Monday, July 8, 2013

Humbly Grateful - Part One

As a child, I knew a song.
Our children's choir performed it many, many, many years ago.
The words are catchy, as most children's songs are.
And for me, I often lose the lyrics in singing and clapping along.
But not this one, 
certainly not this one,
my mother used to make my sister and I sing this one when we argued or got caught in cycles of complaining about this or that.
And even today, I find myself humming it as I fold laundry,
or clean out the dishwasher, or do some equally as thrilling chore.
The chorus goes like this, 
"Are you humbly grateful, or grumbly hateful, what's your attitude?
Do you grumble and groan, or let it be known you're grateful for all God's done for you?"  
Yesterday, I had the privilege of going to our home church in Mississippi.
About midway through the service,
I scribbled a note to Brian asking if there were any other members of the congregation present, because the message spoke directly to me.
Brother Breck preached out of Colossians.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him,
strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness."
Colossians 2:6-7
And with each audible word I heard from our pastor,
the Lord spoke many more to my heart.
I consider myself a joyful person.
I am optimistic.
I have happy heart.
An eager smile.
And consider it a privilege to leave others better than I found them by brightening their day.
But not lately.
Lately I have been walking around, living life exhausted.
And not just physically.
My heart has been bitter.
I have done a lot of complaining.
And wouldn't you know, the Lord provided these words for our pastor to share,
"Do everything without complaining or arguing,
so that you may become blameless and pure,
children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation,
in which you shine like stars in the universe."
Philippians 2:14-15
I want to shine like stars in the universe.
I want to be a light for my Jesus.
But, in my negativity and exhaustion, with my complaining and bitterness,
I wasn't even lighting my way, much less anyone else's.
I was challenged throughout the service to call upon the Lord for strength.
To be thankful in all circumstances.
To count my blessings and name them one by one.
At the close of the service, our pastor issued homework to each member present yesterday.
It is twofold.
1. Start each day this week thanking God for His many blessings.
2. Thank someone each day this week for who they are or what they have done in your life. Write a note, send a text, make a phone call, or visit. In whatever capacity you choose, thank someone each day this week.
Now, as far as I know, we won't be turning this assignment in, or presenting it before the congregation, but I am giving it a try.
What could it hurt?
To start the day thanking the Lord for his blessings?
To share a word of encouragement with someone who has blessed you?
My goal was to do this before my feet hit the floor this morning, but a certain thirteen month old said otherwise.
So now, as my little one is napping, and the house is quiet,
I am reflecting on my many blessings.
And here, I will name them one by one.
I will try to include these on the blog as much as I can this week, but more importantly, each day, I will do this in my heart.
I challenge you to as well.
1. Grace. The most precious gift given to me. Thank you Jesus for loving me, for dying for me, for saving me, for saving me a spot in Heaven to spend the rest of forever praising you. "Amazing grace how sweet the sound the saved a wretch like me."
2. Brian. My best friend. The one my soul loves. He is solid and strong, and as many beautiful physical attributes that are obvious to everyone he meets, he has twice as many that are not seen. Not until you get to meet him, at least. He is courageous, and bold, and thoughtful, and loving. And I am so thankful he loves me.
3. Baker. Oh my sweet angel. Everyday, he is evidence that God is still in the miracle business and answers prayers far bigger and better than we could ever fathom. His first name, William, means strong willed warrior, and that he is. With his contagious smile and determined heart, he blesses my every single day. I strive to be more godly so that I am the example he needs to grow up in the Lord.
4. Family. Each of these - my parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, in-laws - has shaped me, molded me, given me sweet memories, fabulous recipes, belly-aching laughs. They are each a part of me, and are each a blessing from the Lord.
5. Forgiveness. From my Jesus, and from people. I am thankful for fresh starts and do overs. New days and wonderful opportunities to love God and love people.
What are yours?
If you paused, counted your blessings, and named them one by one, what would they be?
If you took time today to thank someone, who would you thank?
If we approached each day with a humbly grateful heart, how much different would our day be?


  1. I'm so thankful I had the chance to read your post. Your words encouraged my heart.
    Just as you explained I have also felt completely exhausted. Instead of finding myself constantly grumbling about circumstances I cannot control I will count my many blessings each day. Thank you.

  2. Again, thank you!