Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gratitude Unpacked

Driving into work this morning, I saw sunbeams streaming through broken clouds.  Have you seen that before?  Where it looks as though God is parting the sky to show you His glory?  It wasn't the first time I'd seen heavenward beauty, but it never ceases to amaze me.  I catch my breath and think, wow, I worship THAT God

It also got me thinking.  I am so grateful.  Of course I'm grateful for the big things with which God has unloaded His bounty in and on my life.  But I'm truly grateful for the small things too.  As I rounded the corners downtown and saw the sunlight reflected in towering glass buildings, I realized that, deeper still, more blessings underpin the smallest things for which I am grateful.  Here's some of that gratitude unpacked (and this is just what I came up with in five minutes using only blessings from this morning):

1.  I had an amazing cup of coffee. 
What's behind that ONE blessing?  My coffee maker and coffee grinder work.  I own them because I could afford them.  I turned them on because I am fortunate enough to have electricity, something millions of citizens worldwide don't have.  That electricity runs through a home which is safe and secure.  I had time to make it this morning because Bray helped out with the kids.  Five blessings hold up that one small item of gratitude. 

2.  I came up with a title for my second book. 
What's behind that ONE blessing? I thought of it in the shower which I used after my work out and many people don't have a hot shower in the morning with quiet around them that gives them time to think.  When I told Bray to get ready because I had a title for my second book, he asked, "what's the title for your first book?"  (Which I promptly told him.)  But it was also an underlying blessing because I have a darling husband that I can share my dreams with and who makes me laugh AND gives me some perspective.  I get to write the chapters for this second book idea on a computer - I have one at work and one at home. I get to attend a writers conference in July because we can afford to book a flight and hotel and get me there.  More blessings unpacked.

3.  I had a relaxing drive into work.
What's behind that ONE blessing?  It was relaxing in part because of that good coffee and hot shower, but also because I have a car.  One I never have to worry about turning over when I put the key in the ignition.  One that helps drown out the roadside noise.  I was able to listen to uplifting music on the way that was piped straight into my car for my ears.  I had that drive because I was going to work.  A job in a nice building with a lovely office where I do work that does not put my life or emotions at risk at any point.  Wow, think about all those blessings holding up that one small grateful thought. 

4.  I looked good en route. 
What's behind that ONE blessing? It's no news to regular readers that my weight fluctuates.  Some months I work out more than others and some months I eat more than others and I have about three dress sizes in my closet that reflect that fact (occasionally a fourth).  But I have all those clothes, in two closets, and am blessed beyond measure (and am constantly reminded to share those blessings).  I then put on skin creams and make up and brushed my teeth, all which cost money, in a well lit bathroom with plenty of towels and water.  I had three hysterical (funny not crying) children running around my feet that applied a little make up to themselves, yet I came out without one stain on me and incredibly happy that I have three little ones to run around my feet while I get ready.  I was able to go to boot camp this morning and work out so that I could get in better shape (and get into one of those smaller dress sizes)

5.  I have a fun lunch out planned with two of my dear girlfriends. 
What's behind that ONE blessing? I have a job where I can go out to lunch when I want to go.  I can purchase a meal at a restaurant.  But most importantly, I have a stable of incredibly smart, funny, gifted, supportive girlfriends.  I get to hang out with two wonderful ones today, but I got to see another one Tuesday night.  I see yet another one this weekend and a different one next weekend.  If that is not the biggest unpacked blessing of all, then I can't think of what is.  God has blessed me with mom friends, career friends, Godly friends, and all sorts of combinations of friends.  It restores my spirit each time I am with them.   

Psalm 147 - Praise the LORD.  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

Colossians 2 - So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Psalm 100 - Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Colossians 3 - Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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