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

Miraculous Provision

What areas in your life are needy? It seems that often the quick answer is “money.” But if we pause for a second, our answer might be more along the line of more time, wisdom, discipline, strength, better relationships, genuine love, courage, patience, etc.
This morning I read how Jesus multiplied the fish & bread to meet the hunger needs of thousands of people. His disciples came to Him with the need – too many people & a paltry amount of provision. To this problem, Jesus asked them what they had. After identifying what was there, Jesus blessed the provision rather than cursed the need or lack.
Let’s be sure that we’re grateful for what we have, even if it seems like it’s not enough. Then let’s utilize what we have with thanksgiving & our eyes on Jesus to keep providing & multiplying!

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!

No Cavities!

YAHOOO!!!! I took my kids for their dental checkups today & I’m happy to celebrate that NONE of them have cavities. This is a miracle – approximately 90 teeth & not one cavity!  
So this is a really helpful reminder to me keep a few things front & center with my attention:

  • keep watching: God’s miracles come in lots of different sizes & ways, often unexpected 
  • stay grateful: no matter how big or little a miracle is & no matter the method of the miracle (sometimes God chooses to do things in ways we didn’t want), let’s keep gratitude as one of core values throughout each day

No cavities! 🙂

Do You Need More Time??

  
It’s 4am here in Cambodia & why I’ve been wide awake for the last hour escapes me. It’s all the more unsettling to me because I’m flying home today, so for me this day will have 37hours because of the time zone changes. Which brings me to the topic about asking God for more time. There have been countless occasions when I’ve asked God for a little extra time – to complete a task, to enjoy a conversation with a friend, to slow down how quickly my kids are growing, a few extra minutes to finish cooking before some company arrives, etc. But I’ve stopped asking God for more time, precisely because of how today will role out with 37 hours. I’ve come to deeply appreciate this idea of a 24hour discrete day. More time isn’t always the answer we need. So here are some thoughts about maximizing our time:

  • put down the phone & be present – time is often wasted with distractions
  • keep healthy priorities
  • live in the truth that God knows our seasons & days – what needs to happen at various times in our lives
  • There’s much to be said about being grateful for the time that we have 🙂

a quick secret to stay happy :)

When I woke up my son today to get ready for school, he wasn’t happy by a long shot.  He was cranky & grumpy and unfortunately, by the time he got in the car, he was still in the doldrums – a very yucky way to start off on a Monday morning 🙁

We all have times, seasons, days and moments when we are grumpy & here’s a potential quick fix:  be thankful.  Rather than looking at the grumpy stuff (back to school, bills, tired, physical pain, hardship, emotional stressors, relationship difficulties, job / school challenges . . . . ), take some moments to be thankful.

Thank God:

  • that the sun came up this morning
  • for the oxygen that we breath
  • that God’s love is vast yet personal
  • that God is both faithful and good
  • for a nice blog to give you this helpful reminder ,)

Being happy any place & any time

I just want to be happy! We’ve all heard this & probably even said it a few times ourselves. Some people seem to be more naturally proned to being happy & maybe they’re just optimists. Or, maybe they know the secret of being thankful, even when it’s not Thanksgiving. When you find yourself in a funk, start thinking of the things for which you can be grateful – the more you do this, it’s highly possible that your happiness quotient will increase. Another secret to be happy relates to being generous, but that’s for another day 🙂

a thought about staying continually happy

Even though this is a short entry, it is really powerful:

I have this habit that I do almost every morning – I thank God for all of the cool things that happened during the previous day.  I love getting to do this because it’s a great way to enter God’s presence (I will enter His courts with thanksgiving in my heart).  But here’s the latest challenge I’ve been sensing from God:  real-time gratitude.  Instead of waiting for my gratitude to expressed during my morning routines, I feel that God is challenging me to be grateful in the moment & not just the morning.  So I find myself being more thankful as an attitude in my day and not just in the morning prayer time “compartment”.  As as result, I feel that I’m more content, happy and buoyant.  As a concluding thought, another idea is to pre-thank the answers, solutions and provisions that God has for us (ahead of time).  Now that would be a total lifestyle of gratitude (past, present & future).  Just a little food for thought 🙂

Thank You!

First of all, thank you heaps & heaps for reading my blog!  Thank you for your very kind comments, thoughts and for the opportunity to connect with some deeper thoughts than a quick tweet or fb post 🙂
I’ve also been thinking about the power of saying “thank you” & being grateful, most of all with God.  I’m also super pumped to post this today because we are no where near Thanksgiving – the stereotypical being thankful post.  Instead, I wanted to share something that is an important part of our daily routines – gratitude.  Everyday I try to take some time to thank God for very specific things – big, medium & small – from the previous day.  I enjoy thanking God for all kinds of things like:  nice coffee, a beautiful sunrise, some progress with Saving Moses, my kids having a good day at school, the nice chat with a friend and boatloads more!  When I start being thankful, it gets hard to stop & best of all, it’s one of the best ways to enter into God’s presence – with thanksgiving in my heart 🙂

Let’s stay thankful!

