#3: The Glad Game.

It’s pretty easy to feel thankful for having an wonderful family, serving a wonderful God, living a wonderful life… but sometimes we need to remember WHY it’s wonderful. Particularly the things that are easy to complain about.

It rained all day.

Rain+nice clothes+presentations+long walks on campus… it was not beautiful. There were lots of frowny people today. So today I played the glad game.

The glad game is something I learned from the movie Pollyanna (made in the 60s… cute movie). Essentially you take what is perceived as bad and make it glad.

So today I am thankful for the rain. Thankful because I know that rain is a blessing from God that can be often forgot until famine strikes. I take my gratitude for rain and use it to pray for those with out. My heart goes out to Somalia which is still suffering from hunger after a severe drought which climaxed in 2011.

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#2: Rest.

One thing I really struggle with is not resting. Yet, that is one of God’s commandments. He created rest on the 7th day “On the Seventh day He [God] rested”–Genesis 2:2.

I try to take Sundays from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday as my day of rest. Sometimes, because of my shifts, it’s just Sunday worship in the morning til after youth group that evening. I’ve heard a lot of emphasis put recently on the Sabbath… that it should be out of our rest that we work, not the burn out of work that we rest.

This week is crazy busy regarding school. I am so thankful for the rest I had on Sunday. It was a wonderful morning of worship and church with Stephen, lunch with my family, games with them, and shopping with the Crossroads Student Ministry. This is how I celebrated the Sabbath yesterday. All of which I am incredibly thankful for. Those are the things that energize me.

I remember a number of months ago lying down in complete physical and emotional exhaustion and asking God to give me peace and rest. Instantly I saw him on the cross, looking down on me, saying “I already have.”

The story of the 7th day in Genesis continues on in verse three to say that “God blessed the Seventh day and made it holy.” Not only is rest holy, but it is blessed and we are blessed through it.

Yesterday I felt that blessing. And it continues on into the week, as we continue in the Spirit of the Sabbath, in the blessing, in the rest, in the hands of God. He’s given us rest and it is holy, we need only take it.

No doubt I have a long ways to go in learning to accept, use, and enact this blessing of God. But may I begin it with gratitude. And to initiate my original plan of saying how I will USE the gift to bless others–simply this: I acknowledge that I cannot bless others with the love and patience and grace of the Lord if I have not rested myself. I cannot give to Jesus nor to others my very best if I have not rested.

“Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy”–Exodus 20:8

To Cultivate a Graceful Attitude

Graceful Attitude–Gratitude. While everyone was doing their 30 days of Thankfulness last month I am starting this month. I am challenging myself to find a new thing I am thankful for as long as possible. I find that I must spend time reflecting on God in writing–it is my exhortation of praise. This year I want to focus on how God has blessed me.

I have one fundamental belief about God’s blessings: they were not meant for us, but to be shared. When we are blessed, we are meant to be God’s stewards of this gift. How will we cultivate this blessing? How will we share it? Use it? We were never meant to hoard our gifts in the ground such as in the parable Jesus told.

Today I start on the Sabbath. A break from working. So I am incredible thankful for the joys that Sundays bring. This particular Sunday I’m fairly convinced is the day that one year ago I met my love, Stephen. (He will argue that it was a month ago… But I’m more right.) Regardless of if this is the actual day, today is the day I will celebrate that.

I am ridiculously thankful that some impulse inside me whispered to God that I did want to know what it felt like to fall in love–and at first sight at that. He waited until I’d forgotten that prayer to playfully toss me head over heels in love with Stephen the day he introduced himself to me. Deny it I would, but not for long.

And over the course of the year I’ve learned many things about love. My love for Stephen, my love for God, my love for everyone else. I’m thankfulf for that. And I can’t wait to keep loving on people.

I am truly blessed in that, and I am also incredibly thankful to be needing to meet him at Crossroads in just a moment (though, per usual, we will both be late…).

And in the spirit of the Sabbath, of not working, of praising God. This is my rough draft praise that will not be edited (writing is joy, editing is work) and thus what you see is what you get.

With great love for my first love JESUS and my second love Stephen, and lots and lots of overflowing love for the rest of everyone else! I am so thankful for the life I’ve been given. And having been blessed with love, I must share it! And I’m off to praise my Lord!!!!

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