Thursday, January 10, 2013



Gratitude: learning to recognize and express appreciation for the benefits we have received from God and others.

I used to foolishly think that the older and more mature I got, the less I would be bound to the chains of ingratitude and comparison. I'm quickly learning that it's quite the opposite. Being a wife, having a child, and dealing with big-girl things like homes and careers has only made it more difficult to be truly thankful in every circumstance. I'm certain that most women will agree that comparison almost always stands in the way of joy. As a christian, I study Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 and long to be an honorable wife, gracious mother, and diligent homemaker. God created me to desire those things and by His grace I am able to do so, but I so easily get caught in the mess of comparison and ingratitude.

I'm finding that there will always be women in my life who seem to be the perfect wife, mother, homemaker, fashionista, even Christian. Causing me to feel ungrateful for what I have and ashamed of who I am (or who I'm not). Things like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. don't help either. I got into such a terrible habit last year of focusing on what others had that I was rarely grateful (or completely oblivious to) the blessings in my own life. I also noticed a tendency to feel entitled to certain if I deserved comfort. Christ really convicted me of that and I found that the only answer to my problem is a life full of gratitude. And what perfect timing with a big move and the beginning of the new year :)

I've been reading through "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and it has been so helpful in encouraging my process towards a thankful heart. I've learned that gratitude isn't an overnight fix. It takes living each day intentionally and making the effort to see every blessing as something I don't deserve. And above all being constantly grateful for my debt that was paid on the cross. Because when I see myself as undeserving, my perspective totally changes. All of the sudden every little complaint like a tiny kitchen, one car, and a tight budget is shown in a different light. Nancy put it perfectly when she said:

"This is where Christian gratitude begins to rise above every other form of gratitude. Being humbly thankful to God for our salvation--the most undeserved transaction in our personal history--is the starting point for the purest form of gratitude: God-ward, Christ-centered gratitude."

I desire to be easily contented and humble--always remembering that Christ willingly saved me when I gave him no reason to. "There is no way we could ever repay Him for such amazing grace. There is only one response that even begins to measure its worth--a thankful heart, expressed in both word and deed...When we consider the love of Christ, His incomparable sacrifice, and His gift of full redemption, sealed and secured forever, how can we let a single day pass without "giving thanks to the Father?"

In order to create a thankful heart, I need to immerse myself in gratitude each day. I'm going to write down 5 things I'm thankful for before I even get out of bed--starting the day counting my blessings. I will be aware of blessings from others and voice my gratitude (even things like a helpful employee or just a friendly note to let a person know I'm thankful for them). And every time I catch myself complaining, I will write down what I'm thankful for instead--even if I have to force my pen to the paper.

I was joking with a friend the other day that the last time we moved from Omaha to Lincoln we didn't even zip our suitcases before we hit the road. We were SO ready to get out. Being back in Omaha has brought a lot of fear, discontent, and discomfort into my life. I'm out of my element, I have few friends here, and we're still living out of boxes because it takes FOREVER to unpack with a baby. But I will never find joy if I focus on these things. I'm ready for a life of gratitude and I'm excited to see how the Lord is going to radically change my life through it. I'll end with this pledge that was written by Russell Kelfer:

"Having been born into the kingdom of God, I do hereby acknowledge that God's purchase of my life included all the rights and control of that life for all eternity.

I do further acknowledge that He has not guaranteed me to be free from pain or to have success or prosperity. He has not guaranteed me perfect health. He has not guaranteed me perfect parents. He has not guaranteed me perfect children. He has not guaranteed me the absence of pressures, trials, misunderstandings, or persecution.

What He has promised me is eternal life. What He has promised me is abundant life. What He has promised me is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, and self-control. He has given me all of Himself in exchange for the rights to my life.

Therefore I acknowledge this day the relinquishment of all my rights and expectations, and humbly ask Him by His grace to replace these with a grateful spirit, for whatever in His wisdom He deems to allow for my life."

Signed, J.


A Simple Homemaker said...

You write so beautifully. I'd love to join you and be accountable together with this!

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