An encouraging challenge

Sometimes I can get discouraged when I look at problems that seem to have no answers & sometimes I can get overwhelmed by some challenges that seem insurmountable. Ever feel the same? During my prayer time this morning, I was reminded about how God had a sheep waiting for Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. This story reminds me that God has solutions, provisions & wisdom waiting for me when various needs can become urgent. In the meantime, rather than fretting, getting stressed out & uptight about various problems, I can change my thinking to being grateful & appreciative that God has already provided answers & resources. When I’m thankful, I’m a better traveling companion with God during the journey of life rather than being stressed out 🙂

Thank you!!

I just want to take a brief moment to thank you for reading this blog. I know that you have a never ending list of choices for your reading so I’m particularly grateful that you have taken some time with me. Additionally, I especially want to thank those of you who have left comments, who’ve encouraged me & also for those who have subscribed to receiving this blog.
Thank you for going on this journey with me, for your patience & for being gentle. In our cyber world of social media & relationships over the web, thank you for not being judgmental, harsh nor condemning. Thank you for getting to connect 🙂

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!!

the path of progress

As we finish up 2011, many of us will take a few minutes to reflect on the events of this year & possibly consider some plans / thoughts for 2012.  Sometimes its easy to get stuck on the past, but something that helps me to keep moving forward is to be thankful – thankful for the events that have helped me grow, thankful for the relationships that have encouraged me to love more genuinely, thankful for the achievements that couldn’t have happened without God’s help & more! 

Another thing that helps me to grow is to not always think of the massive projects that I want to accomplish, but to rather think of things in smaller sizes.  I most certainly have REALLY BIG DREAMS in my heart & if I’m not careful, the size of these dreams can be overwhelming.  But when I consider these dreams on a day-by-day basis, making little steps toward these dreams on a daily basis, they’re not so overpowering.  Indeed, perhaps the journey is equally as important to God as the destination.  Happy New Year!!

Thankful

Well today was captivating!! This morning, we were able to visit a barrio w many Nicaraguan refugees who live next to a garbage dump – it was extremely heart warming to get to share w some of Gods love w this community & the beautiful families we were able to touch. Such sweet people!
Our team was able to retrn in the afternoon & bring some coloring bks, crayons & food.
Then tonight, I had the tremendous honor of getting to worship w & minister to the youth & young adults at Centro Evangelistico – a totally GREAT church here in San Jose Costa Rica!! I shared about not letting our past control our future. Then, we got to minister & pray w people at the end. I seriously think I must be Gods favorite person on the planet tonight – getting to share His love in so many different ways today. He has captured my heart, yet again & I’m so happy that He has!!
It’s time to sleep now & dream about Jesus. I’ll blog tomorrow to keep you posted about the adventures of the day ,)

musings about mother’s day

Mothers are intersting creatures.  Since becoming a mother, i’ve come to see things from 2 sides – both as an offspring & as a mother.  Right now, i live in the “high-octane” middle of both worlds (as i sit here writing, my little men are wrestling w my big man, while Isabell designs her new bank savings box).  I am fully offspring, in that i work pretty closely w my mom & i’m quite thoroughly integrated w care for & interaction with my kids.  Consequently, Mother’s Day is the collision of significant portions of my life. 

In the fullest sense of the word, Mother’s Day is designed to celebrate life.  I say this because there’s not a single one of us that doesn’t have a mother (dead or alive).  Mothers (and Fathers – but we’ll celebrate Father’s Day next month) are significant conduits through which God gives us the gift of life and life is very good.  May your Mother’s Day be filled w gratitude to God for His gift of life and gratitude for our mothers & the things they’ve invested in our lives.  Happy Mother’s Day!

an idea to combat worry

i did a message Wed night on worry & it fit EXTREMELY well into what i’ve been going through lately.  To add onto it, i’ve also been studying Philip 4:6-8 where Paul talks about some good strategies to combat worry.  He starts off in vs 6 telling us not to be anxious but to offer our requests to God w prayer & supplication with thanksgiving.

Here’s my take away on this:  whatever we’re worried about, we need to take to God ALONG WITH at least one thanksgiving, something for which you’re thankful.  I think this is an interesting dynamic to keep the proper balance between requests & gratitude.  So all that being said, here are a few things I’m thankful to God for:

  • His grace – overwhelms my brokenness
  • His patience – again
  • His love – boundless & without condition
  • a fresh hair cut
  • nitrate free hot dogs
  • God’s invitations to me, throughout the day, to be with Him
  • His tenderness & willingness to help me grow
  • His immensity with gentleness

Got anything to be thankful for??? 🙂

God applause

applauseIn an effort to help us give God some applause & to get in the thankful mode, let me give you a few things for which I’m thankful & then give you the opportunity to leave a comment with some things you’re thankful for.  I’m thankful for:

  • God’s love for me – this year has been thoroughly mind blowing in experiencing His love
  • getting to go to Ethiopia – a long-time dream come true;  this was a real honor for me
  • family – always keeping you on your toes or knees depending on what’s happening
  • encouragement & support – lots of folk saying & doing cool things
  • friends – this year has been somewhat of a long-needed breakthrough for me in this area
  • greek – how cool that I’ve had the opportunity to grow & learn in studying the Bible!
  • health – can I just tell you that I have biceps?  I couldn’t tell I had these until this year!  Health is also useful for:  snowboarding, travelling, keeping up w the kids, thinking & much more
  • prayer – what a majestic adventure

That’s a start for me.  What are some things you’re thankful for?  Maybe the rest of us could get some ideas from you! 🙂