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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Counting Blessings and it's Not Even Thanksgiving

This is how my morning started:
  • 6:45 - Why do I have to slide the unlock bar on my iPhone to make my alarm go off
  • 6:48 - My room is too cold
  • 6:51 - Not happy about unpacking my winter clothes to get dressed
  • 6:55 - Ugh I feel like this basket of unfolded laundry is judging me
  • 6:56 - Why the heck is my forehead broken out
  • 6:57 - This face wash is crap
  • 6:59 - Which purse did I leave my mascara in
  • 7:03 - Didn't I just buy bobby pins
  • 7:05 - I don't have any shoes to wear with this outfit 
  • 7:10 - Who the heck moved my vegan butter
  • 7:20 - I shouldn't have ate that bagel, that was a bad life choice
  • 7:25 - Ugh why do I have devotions today, I have nothing planned
Seriously I was up for all of forty minutes and already had this long list of complaints. And all of my complaints are what I like to refer to as first world problems. If you are unfamiliar with that term, I highly recommend watching the video below (even if you are, I still recommend watching it). I've realized that even though being a complainer is my least favorite quality in people (yes even more than people who are rude to waiters), I do it a lot. It's like my natural tendency is to complain. And the truth is complaining about things is really just another way to say that I'm ungrateful (that is not an original thought, my best friend's mom actually told me that and I have to agree). Really I could rephrase my list to say this:
  • 6:45 - Not thankful that I have an iPhone or any cellphone
  • 6:48 - Not thankful that I have a house to sleep in 
  • 6:51 - Not thankful that I have warmer clothes to wear
  • 6:55 - Not thankful that I have an abundace of clothing
  • 6:56 - Not thankful that my overall health is good
  • 6:57 - Not thankful that I have products (and water for that matter) to clean myself with
  • 6:59 - Not thankful that I have multiple handbags
  • 7:03 - Not thankful that I have extra money to spend on something so trivial
  • 7:05 - Not thankful for the fact that I have shoes <insert mulitple pairs> to wear
  • 7:10 - Not thankful that I have a refigerator to put my vegan butter in 
  • 7:20 - Not thankful that I have food to eat
  • 7:25 - Not thankful that I live in a country where I can freely talk about Jesus
 My day turned around when I did my devotional on a chapter from the book The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith. In this particular chapter, Smith is talking about how God is trustworthy. Smith makes several great points about how God's character proves that He is trustworthy, and I highly recommend reading this book if that is something you want to hear more about. But the part that stuck out to me, and what got to me most was the correlation he drew between me trusting God and being grateful. The author writes
"Jesus was able to trust God because He found God to be bountiful in His provision. Jesus was keenly aware of the goodness of God because God had been with Him every day, blessing Him, and all the He did. That is why he continued to trust God even in the final, awful moments. In order to withstand discouraging circumstances, we need to develop a clear sense that God is out for our good. We can do this by increasingly becoming aware of the blessings that attend our every moment." 
I realized, that this morning, I was not at all aware of His many blessings. And as someone who claims to have a relationship with Jesus, that's a problem. So what to do. Well at the end of the chapter, the author called us to "count our blessings" by making a list of all of them. Ok not all of them, because you would never have enough pen or paper to do that. But he suggested trying to write down the things that we take for granted and forget to thank God for. I took about ten minutes to write down a list of all the blessings I have in my life, here's about a quater of what I wrote:
  • shoes 
  • frozen grapes
  • having a freezer to freeze said grapes
  • having grandparents that are still alive
  • being disease free
  • clean water 
  • ears to hear music
  • God's divine plan
  • dreams - day or night
  • hair on my head (seriously how many times do I complain about my hair, but forget that someone going through chemo would be happy to have it)
  • the feeling of butterflies in my stomach
  • being able to read (did you know that in the world today there are about 1 billion non-literate adults)
  •  Mexican food
  • Greek food
  • FETA!!!
  •  taste-buds in general
  • freckles (I think they're beautiful) 
  • second chances
  • Google (without it, I would see how very little I actually know)
  • the smell of fresh mowed grass
  • divine appointments
  • fireworks
  • airplanes
  • strawberry lemonade 
  • deep meaningful conversations
  • the imagination of a child
  • how clean cotton sheets feel
  • various tones and pitches to people's voices (what if we all talked in the same mono-tone voice??)
  • indoor plumbing
  • baby sneezes (they are so darn cute)
  • tampons (I know TMI but seriously once a month my life would suck without them)
  • phones
  • internet 
  • Steve Jobs
  • crayons (maybe not as high tech but still one of my favorite things)
  • the feeling of hope
  • eyes (the ability to see and just eyes in general, they are my favorite feature on people)
  • how it feels to hold someone's hand
  • Liam Neeson's voice <3 
  •  fluffy pillows
  • the color pink
  • my own bible (crazy to think that in some countries owning one is illegal and a rarity)
  • how it feels to rock a baby
  • razors (I thought about that one while I was reading the Hunger Games)
  • parents who love me unconditionally
  • cream cheese frosting
  • prayer 
  • being greeted by my dog  (he is always happy to see me)
  • laughing
  • my memory (not every thing I remember is good, but I'm still glad to have it. I mean how else would I quote movies insistently?) 
  • flowers
  • beauty marks
  • puppy dreams
  • movies
  • can openers
  • encouragement
  • artists
  • God's presence
  • roller coasters
  • sunsets
  • skittles
  • the ability to heal 
I have a question posted above my desk that says "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday." Well at least I know that I would wake up tomorrow with frozen grapes, freckles, and indoor pumbling (and the myriad of other things I wrote down). Seriously though, I realized today that I don't want to just be a grateful person because my calendar tells me it's time to give thanks again. I want to give thanks for the many blessings in my life on a daily basis. So here's to being more grateful. I really enjoyed making this list, I hope you enjoyed reading about it! Oh and here is the video I me it's worth watching!

1 comment:

  1. Loved it...As always. Plus I need a reminder evrry once in a while to be grateful!