Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Multiple Thanks

Dear Lord,

Thank You so much for the work that You are doing in my life.  To look back on each day, I have multiple instances that I can think of from which to choose a thankful thing to write about.  This is my 452nd thankful thing, and I still haven’t had a lack of new things for which to thank You.  You have given so many gifts to us, Your children, and I am overjoyed by Your love.

I consider yesterday - one of my more nastily painful days - and You still helped me to keep my focus and joy in You.  I had multiple thanks during the day, and while I did falter at various points in the day, You were faithful to answer my prayers to help me refocus on You.  Thank You, Lord, for Your Faithfulness.  I may not have enjoyed the pain, but I certainly enjoyed Your love in its midst.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Going to the Bathroom

Dear Lord,

I find it somewhat strange, and yet appropriate to find myself thankful for going to the bathroom.  It is, after all, a function You created.  It just isn’t something I talk much about.  I do, however, see a measure of Your mercy in my life through going to the bathroom.  When my digestive issues kick in, my only relief is going to the bathroom, and it’s generally difficult to do.  And so, today, I found myself quite thankful when the moment came on three occasions when I was able to go to the bathroom.

Thank You, Lord, that I can be thankful for something so basic.  I’m glad to no longer be under the presupposition that there is more merit in being thankful for something more grandiose or complicated.  To be thankful to You for the simple things is just as edifying to me and glorifying to You.  Thank You for that teaching, and for Your patience with me in teaching it.  I love You, Lord.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

24-Hour Automated Payment Systems

Dear Lord,

You know that I prefer to do pretty much everything online, but I am glad that, since an online system wasn’t available to pay my health insurance bill, You provided a 24-hour automated phone payment system.  I’ve been needing to get it done for awhile, and it seems that they’re not open when I finally remember, so I am very thankful that I was able to make my payment despite the absence of a real person.  Thank You for taking care of me, Lord, and I pray that I continue to look for Your care in my life.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Restart

Dear Lord,

In today’s technological age, I’m thankful that many of my technical issues can be solved by simply restarting.  Whether it’s my computer, my phone, or my internet, it’s the first go-to, and often solves the problem.  Which is great, since I’d be at a loss otherwise.  I know it’s a simple thing, but I’m glad it’s available, and that, in light of Your complete sovereignty, You orchestrated that little helpful trick.  Thank You, Lord.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

blurb.com

Dear Lord,

Thank You that when I started this venture, my sister pointed me to blurb.com.  It made it so easy to create a book out of my first 100 thankful things, and it will be even easier once I get a little time together to create my second book.  You know that I was a bit reticent to talk to people and find out what I needed to do and how to do it, but after researching blurb.com, I realized that I didn’t have to!  Everything was explained, easy, intuitive, and I didn’t have to talk to anyone!  I never would have thought that self-publishing would be so easy!

Thank You for the drive You created in me to put together My Thankful Beginning ~ A Shift in Focus, and I pray that You would bless many through it.  Thank You that blurb.com is now offering free ISBN’s, as well as the ability to list books on amazon.com as well, and I pray for Your wisdom in how and when I should utilize that.  Thank You, Lord, for blurb.com.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Practicing Your Presence

Psalm 16:11b
“In Your presence is fullness of joy…”

Dear Lord,

I love Your presence.  The more I “practice Your presence” - or intentionally keep Your presence in mind - the more I want to.  Knowing that You’re there, that You’re sovereign over this moment, that You have my good (and Your glory!) in mind, and that I can share each moment with You brings me great joy.  Thank You for my baptism through Your spirit, that I can die to my old self, and rise to walk in newness of life - with You!

Lord, keep me focused on You, and I thank You for the joy that brings.  You give so many gifts, and I am overcome with awe.  I just want to reach out and hug You… and then climb on Your lap and wrap Your arms around me… and just smile in Your joy.  Thank You, Lord, that, though I can certainly revel in the joy of Your presence, You also give me ways to serve You - through the power of Your Son.  Thank You for the choice You give me to follow You, and for Your encouragement in that “task.”  Thank You that, though I have nothing to offer, You gave me Your Holy Spirit who works through me to give offerings of service back to You.  You’re amazing!

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Knowing My Skills

Dear Lord,

I thank You that You have helped me to realize my skills.  Knowing what I am and am not good at is not only instrumental, but also a bit freeing, and makes it easier to say, “Yes,” or “No,” to requests.  For example, I’m not good at organizing people, but I am good at organizing tasks or things.  I’m good at routing calls, people, and things to where they need to go, but I’m not good at being the person with the final say.  I’m good at singing, writing, acting, dancing, and knitting.  I would not have known these things had I not tried them; thank You for the courage to try new things.

Thank You, Lord that I can put these skills to Your use.  I pray that You would continue to draw my focus to how I can use those talents for You.  I thank You, too, for the miracle that You can turn my knowledge on its head, and equip me out of the blue for Your calling, rather than calling me because I’m equipped.  Not that You always do this, certainly.  Bearing in mind Your power to do so, however, is a humbling thing that can keep me on my toes.  It encourages me to try a little something new every now and then, time and family allowing.  You keep things interesting!


