I’m thankful for….Me?

I admit, it was a little foreign to write it down on the paper leaf with the Bible verse on the other side that said “every good and perfect gift” came from Him.

But, at the same time, there was a quickening in me that just knew I had to.  Because I was fighting it again.

You see, we women, mothers, daughters, and sisters — it’s not that we don’t get selfish and sinful and self-obsessed and needy.

It’s just sometimes we think the gift we give is what we do, and that’s it.  And that the gifts we give can only be good if they are compared with other gifts and found to be more.  But the gift…it really is– who we are.  Beloved. Because knowing that you are a gift– remembering this– destroys these questions of worth that cycle me around like the laundry, spinning all the motivation and compassion right out. Because this:  I can only love, if I first know I am loved.  And He said it right there! “We love because He first loved us.”  And the liar is always roaming around looking to eat those words before they take root in me.

And is this the very problem with us?  How did the blushing of the cheeks when called beautiful and loved turn into a barricade of protection against that which would save me.  Acceptance.  Again the Gospel quiet shouts the simplest and most profound message.

And, if my Father is dancing over me– if it’s my name and your name engraved across the lines of his Mighty Hand;  If His banner over me is love– if His delight is in me…

Then, I am thankful, truly thankful…for me.

…And I hand her the pen, this daughter learning and watching like a hawk.  She writes it too, unblinking.

As a family we are writing our daily thanks each night at dinner!  On these leaves that we hang on our “thanksgiving tree”!  Great idea from Mrs. Voskamp!  Just copy the URL below and  paste it in your address bar to see and print for yourself!!

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/11/a-christian-family-thanksgiving-activity-the-thanks-giving-tree-free-printable/

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The Really Best Birthday Gift

She’s turning 10 today.  This amazing girl whose name means “grace”.  For weeks, we’ve schemed and planned, looked for “perfect” gifts.  But….

There’s this knowing inside of me that knows the gifts themselves won’t bring lasting satisfaction.  Because they’re not intended for that.

She’s thanked us for the presents and…

I’m thinking, there’s one more gift I really want to give her, to help her see, so that she’ll know the secret that doesn’t have to be hidden…  That it’s gratitude that keeps on helping us see all of God’s gifts.

She numbers her index card and counts the gifts…

She’d already forgotten some of them, just like me.  Forgetting what great grace I’ve been given, until I name it, write it down, and this smile just slips on.  Thanking Him for exactly what is, how it is, Who He is, who He’s made me– not this shell, but my “in-Christ-ness”.  Being present in the present with the Presence is the present!  This depth of treasure that is available to all who see the the Gift. It’s Him!  Grace Himself, the One who satisfies the hungry and thirsty, and keeps on satisfying, and keeps on giving more and more grace, because…”He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

And, it was right there on my daily verse this morning, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Looking for God (#2091 and 2092 on my gratitude list)

I was looking for Him.  Wondering how in the world I would find Him in washing the bedding, vacuuming the floors, mothering so messily.  I knew He was here, He is “I Am”.  So, it must be possible to find Him.  I prayed silently for godly order in us as I put things in their places.  Thought of God’s patience and unfathomable love toward us as I pondered how many times I’ve washed the same garments, only to have them get dirty and need the washing again.  I thanked Him that He knew I’d need the continual washing to be of any use.  Thanked Him that He wasn’t surprised.  That He had a process for these sorts of things.  I prayed for the people who wore the clothes and played with the toys I put away.  I wondered how much passion could be put into laundry, and school, and…anything.

As I enfolded the mattress with the sheet corner, I saw a 3×5 card.  It was one of the eight we made that Beth Moore encouraged us to write as she led us through a study of Queen Esther.  We learned about some of the specific challenges God’s women might face, and how God could be the One to hold them.

On one side it said, “It’s tough being a woman who can balance passion with patience.”

The corresponding scripture on the other side was where I found Him, (#2091 on the gratitude list), “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:18)

#2092- the folks who stopped to buy cold coffee from the 9 year old entrepeneur daughter in the wet grass with the rabbit cage table, and even gave a tip!  It made it all worth it for her!