Appetite Driven Consumption

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, there’s a good chance that you & I will be eating some tasty food, along with second’s & possibly third’s. It’s also likely that you’ll skip some food that’s not in your favorite list. For me, I’ll take a pass on the cranberry relish but maybe double up on my mom’s chorizo stuffing 🙂
With the quantity of food that’s available tomorrow, let’s consider that our flesh appetites, left unchecked, can be highly destructive.  As we are being thankful in this season, let’s also remember to cultivate or appetite for spiritual food, like daily Bible & prayer time!

Too Much Gratitude

I don’t like cinnamon & this is only a recent development. Maybe I  don’t like cinnamon because at this time year, everything seems to have cinnamon: coffee, ice cream, apple cider, pies, smoothies, etc.
So it’s possible to overdose cinnamon, but I  don’t think it’s possible to overdo gratitude. Maybe we should think in terms of spreading thanksgiving throughout the year & not only a seasonal overdose. Feel free to leave a comment to express something or someone for which you’re grateful!

Let’s Practice

Since we are really close to Halloween, that means that Thanksgiving is fast approaching. So let’s get an early jump on being thankful. By starting to practice gratitude now, we’ll be certain to have maximum proficiency by the time Thanksgiving lands. Another benefit to practicing gratitude now is that we increase our chances of creating a lifestyle of thanksgiving rather than the seasonal experience. Finally, the Bible tells us to be thankful, not only for the obvious & good stuff, but also for things that are difficult. Let’s be sure to practice Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Hot Topic: Pivot Gratitude

 

Happy Thanksgiving! In the US, we celebrate being thankful today, enumerating our blessings & acknowledging the abundance that we have. But alas, sometimes the mindset that looks for abundance can get disappointed. Indeed, on this day, we often turn a blind eye to the deficiencies we have, choosing to ignore lack or gloss over the absence of things we want.

Let’s pivot this thinking. Today, I’m not only thankful for what I have, but I’m also thankful for what I don’t have.

I’m grateful that God doesn’t give me everything I want because this would be very destructive to my soul. I’m grateful for struggles & hardships because I don’t develop patience & persistence without such struggles (James 1:2-4). And let’s not forget Paul who was thankful for the thorn in his flesh in 2Cor 12:9ff because this thorn cultivated reliance on Jesus like nothing else in his life.
Let’s not only be thankful for abundance but let’s be grateful for some difficulties as well. And of course, let’s always be mindful to encourage & love the people around us! We can’t always understand their decisions but we can always chose to be loving & encouraging!
Be super clear that I’m thankful for you! Feel free to pass this along to friends & family today! It could be really helpful to lots of peeps!

What Do You Like?

We are well into April & I was thinking this morning about things I like & stuff for which I’m grateful. It’s important to be grateful because this is how we enter God’s presence, according to Ps 100:4. So let’s practice being thankful together 🙂
Here are some things for which I’m thankful:

active children, clean water, phenomenal friends, a supportive husband, a drivable car and more than anything, God’s love for me. 

Your turn:

  • What is something good that has happened today?
  • Think of something nice someone has said to you in the last week
  • What is something better this year in comparison to last year?
  • What is something wonderfully unique about you – a talent or ability?

Let’s be grateful in April & not just at Thanksgiving 🙂

Today is a Gift

I recently had a birthday & it was AWESOME!! I loved all the kind thoughts, quality time & fun gifts – all very wonderful!
But today is a different day & could have some interesting challenges. You & I have days of joy, stressful days & days with surprises, good & bad. 

Regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen on any given day, let’s keep the mindset that today is the day that the Lord has made, a divine gift with abundant opportunities to see / experience God’s presence in a myriad of ways. May your day be overflowing with awareness that God deeply loves & cares for you 24/7 🙂

Today is the day that God has made so let’s decide to rejoice & be grateful!

Black Friday

Black Friday seems to be kind of like the starting gun for the Christmas season – ready, set GO!!!!  So here’s my weird question for today:  why do we call Black Friday “black” and Good Friday “good”?  Good Friday is the day when we acknowledge that Jesus was cruicified and the Friday before Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead.  Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving & supposed to be a day when loads of people “start” shopping for Christmas – the launch of holiday festivities.  Both Fridays have their pluses and minuses – solemn and celebratory.  But on this Black Friday, let’s consider a few things:

  • being thankful didn’t stop yesterday when the dishwasher turned off or the last football seconds ran off the clock
  • Good Friday is good because Jesus took our place on the cross & that news is very good indeed!
  • Black Friday doesn’t mean Debt Friday
  • let’s remind ourselves in this holiday season to keep room in our thoughts, time, actions & priorities for Jesus and His presence 🙂

