I mentioned recently that one of my biggest temptations is to sprint: to go through life quickly competing for some elusive piece of perfection. Being unable to obtain that perfection gives me a terrible tendency to complain about everything from my circumstances to the way God works.
Romans 1:21 says “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (emphasis mine). I get stuck at this verse every time I read it for it answers such a huge question: What does God expect of me? Similarly, it answers the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. How can I enjoy God without intentional thanksgiving? How can I quit complaining without intentional thanksgiving?
I recently stumbled upon Ann Voskamp’s reflective blog. Ann and other member of her Gratitude Community, keep lists of the little blessings found in each day, the little moments where Jesus whispers “I love you.” And I shall join them, knowing that doing so will give me greater joy in Him.
1. warm fall days fit for walking slowly in conversation with one another
2. the contented smile that plays on Derek’s lips when he sees us after he comes home
3. circle skirts on a girl who still loves a good twirl
4. oatmeal cookies from a friend who knew I’d be hungry when I stopped by (dairy-free too!)
5. answered prayers of soothing when I needed a rest from a crying baby
6. my first smiles from both of the girls and the pure joy they elicited
7. pumpkins, their cheery orangeness, their tasty baked goods
8. snuggling with my warm husband as the nights cool off
9. a messy house reminding me that I’ve been spending more time loving in the moment than be concerned about appearances
10. excess to give away even if the money seems tight
11. provision: even when I’m not certain where it’ll come from
12. healthy crying babies wanting to be held close