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Statistics

Dear Lord,

I know that a lot of people find statistics boring, but when I’m perusing the statistics of my blog and Facebook page, it’s difficult not to be thankful for their helpful information.  I may not have tons of page views, clicks, shares, comments, and +1’s, but I do have some - and You have used those statistics to encourage me to continue.  It can be easy to start focusing on myself, and to consider the time it takes to post on my Facebook page, Twitter account, and each Google Community, but those statistics show me that You are, in fact, using those posts.  Thank You, Lord, for a way to see some feedback.

I pray for Your help not to focus on them so much that I start to place my hope in them rather than on You.  I do, however, thank You for the measure of accountability that they can create.  I pray for Your blessing on this blog, and that You would use it to minister in others’ lives.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dwelling

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Dear Lord,

Thank You for dwelling.  To be able to dwell on Your good gifts is such a blessing.  It takes my mind off of the bad things and helps me to look to You.  If I choose to dwell with a specific focus on You, it’s even better, because You overcome my feelings (even if not until later) and fill me with the joy of Your presence.  Thank You for the peace of knowing You.  Thank You for all that You have given us in Your Word upon which to dwell.  I pray that I would honor You and keep You on the throne of my heart, by keeping my thoughts centered on You.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"It's Okay, Mommy"

Dear Lord,

Thank You for the way that You work in little children.  My son is so cute!  I fell on my walk and bloodied my knee through my pants - not badly, thanks to You, but enough that I decided to put a bandaid on part of it.  When I got home later, my little man asked his daddy for a bandaid to put on a scratch on his foot.

“Mommy has a bandaid, too,” I told him and lifted my pant leg to reveal the bandaid (and a little blood beside it).

He stared at it for second, then looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s okay, Mommy.  It’s okay.”

I couldn’t help but crack up!  I realized that’s what I tell him when he gets an owie, and that he was most seriously trying to comfort me.  It was so precious.

Thank You that at his level of understanding, his little heart wanted to make sure that I knew it was okay.  I pray for Your work in his life, that You would continue to grow His heart in Your ways, and that he would learn why it’s okay.  I pray that He would turn to You and repent of his sin, and that we, his parents, would help guide him to You.  Thank You, Lord, for “It’s okay, Mommy.”


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Comp Time

Dear Lord,

Thank You that my job is flexible to allow me to make up or build up extra hours to cover lost hours or go home early.  It has been a blessing that alleviates a bit of the concern about earning enough money each month.  You work in so many ways and through so many things, and I have felt Your care through the ability to accrue “comp time.”

Lord, thank You so much for my job as a secretary for our church.  It is such a blessing in so many ways.  I pray for Your wisdom as we look to the future, and I pray for Your blessing on the people of our church.  May we continue to shine Your light.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Jesus Loves Me"

Dear Lord,

It’s one of the cutest things to hear my little man reciting the words to the song “Jesus Loves Me.”  It’s also a bit comforting to know that the words are in his head, even if he doesn’t really understand the meaning, yet.  That will come in Your own time.  Thank You for the song “Jesus Loves Me,” that it provides an easy way - that sticks - for my two-year-old to learn about You.

I find myself singing it now and then, too.  Even if it is intended to help children learn about You, it’s even a great reminder for adults.  It’s a two-fold reminder to me.  First, it’s a reminder that You love me, and second, it’s a reminder that I am to follow You with faith like a child.  It is to be my attitude that, in comparison with You, I am only a child.  That reminds me to be humble - because the reality is, that I am nothing next to You.  Thank You for Your love to reach down to me in the midst of that nothing and to then give me Your righteousness and Your strength to do Your will.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Lending of a Swimsuit

Dear Lord,

Thank You for my sweet friend, and the lending of a swimsuit.  Her generosity made up for my forgetfulness, and provided a way for me to enjoy the feel of the water’s “anti-gravity.”  My body has been complaining a bit more recently, and I could definitely see Your work through her in the lending of her only swimsuit.  Not only did I get to relax in the water, but I got to spend some much-desired hangout time with her - double-score!

Thank You, Lord, for such a friend, and for the relief You provided me through her.  I pray that I might be able to return the favor some day, and that it would be as obvious that I am showing Your love.  Thank You for Your work in me to sustain a focus on You throughout the day, and I pray for Your continued sustenance.  Lord, Your love is amazing!

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ruth's Chris

Dear Lord,

I don’t consider myself a food person… but that amazing steak at Ruth’s Chris was heaven in every bite!  Thank You for the opportunity to go to Ruth’s Chris!  My husband and I enjoyed it immensely; it was quite the rare treat!  Every time I took a bite, my mouth practically sent endorphins scurrying through my body in delight.  It was so good!

