Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gratitude Prayer by Nancy

I'm coming to the close of my gratitude project. I'm watching for ways to continue practicing what I've been learning. You have my permission to look at me funny when it seems I've forgotten to be grateful in all circumstances. If being subtle doesn't clue me in, please ask me if I'm grateful about whatever it is we're talking about.(Wonder if Dave's gonna read this entry?) :)

Here's a prayer written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss at the end of the 30 day gratitude project:

Father we are astounded at the depths to which You have reached down to redeem us. We don't have language to describe the amazing grace You continue to lavish upon us with the dawn of each new day. And now, at the first light of what we pray will be a new day in our relationship with You and others, we ask Your favor and blessing in the living of it. We need Your help, for apart from the redeeming sanctifying work of Christ for us and in us, we cannot begin to please You or live in accord with Your Word.

We have heard Your Spirit calling us to reject the bitter clutches of ingratitude and to embrace the manifold joys of thanks-giving. May Your call continue to resonate in our hearts. May the multitude of Your blessings never be lost on us but rather reflecting back as praises, poured like afuel onto our worship.

When the enemy comes against us, when emotions or life experiences insist that a joyful gratitude isn't possible, may You visit us with the life-giving strength of Your presence. When others misunderstand us or tell us we're living in denial, may we find sweet justification for our joy in the precepts of Your Word.

Father, we embark on this new chapter with great anticipation, sure of many lives that You intend to touch through our obedience, and also sure of many trials that You will trnsform into opportunities to bless us. Our desire is to reflect Your faithfulness, goodness, and grace through our grateful hearts and words. May You be glorified in us, in our gratitude.

We pray in the blessed name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to who we owe everything.

And one more thing - now and forever: Thank you, Lord.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009


Christmas Joys

Donating my 2000 Dodge Durango tomorrow to an organization that teaches kids to repair them and then auctions them to benefit the school.

Working through, with Dave, all the questions we've had about the timing of replacing my car. We really both sought to discern what, when and how we should go about it. For two years or more that was going on. We feel peace that we waited as long as we could and we are blessed with a car that we are so grateful for. So many details came together... Truly a joy and relief to us this Christmas!

Family arrives in town in just three short days. We miss them and can't wait to hug their necks, worship together, eat lots of food, put puzzles together, wrestle, watch football, play video games, watch movies and go on walks. We couldn't be more normal or simple when it comes to Christmas joys! I like that about us. :)

Reunions with friends passing through are possibility this Christmas Break too! Joy!

Very little in the way of an agenda this Christmas! Might even be daily grocery shopping just because I really don't know what will be happening from one day to the next. A little surprised to realize I'm actually joyful about that. I'm relaxing in my second half of life.

Stars are getting my attention this Christmas! I keep noticing them everywhere. Top of our tree... Outside when on the deck one night... On a few Christmas cards... Our church sanctuary... It has caught me off guard how much I keep really really noticing them. Like, stop a minute and take in their beauty kind of noticing them. I asked God the other day what that was about. I'm enjoying remembering that God has always been and will always be interested in providing us direction. This Christmas that is my deepest joy!

Dear Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Thank you for bringing our family so much joy this Christmas! May everyone reading this know joys both big and small with You and their loved ones this Christmas. May we notice those who need a little of our joy shared with them. May an increasingly grateful heart bring us joy throughout the whole year. Help us to have eyes to see all that we have to be grateful for and may we react with a desire to share your gifts to us with those placed in our path. Also, please give us brave hearts that are willing to walk new paths with you this coming year.

Merry Christmas, Lord.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Avoiding gratitude...

This morning I was coming up with other things to do besides my 30 day gratitude project.

So when I finally sat down, I asked the Lord, "Why was I avoiding You and this topic this morning?

This is what I wrote down next:

Is a Christian allowed to be disappointed or bummed out? (ponders for a moment) Yes. Evil, seperation and hate are negative and create negative responses. But we are not to stay stuck there. David models this in the Psalms. We are to recognize and circle back around to the goodness, togetherness and love that can be found in any relationship or circumstance because of God. This is full circle living. God is teaching me how to come around full circle. Hmmm...

Another honest question asked and answered. Just now I have realized that I hope that part of the purpose of this blog is for me to share with who ever reads this the value of honest questions put before the Lord. I think God really likes answering honest questions. He doesn't always do it quickly. It's mind blowing for me to think about the number of questions God answers.

More quotes from Choosing Gratitude:

The capacity to respond to adversity with faith and gratitude is not limited to spiritual "superheroes."

The question that came to her heart was: "Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?"

