Sometimes the simplicity of gratefulness is enough to overwhelm me. It leaves a lasting mark up on the heart of those who practice it consistently. It is a tell-tale sign that identifies the value-system of contentedness. It shows an understanding of what abundance feels like, even when it seems there is nothing abounding.
One, who is grateful, has spent time in the presence of the Almighty. Because of that, they are changed, altered from the ordinary, ruined for this world but destined for a greater hope. There are days when gratefulness seems unattainable; those days are when my eyes are cast away from the source of my provision. Yet He gently pulls me back with vivid reminders of the blessing before me, reminding me of the need to give thanks at all times.
Gratefulness, like thankfulness, has nothing to do with our provision but instead it is dependent upon our position.
I took a break from my blog last week. Ironically, my fingers were itching to pound the keyboard longing to feed a heart and bless a weary traveler but I heard that voice that said rest… wait… seek Me.
It was a difficult week for me and I needed to pause and consider His closeness. Taking a break reminded me that blogging is not my sole purpose in life, though I enjoy it fully. In the pausing, I was reminded me of why I started to blog in the first place… not for numbers or recognition … only to share the lessons I am learning as a daughter of the King, as a momma and a wife, as a friend and an encourager.
I don’t think I have detoured from that journey, but the stress to write a ‘perfect’ post or to get so many comments seemed to creep in the back of my mind as I searched for the perfect words. The little break I took certainly didn’t make a huge difference to anyone but me, yet it was a step of obedience that I needed to take. I needed to be close to the Father, to feel the Savior’s heart beating next to mine, and to remember that He never leaves us, especially when we are clinging to hope.
Right in the middle of the trials that we face we are reminded of the need to be grateful. We were created to praise, friends. The importance of marking time by creating an anthem of praise allows us to see Him near… to hear Him whisper… to feel His embrace… to know love… to experience peace.
Philippians 4 gives us a glimpse of walking in triumph as we remember to rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness. The Lord is near. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:4-7
Gratefulness is becoming a habit of necessity.
Gratefulness is a state of being, which I am learning to make a habit. It is a place where I can dwell in security because it opens the door beyond the promise of blessing straight to the One Who Is Blessed.
Gratefulness keeps me from the trap that discontent sets before my path. It delivers me from the fear that threatens to strangle joy from the moments in my day, making me miss the little things that really matter.
Gratefulness is found as we recognize the little things.
The little things which add up and build on the everyday living are easy to miss, yet they are the varied pieces of the quilt our life creates. Bound by gratefulness and hedged in by His handiwork, we are a masterpiece wrapped in Love. In this moment, we see glimpses of glory and our breath escapes to resound with reverence as our knees bend and our hearts bow.
From hearts that have been bent, gratefulness escapes.
I spent a bit of myself this summer writing about this heart that longs to be changed. He met and molded us as we journeyed together. I was reminded of that this last week, as I pondered whether or not writing here was worthwhile. I thought of the hearts that were fed, not by me but by the Father who longs to reach into your barren places and resurrect life. Again, gratefulness flowed over me as I drew near and allowed the words of other faithful wordsmiths cast their thoughts into my day.
The little things are counted large when grateful hearts are keeping track.
And then one day I received a note, and a gift, and a gentle hug from a friend who I have never actually met in person but have connected in spirit through this journey into grace I take each week to meet with you through this blog. It was not a big deal to her, but it was the necessary encouragement I needed that day, a reminder that the little things are being counted.
The little things mean so much in those moments when hearts break and lives are frayed. The gentle word, the sweet encouragement, the note that comes out of the blue, the call that you have been meaning to make, or the visit that has been long overdue… they all matter and bear a weight of significance. Don’t discount that nudge to invest in the trivial because they entreat a spirit of gratefulness and remind us of the beauty of fellowship, grace, and prayer. Ultimately, they remind us that though the small blessings seem insignificant, the intentional act of obedient encouragement is lofty and profound. In the moment when the trivial meets the trial, we are restored as we are remembered by God through one another.
A challenge to both receive and encourage gratefulness.
This week the challenge is two-fold. I want to encourage you to look for those little things that God has been sending your way, reminding you that He is near and close to your hearts showering you with so many blessings of hope and encouragement. Then I want to encourage you to reach out and touch another heart. Give something that may be small and insignificant to you, but could mean the world to someone else. Devote a little time to prayer over this subject and then quickly obey God when He shows you what to do.
I’d love it if you come back and tell me about your little acts of grateful encouragement! I am praying for you this week to be encouraged and lifted up by the power of His blessing and favor in your lives.
Linking up with sweet friends: