Monday, February 21, 2011

A Thankful Challenge

A few days ago I began reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Every now and then a book comes into your possession that changes your life. This is one of those books. Written like poetry in motion, Ann, brings light to giving thanks. Simply giving thanks. I have yet to write my review, but as you can see, it will be a great review.  This is one of those books you take slowly and let the words sit upon your tongue like sweet honey. I am highlighting and going back to read over words that are just so powerful. Powerful, but yet simple.

I answered yes to Christ eighteen years ago. The question is, "How many times do I say no to Him?" Being a Christian is not about no, but all about yes. Part of that yes comes from being totally thankful. In Ann's book she is taking a challenge of writing down 1000 things she is thankful for. Each day she adds to her list. I think this is so powerful and life changing for us as Christians. It takes our eyes off of what isn't and places them on what is.

I have been carrying around a little leather journal in my purse and now I know just what I am to do with it. I am going to begin my list of thanks. I am going to keep that journal with me and each day when something touches my heart, makes me smile or invites me to think I am going to write it down. Taking note of God's goodness. Being thankful is an invitation to dine with Jesus daily. I love that about Him.

Too many times I wake up and the first thing out of my mouth is, "Gosh, that was a horrible night of sleep." First thing? Shouldn't the first words of my mouth be of thanks? I sure wasn't on a dirty floor sleeping. I was tucked in warm. As I slept my family was just down the hall. I had Daisy's warmth and my husband's soft touch. So many things to be thankful for. Too many times we just don't speak our thanks. For me, I think writing it down means even more. It is me taking the time to focus on the beauty around me which in turn allows me to clearly see the workings of God.

If you haven't picked up this book I encourage you to do so. It is a powerful read that will set your heart in a new direction. This just might be one of those books I simply carry with me. You know, I am known to carry a few books in my bag at all times. LOL Why not? Why not keep with us those very things that make us think and make our eyes turn away from ourselves into the presence of God?

A few months ago, a friend, Shawn Boreta, really inspired me to begin a new blog of thanks. Nothing else, but giving thanks. Simply Robin is just that. Simply me, giving thanks to a God who is forever trying to get my attention and bring me closer to Him.

I think I am finally really getting it. Don't you love it when God opens your eyes to something new? Something He has been trying to get you to see for a long time? The more I uncover the more God unfolds for me. How do I uncover it? By simply looking. By seeking Him more. The more I seek Him the more He will uncover things for me to see fully.  It is just letting go of all the nonsense in life. Opening up my heart to all He has for and just being the woman He is creating me to be. In giving thanks continually throughout the day I am giving praise. I am living in worship. I am bowing to the Holy One who lives in me. Giving thanks is powerful beyond words really. I can speak all day that I am a Christian. That I am a follower of Christ, but if my life is not showing it my words mean nothing. If my heart is not thankful in all can I really be of Christ? We complain so very much. In complaining we make everything about us. No matter what we are complaining about we really make it about us. Why? Well, whatever is making us complain is not making us happy. Well, what if we totally changed our attitude and sought out thankfulness in each and every thing? In doing so we tend to see the bright side of all. In seeing the bright side we give light to God. We give Him room to shine.

I hope you will join me in beginning a new journey of thanks. Last night I found myself thankful for the tender glow of the moon. The glimmer of the stars and the cool underside of my pillow. Things we take for granted each and every day. For me, it is time to live out loud what I am thankful for. I want to celebrate Christ through living a life filled with purpose and thanks.

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Philippians 3:1

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I wills say, rejoice." Philippians 4:4

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

A thankful heart is a prayerful heart!!
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