Friday, January 1, 2016

Daily Gratitude Year 3-Day 365...something old and something new

Year 3-Day 365: Today, I am at the end of year three. 1095 days of gratitude! This year, I have learned a new lesson. Courage grows in a grateful heart.

Courage has been my "one little word " for the year. The bible is full of "fear not" statements. Some say there is one for every day of the year...I need to verify that...and which translations...but any way you slice it, the theme is recurring. That means it is important. Nike didn't invent "No fear"...they borrowed it from the good book!

Our Savior came so that we may have life and behave it more abundantly. Take courage...for this little blue planet is but a temporary home. It has its share of sorrows, but we can choose to live in the joy that comes from a grateful heart.

He breathed into us our "soul breath". He knows us by name and what we need. Sometimes, we have no idea what we need but he knows and provides. Our fearful little hearts can find hope in the good news that he has breathed life into us. When we inhale His grace and forgiveness...and exhale gratitude...we can find freedom in a hospital bed, in a prison cell or in our daily work. Our souls become light, no matter the chains we must bear.

I recently read that the Hebrew word "manna" is literally translated as "What is it?" The Israelites had never seen it before. They did not know what it was , yet they trusted the Hand of God to provide what they needed. They ate the sweet bread called manna daily for their 40 years in the desert and the blessing was new each morning. He was faithful. Always. He will continue to be faithful..."For I the Lord, do not change".

This life is fleeting. If was live long enough, we will suffer loss. Some losses redefines us. It takes courage to embrace pain and sadness...but if we do and open our hearts with gratitude...He pours his peace into our days and helps us through each one. Thankfulness is the key. Not casual prayers of thankfulness born out of habit...but eyes that see reasons for gratitude in the middle of the mess. A grateful heart is the key to surviving the really rough stuff. Courage grows in a grateful heart.

I challenge you to try it. The next time you are overwhelmed or fearful, pick up your gratitude shield. Tiny little things like toilets that makers with clean water...a car that runs, even if it is old...and a soft place to sleep. Take courage from these blessings.

Today...I decide to go one more year. Three may have been a great place to stop, but I am still learning to hear his voice through gratitude. It has changed my days...and at times, how I respond. I still mess up, pretty regularly. So, here we go for another round.

This is, also, my day to say "thank you" for your companionship, encouragement and affirmations. I always pray before I hit post. The days I feared it maybe came out wrong....someone always says it was just what they need to hear or ponder.

My "one little word "for next year is "vision". Let's see where He leads in 2016. Thank you for an amazing 2015 of growth through gratitude.

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