gratitude living

them

For the first time I decided to forego the usual school pictures and tackle the job myself.  As I poured over the images in Lightroom, narrowing the choices to a few, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels in love with them again.

Them.

These two babes of mine. So grown, so mature. So special because they’re mine.

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children, a reward. – Psalm 127:3

Surely God is a giver to the unworthy, for what could I have done to deserve them?

Lord, I am so incredibly grateful.

And here are a few more beautiful things I’m thankful for this week:

  • bringing out the fall decorations
  • first week of school
  • lighting the candles at dinner again
  • completing and turning in my first assignment
  • hearing the high school marching band practicing (from a half mile away)
  • moisture in the air carrying the sounds afar

May the joy of experiencing one beautiful thing be yours this week.

In hope,
Shelli

Today I am joining Brooke and sharing One Beautiful Thing in my life.

how to enter His gates

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. – Psalm 100:4

Oh, how many times have I gone to the Lord in prayer and burst straight into my concerns and desires? My eyes are focused on me, not Him. I pour out my wants before I bow in worship!

And then I catch myself, stop dead in my prayer tracks, and sigh in repentance. I remember my place. Yes, He is my Abba, my Father who loves me and delights when I run to Him. But He is also Lord, Yahweh, Elohim. He is worthy of my humble adoration, a contrite spirit, and penitent heart.

In that instant of remembrance, my words turn to praise and thanksgiving. For it is in praise that I acknowledge His worthiness; it is in thanksgiving that I demonstrate my delight in Him. I thank Him for who He is, and for what He has already given. He knows the requests of my heart before I even speak them, so there is no need to rush to spill them out. First, I must enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise.

What a blessing it is to always notice the big and little gifts that God gives. I’m continuing to notice them and giving thanks to God for each of them.

  • conversation with my girl; seeing God working in her
  • football game and marching band
  • basement tidied up
  • back-to-school shopping date night with my son
  • him driving
  • my girl making chocolate chip cookies that are as good as her dad’s
  • news of a wedding engagement

In hope,
Shelli

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience
as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.

 

another week of gifts :: and it’s okay to be quiet

Another week full of blessings. Another week of gifts to thank God for.

  • my boy making a hard decision; knowing the relief he felt when it was settled
  • lots of white space on the calendar this fall
  • the fourth store – the one that had one pair left of the exact gym shoes my girl wanted
  • an evening at the fair
  • cow noses – they’re pretty cute even if they are all slobbery
  • a couple of perfect weather days in a row
  • everyone pitching in to clean the house
  • completing a photo album project with my mom
  • my boy asking me to join him for a run
  • sending him out to run some more because a run with mom isn’t much of a workout for him ;)
  • a beautiful foot-washing service
  • looking up at the stars

I know it’s short and sweet this week, my friends. I don’t have any words ready to spill here today, and I don’t want to speak just to hear myself talk (or write to see myself read, as the case may be). Perhaps that is my encouragement for you today as well: it’s okay to be quiet, to hold words in a little longer and let them flesh out a bit before pouring them out.

Blessings to you and may you find much in which to be grateful this week. Give Him thanks!

In hope,
Shelli

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.

noticing the gifts with joy

What splendid joy is felt when noticing the gifts from God. What glorious honor is given when He is abundantly thanked.

Sharing a few of the gifts I noticed this week:

  • a vase full of flowers
  • celebrating 19 years of marriage to my man
  • an evening at the beach
  • my course books arriving
  • back-to-school shopping
  • old gift card finally spent
  • daughter as giddy over office supplies as I’m apt to be
  • heavy, soaking rain
  • cooler temps, open windows
  • lots of time to read
  • a new potted plant

To the glory of God I give thanks.

In hope,
Shelli

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.

because it’s the noticing that counts

I haven’t counted in ages. No numbering. No writing down. God’s gracious gifts have assuredly not ceased. Nor have I stopped noticing. I see them numerous times each day. Some are as common and anticipated as my morning breakfast shake. Some, though repeated again and again, never get old, like my daughter’s hugs and the setting sun. Some make me laugh. Some make me sigh contentedly. Some take me by surprise. Some are sheer delight.

So why not count them? 

When I began my gratitude list nearly three years ago, the counting was crucial. It was the counting that caused me to notice, to really see what my eyes had always overlooked. One grew to ten, ten to twenty, twenty to two hundred. With each gift added to the list, my gratitude increased. I cherish the list as I cherish the gifts, for the numbered list was a simple, yet life-changing, tool used by God to give me new eyes to see and a new heart to praise Him.

I began as a counter of gifts, and became a woman of gratitude. The list itself is no longer necessary, for in noticing, I lost count.

Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles. – Maltbie D. Babcock

Though the counting has ceased, the noticing never will. So while you’ll no longer see formal numbers, it is my delight to continue to share with you just a few gifts for which I’ve given thanks to Him.

  • wildflowers on the side of the road
  • our church bells chiming the hours
  • the whimpers of a dreaming pup
  • my girl and I beginning the fourth book in the life of Ann Shirley
  • sweet corn from our own garden – we got enough for one meal ;)
  • more tomatoes ripening than we’ll know what to do with
  • already making plans for next year to grow more corn and fewer tomatoes
  • hard laughing – the kind that makes your sides hurt

I know for many, my gratitude list has been an anticipated, weekly glimpse into my life. I hope it has also inspired your own noticing, your own thanksgiving.

All praise, honor, thanksgiving, and glory be to God.

In hope,
Shelli

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience
as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.