It was a rare treat, too, to enjoy their service.  It certainly isn’t every year that we go to a restaurant in which they scrape the crumbs off your table between plates.  We were asked by three different people - the server, and I’m assuming a manager and owner? - whether our food was to our satisfaction (most definitely!).  They topped it off by opening the door for us on the way out.  It was truly an evening of feeling special with my hubby.

Thank You, Lord, for a dinner at Ruth’s Chris.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Overnight Babysitting

Dear Lord,

Thank You so much for overnight babysitting.  The chance for my husband and me to get away together is fun and a bit exciting.  Not that I’d rather be away from my two-year-old, but we did enjoy a night away (together) for the first time since he was four months.  Thank You for that opportunity.  We know that our marriage is important not only to us, but to You, and we hold that in high regard.

I pray for those who are babysitting him that things would go smoothly - and in good fun, too!  I pray for his soul, Lord, that his name would be written in Your Book of Life, and that Your Name would be written on his heart.  Help us and those around him to model You clearly to him.  Thank You, too, that in Your sovereignty, You watch over Him.  I am privileged to put him in Your care.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Backyards

Dear Lord,

It was so fun today to get to hang with my little man in his grandparents’ backyard!  Its planned layout hasn’t yet been fully realized, but its making definite progress, and in any case - what does a little boy care as long as he can play?!  It doesn’t seem as though I get that opportunity very often without the feeling of something else pressing at me, yet today, I just got to play with my little man.

Thank You for backyards that we can enjoy - whether for playing or rest.  It seems that I got both (of a sort) today as I played with him.  I suppose my focus must have been in the right place - on You.  Thank You for that work in me lately.  Life is so much more joyous when You’re in the middle of it.  I pray that he had as much fun as I did.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Self-Adjustment

Dear Lord,

The way You take care of me is amazing.  Thank You for the gift of an unexpected self-adjustment.  As I lied in bed with my neck pain, I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to try to hold one of the exercises that I would ordinarily do in short sets.  I think I held it for five minutes against the resistance of the pillow.  The resulting sensations were a bit strange and uncomfortable, but I sustained the hold in determination.  Once finished, all I did was shift in bed, and my neck popped… so that it didn’t hurt anymore to just lie down.  Other movements hurt, but it no longer hurt to just rest.  That made going to sleep so much easier.

I haven’t been able to duplicate the adjustment, but that really just makes it clearer to me that You were involved.  I am all the more thankful that You allowed it at the time.  Thank You, Lord, for Your care in that self-adjustment.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Settlers of Catan

Dear Lord,

Thank You that we were able to play Settlers of Catan with our friends to just enjoy our time together.  The game provided a great medium for the occasion.  We’ve all been busy lately (they more than us), and it was nice to just hang out.  Thank You that You give us games to enjoy, and that we can enjoy them with one another.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Husband's Search for Needs

Dear Lord,

You have blessed me with a wonderful husband.  After our conversation in which I told him that it helped me to feel connected to him when we could do projects together, he suggested a bit of work on our tree’s runners.  I enjoyed getting to work beside him.  There wasn’t much I could support him in, aside from cutting up the branches and throwing them in the green waste, but it was something else that really communicated his love to me.

As we lopped off small branches with our shears, it became apparent to him that the shears needed to be sharpened… so he filed them (so much easier!).  As we continued our project, he noticed various other little projects about the yard that needed doing - and tended to them.  I felt provided for.  I felt loved.

Thank You, Lord, for my husband who searches for needs.

In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Memorization

Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:11
“Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”


Dear Lord,

Thank You that You teach us through Your Word, and that we can memorize it to mull it over throughout the day.  You have been cultivating a greater respect in my heart for the memorization of Scripture, and I have already seen some results.  If there is one thing that You have taught me in this walk with You, it’s that the best thing that I can do is to focus on You throughout the day.  Memorization aids this immensely, if I intentionally use the Scripture that I have memorized to meditate on You.

It’s exciting to come up with questions as I meditate on You.  Questions that I can research in Your Word, or ask through other people who have researched Your Word.  That curiosity is one of the ways in which I can keep my love for You real.  Thank You for that.  I pray that You continue to impress the importance of memorization on my wandering heart, and that I continue in the discipline.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pentatonix

Dear Lord,

You created me as a lover of music - of many kinds of music.  Music makes me smile, laugh, cry, and so much more.  I thank You for that - and for the enjoyable musical talents of Pentatonix.  They are incredibly talented and fun to listen to - and to try to emulate!  I love rocking out to their beats in my car on the way home from work.  Thank You for their inventiveness, and for the Christmas money with which I was able to purchase their albums.  Thank You, Lord, for giving me a means to enjoy Your gift of my love of music via my favorite a cappella group!


In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Appreciation

Dear Lord,

I thank You for the times when people express their appreciation.  Though I know that their appreciation should not be the reason for which I do what I do, it is certainly nice to receive.  I pray that You continue to keep my focus on You and on Your Word.  Help me to keep Colossians 3:23 in mind: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men[.]”  Thank You, though, for the icing on the cake.


In Jesus’ Name, amen.