It has been 10 months since my friend, better known as a "Farmer's wife dealing with lots of dirt", introduced me to the idea of keeping a gratitude journal; and I am thankful for her life (and she knows it, and I love her!)
Today I was pondering over this journey and all that I have learned trying to do the impossible, "count" the endless gifts which we have received from our Heavenly Father, (our family list is reaching #1400, and my personal one #636) and there is one lesson that I want to share with you.
As I take the journals (mine and our family journal) and read through them; I think of all these moments which did not just disappear. All these gratitude moments in which we, consciously, stopped to jot down with a grateful heart blessings flowing from his hand to us. These moments are recorded. These gifts won't be forgotten. We wrote them down, one by one; we lived through them. We are grateful.
God's people did the same; they wrote down and remembered all the times God rescued them from their enemies; they kept records on how the Lord had delivered them with out-stretched arm from the evil nations; they wrote on how the Lord had been merciful to them over and over again in spite of their disobedient and rebellious heart. It was written, and they took time to read over those records and their faith grew, and their hope was renewed.
When I see how his love has sustained us through all these past months, I cannot doubt His faithfulness today, or tomorrow. He never changes. He is immutable, and that is a doctrine which I love to bring in the kitchen.
Looking back with a grateful heart helps me pray "Lord, just as you have delivered me in the past, you sustain me today, and you will tomorrow; because YOU NEVER CHANGE"
Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this:
"He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. " 2 Corinthians 1: 10
Keeping a gratitude journal helps us in those times where our heart faints and we see no hope, and our soul seems to forget, to remember the mighty deeds of our God in our everyday life. We can turn the pages and count one by one, again, all those "little gifts" which have made up our life. And you remind yourself in Whom you have trusted all these days; and how He never changes...and you will find yourself smiling and giving thanks, again...
You may ask, "but why do you mind publishing part of your list?"
This is one of the reasons why:
"My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together! "
Psalm 34: 2-3
I want to make known the deeds of the Lord, because I want to stir up your heart, so you may magnify the LORD with me, and we may exalt His name together!
Thank you, Lord, for the city in which we live and how you are teaching us to live with a content heart in it.
Thank you for fresh fruit.
Flowers on the table.
Traffic, which means more time to talk.
Planning a trip.
Headaches which help us see how easily we worry.
Books that help us learn about prayer.
Bubbles and girls.
Boys, paintball guns and lots of dirt on happy faces.
Big cookies which did not turn out as the photo... lots of laughs.
Time to ponder over the gratitude journals.
Watercolors and ink.
Self-dominion to wake up early to pray.
A prayer guide which has helped me to stay focused when I am tired.
Sharing the Gospel over the table.
My children's music.
Thank you, Lord, because YOU Never change!
What are you grateful for today?
Let me hear and be glad; let our hearts magnify the Lord together!