnest,

humbly,

broken,

so willing.

He shined a light.  He reminded me of a little girl with an open Bible on a plant stand preaching to an empty living room.

He said, “Go”.

“And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (2:10)

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It’s not too late.

God still has a plan and purpose for your life.

He still wants to use you.

Give up belly-living.

It’s foul and gross compared to the dry ground God wants to set your feet upon.

Movin’ on up

This is the new home for my blog.  Hopefully those who have kept up with my former blog will bookmark or subscribe.

More to come… 🙂

 

BECKY

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