Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goodbye Numbness-I am Alive!

So many of you have already heard me go on and on about my new favorite book One Thousand Gifts by my new favorite author, Ann Voskamp. But I really cannot say enough about how God is using this book to help put everything into focus for me.

When I say everything I mean, my relationship with my husband, my role in our home, my relationship with my kids, and even this blog but it's all more clear because I have a deeper understanding of my most important relationship in Christ.

Sure, I'm a Christian of five years and sure I know how I should love and treat my family and how I should act. Let's face it though ladies, people (especially those we live with) are not always so lovable (and often times neither are we). And sure we're taught as Christians to love one another as Christ loves us (John 13:34), not to return evil for evil (Romans 12:17), and God has a good purpose for all things (Romans 8:28) but how do we practically apply all that knowledge of scripture?

Ann goes into great detail how God taught her the art of giving thanks. He led her to a place where she now gives thanks for 1000 daily gifts, big and small, from how the sun glistens on a soap bubble in the sink to the smile of a child.

Since reading the book I started pondering what is it I want, long for, yearn for, what is it I feel I'm missing? On a rare occasion when I was alone, driving to the grocery store on an emergency milk expedition, God revealed this to me... Numbness. I don't want to feel numb.

One of my greatest fears is to wake up one morning feeling as if I never took it all in, this life that is, and with it all the experiences and gifts that God gives. I don't want to waste this life God's blessed me with by focusing on what I don't have but instead giving Him thanks for what I do have.

I want to use this life to glorify Him more, to bring joy and love into the lives of my husband, my kids, and all who God places in my path. I want to take time to just sit and watch how a toddler marvels at a butterfly, or how a ten year old burrows his eyebrows low and sticks his tongue out during an intense Wii battle, or how my husband's face lights up when he comes into the room and sees me and the kids playing together.

The bottom line here, and point to my ramblings, is I don't want to miss God's gifts, His good and perfect gifts in ALL this life offers. All means just that...even when my husband shows his irritation AGAIN, or when my son forgets to make his bed AGAIN, or when the baby torments the cat AGAIN, or when I lose my cool towards the kids AGAIN... I can make the choice to give thanks even in those circumstances! And yes girls, it IS a choice. A choice that God backs you up on if you're willing to trust Him and to wait on Him. (Dt 31:8)

Psalm 33:20

We WAIT in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

So far in giving thanks, I have learned it takes my focus off the negative and instead the light of all the positive shines through. I can take even life's frustrations and stop and say "Thank you Lord. Although this situation is hard, I know it is here for a reason and you are allowing it in my life to strengthen my faith in you. What will you have me to learn from it? How can I glorify you through it it Lord?" Wow, what a difference this has made in my attitude towards my husband and kids! It allows me to set that peaceful tone in our home that I keep saying I want more of. Finally, I am learning it all starts with giving thanks to the Lord.

Will YOU thank the the Lord and start today by making a list of ALL the good gifts He's blessed you with today? As we approach Easter and ponder Christ's death, burial and Resurrection, I think we can safely say He is trustworthy, He loves us and He is faithful!

Have a blessed day everyone and start counting! :)

Visit Women Living Well Wednesdays, Ann Voskamp's site for Walk With Him Wednesdays and Internet Cafe Devotions for Word Filled Wednesdays


Alida said...

I am reading Ann's book too... it really is eye opening and thought provoking.

Em and Lib said...

I am reading the book as well - and 100% with you! I want to LIVE. not just exist, but actually thrive where HE's put me.
Praying for grace and love everyday to accomplish this work of a lifetime!BLessings!

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad to have found your blog...I really need to work on giving thanks daily. I focus so much on the day-to-day, that I miss what it all really means in the first place. Thanks for the reminder!

Simple Midwest Mom said...

Oh Jennifer I know, it's so easy to get caught up in just surviving but Iknow God intended more for me, for you. Have you read Ann's book? Seeing the place where God took her to where she is now in giving thanks is encouraging because her thoughts and feelings towards God for most of her life were a lot like many of us. Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by!

Stacy said...

You should join a blogger book review site, then you can get free books for posting reviews about them. You do such a great job sharing about the book and your experience with them. Let me know if you are interested, I've done several.

Lindsey Stipes said...

what a great post...going to have to check out that book!! New follower here and so neat to connect with other christian moms through blogs. Have a blessed day!!

Christina said...

I've read the book twice now, and the blog for a couple of years and I wholeheartedly agree with you. (I have to keep reading it because I am so apt to complaining rather than gratitude:) God has blessed us in so many ways--we can count forever. Thanks for sharing and blessings to your family.