This has been a tough week. A week full of sickness, challenge, emotionally draining parental moments, financial worries has left me drained. I am exhausted, discouraged and feeling anything but grateful. I am a wreck, BUT I know that this is just a feeling. God's Word reminds me " But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Cor. 4:7-10) These promises are what I cling to and know that things are different than what they appear to be, and my safety and security is in Jesus!!!
So to combat my anxiety, sadness, "stinkin' thinkin'" and poor pitiful me "party" I am going to share gratitude. Thank you for your grace as I "catch up" on my gratitude journaling.
Day 7: "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14. Knowing that I am wonderfully made is quite a difficult thing for me to still grasp. I look into the mirror and EVEN in spite of a 100 pound loss I see a woman that is "short. round. brown. plain.". I think that I will always be a fat, flabby, wrinkly, graying, plain-looking woman. Quite often it's difficult for me to find anything "extraordinary" about me. Other people are more beautiful, talented, creative, intelligent and charismatic. This is a character defect of mine. I struggle with the thief known as comparison. So this day I will celebrate that God uniquely, wonderfully and fearfully knit together ever part of who I am. This day I will take joy in the fact that I AM the best Janelle Flint that could ever be, I'm the only Janelle Morgan Flint that could ever be and that God makes no mistakes.
Day 8: 1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! " I'm a woman. I'm a wife, mother, sister, friend. I'm a college graduate. I'm a musician. NONE of those are as important though as being known as a child of GOD!!! Thank you Lord. This day I will celebrate and meditate on God's love to adopt me as His own and to lavish His good love upon me.
Day 9: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 All things. Every thing. The "good". The "bad". The hard, challenging and upsetting things. The things that make me laugh. The things that make me cry. The things that cause my heart to grieve so much that I can barely breathe. ALL of these things are used by God. This day I will be thankful that God has called me for HIS purpose and so I can rest in the fact that no hurt, no tear, no pain will be wasted.
TODAY.....Day 10: "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:4-5 This verse is hard for me. I had to read a commentary on it to "get" it. Now that I have a bit better understanding of this Scripture I love it even more. I've been working hard to lose weight the last two years. I've had to basically change my lifestyle and learn what foods are true sources of fuel for my body and which foods are just fun/pointless. Yes God created white powered donuts, but they sure don't fuel my body like salmon and broccoli. I am thankful though that as Scripture reminds me that food is clean. God made food for me to eat and enjoy. I can eat meat and not feel badly about it. Now maybe I should feel badly about the half a bag of chips I devoured today. ;-)
I'm learning. I'm growing. I'm changing and praying that God will continue to cultivate within me a heart of gratitude!!!