Traveling lots

Sometimes when I travel I feel like I’m in perpetual motion & I just want to pause for some stillness. I’m really feeling like this now: in April, I was in Angola, May was China, June was South Sudan & July has been Cambodia. While this is lots of travel, I’m really grateful to God for such amazing opportunities & experiences to express genuine love. And when I’m home, I want to continue to get better & better at giving genuine love with less Sarah & more Jesus. Anyone eager to join this adventure with me?

planning

I have lots of people in my life who are great at planning.  They know dates, expectations, schedules and how things are supposed to happen.  They educate themselves, assemble the resources that will be used and do all kinds of preparation, thinking and planning.  I’m really grateful for these people because these kinds of things can be kind of tricky for me.  For example, I’m grateful that my husband frequently asks me when I make international with Saving Moses trips if I have cash with me for traveling because I can forget important things for concentrating on not forgetting my coffee supplies ,)

Here’s my saving grace, it’s been my experience that The Holy Spirit, Whom I call The Helper, is my Great Planner – seems to go along with how God organized & planned the world in Gen 1.  This gives me great confidence that God is planning my life and Helping me along each step of the way – and for you as well!! 😀

 

black Friday

I’m confessing right up front that I’m not the sharpest knife in the door & sometimes things that are obvious to everyone else can be really opaque for me.  With that being said, why do we call Good Friday, “Good” & Black Friday “Black”?  It would seem to me that Good Friday is more black than good & that Black Friday is more good than black (good because we often get a day off of school & work).  Now that you could possibly be super confused, let’s simplify this whole conundrum.  Let’s be thankful that each & every day is a gift from God – this is the day that the Lord has made so I will rejoice & be thankful 🙂

Today is a good day because we have another chance to grow in our awareness of Jesus being present with us in our daily living.  So with this in mind, you could call today black, orange, green, pink, blue, yellow or even mauve – whatever you chose, may your day be filled with “God awareness” – aha moments that spring up for you throughout this day!! 😀

thank you so much!

Wow!!  I can’t begin to thank everyone for their kind words, support & care after my blog about my dad’s death.  We’ve had such great encouragement, affirming words and love – way beyond my ability to express gratitude.  Thank you again and again!!  While this is a bit of a rough season, it’s also really wonderful to sense Jesus’ love through so many different people and so many different ways.  Thanks loads for letting Jesus use you to bring comfort and care to our family. 

May God reach into your life, open your eyes and increase your sensitivity to the immense and infinite love that God has for you.  Again, thanks so much!!

Grateful reverses Grumbling

I was reading about how the Israelites were rather grumbly when they were delivered from slavery. They grumbled about being stuck at the Red Sea, they grumbled about not having water, they gem led about not having food & it seems like they grumbled about Moses. Truthfully, I’m not so sure that I would have been less grumbly if I’d been in their sandals ,)
But here’s a few challenge points:
*I think that being grateful can be more helpful than being grumbly
*being grumbly or being grateful seems to create more of themselves (when I grumble, I can easily grumble more & it’s the same for me w gratitude)
*gratitude is a specific way to worship & give praise to God
*gratitude has better effects on my thinking & emotions than being grumbly
*gratitude positions my focus out & up rather than in & down
Let’s be grateful!!

what I liked about this day

sunset1
From time to time, I think its a healthy exercise to think about all the good things in a day – keeps me thankful, hopeful & positive (all good things to have / be).  So here are some things:

  • coming in to wake up Isabell & seeing her sprawled like she used to sleep as a baby
  • Reece making the kids’ breakfast & lunch (he does this almost everyday and its wonderful!)
  • getting to do traffic today at the kids’ school (aka crossing guard).  I did the cross walk so I get to say “hi” to lots of friends and people.  🙂
  • thinking about Jesus’ words about forgiveness after the Lord’s Prayer in Matt 6 – He’s a big forgiveness promoter.  Gee, I wonder why?!?!?
  • a GREAT parent / teacher conference w 1 of Benji’s teachers – he’s brilliant and she thinks so too.  Its so pleasant when we all agree  😉
  • reading the Cat in the Hat to Benji
  • having pho, eggrolls & avacadoe boba for lunch w a friend (how do you spell avacadoe?)
  • having some solitude & quiet to myself this afternoon at the house – an extremely RARE treat!
  • walking to pick up and walk home w David & Bell – great conversations & hang out time together
  • making a healthy dinner for my family & having a great family time together
  • bedtimes – see nice to read, snuggle, cuddle and be
  • Reece is going skiing tomorrow.  He bought a helmet & he keeps asking me these questions about how its supposed to fit – my clueless answers are only seeming to make him ask more questions to which I know not the answers.  I’m very HAPPY he’s wearing a helmet now.  No details necessary.  🙂