Anything that makes me need God is (ultimately, in the truest sense)a blessing.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Monday, December 07, 2009

Quotes from Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss


Gratitude is a lifestyle. A hard-fought, grace-infused, biblical lifestyle.

Is the gratitude that flows out of your life as abounding as the grace that has flowed into your life?

When we give out of gratitude to God, we cause gratitude to well up in others' hearts.

The higher our standard of living, the more discontented we become.

The grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment; it is the fruit of a thousand choices.

Ungrateful people tend to hold tightly to their rights.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Thought provoking huh? She's stepped on my toes. But, I must say she steps all over her own toes at the same time. This book is written in the midst of her own realizations of how much she has struggled with an ungrateful heart.

Words to be deeply encouraged by...

"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." Paul to the church in Colosse

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Random thoughts Sunday

Christmas tree is up. Memory lane is awesome. We've bought many of our ornaments on journeys to other lands.

Christmas music set up on

Counting the days till my brother Terry, sister-in-love Leah, CJ, Megan and Emily arrive on the 24th for a week!!!!

Jingle Bell *ell Tournament at UNT for Matt was great to see. I get now why he like to play Utlimate Frisbee so much. Fun game... fun group of kids to hang with... encouraging coach.

Really joyful about the gadget we put on our tree. All you do is touch this pretty metal snowflake and the whole thing lights up. If your feeling jealous right now I think my Dad found it at Target.

Wondering if the lights will make it up on the outside of the house. Signs of aging are occurring on a more regular basis. :)

I think I might finally have a title for a book and an outline of chapters. I'm giving myself 10 years to write it. Dave said I should give myself 4 months.

I'm thankful for the women who put so much effort into planning our Christmas Brunch at church. It was beautiful. I'm grateful for all the men who served at the tables. I'm grateful for Kim Hill. She's a great story teller and singer. She's good because she's talented. She's great because she's honest.

I love my church family.

This time of year I miss all the people I'm not going to be able to see this Christmas. They live in places like Colorado, California and Heaven. No dear ones in Colorado and California, you don't actually live in heaven. Close, but not. :)

Tonight we go to Dave's parents house to finish off the celebrations of his 44 years on earth! We haven't seen enough of them lately so it will be nice to have an evening together. Dave loves the cake I baked for him so it will be fun to share it with them too. I'm grateful we celebrate birthdays. It gives us a day to make sure we say the things we don't always remember to say out loud the rest of the year.

We checked out Baylor and Sam Houston State University over Thanksgiving break. So far Matt says Baylor is in the lead. Still planning to check out some more schools. I really love listening to Matt think through all this. I'm not longer shocked we're here. Not very interested in contemplating things like how fast the last year and a half went.

All for now.

May the rest of your December have enough time in it for some random thoughts. :)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Moving through to a New Normal

Earlier this fall a friend came over and she had with her a "Peace Packet". It's a collection of verses and wisdom about living in Peace with God.

One of the cards had showed a cycle on it that we all go through:







After you go through the acceptance stage you move back up to what becomes a new normal.

It might be a crisis of faith.

It might be a crisis related to circumstances.

I know this cycle pretty well. Always seems easier to identify in hindsight.

Today I saw it because I was feeling a bit depressed. When God is showing me something new, at the beginning of that there is a "oh my gosh that's awesome" reaction to light and truth. I really do hate stumbling around in the dark. But after that wears off some there is often a sadness that comes.

It is sad to realize how demanding and ungrateful your life has been. It's sad to know that recognizing the truth doesn't eliminate the process of dying that is always a part of God changing your life. I think there is even a part of me that's sad I can't change on my own. Oh my goodness.

Truly being a person who wants only what God wants and chooses thankfulness in all circumstances is not my current normal. I hope I'm in the process of accepting it as truth that I really do need to depend on the Lord to live by.

I'm getting help with this from some friends.

There is a family that lives in Southern California. All three of us, love all six of them very much. I got an email from the Mom telling me they are facing some very tough possibilities for their daughters health. Their daughter is eighteen. We've emailed, we've talked, we've prayed and I've watched their reactions on Facebook.

The post on the day before exploratory surgery and a three day wait for results: "Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Yep, that is what my friend is telling her circle of friends she's gonna do. You see its been her theme verse for quite some time now. She lives with MS. She is not bitter. She is beautiful. She is practiced up and knows how to live out this verse with her daughter and the rest of their family and friends. When we got off the phone the other night, I was truly amazed by her attitudes, thought processes and willingness to walk the thing out. It is a joy to be her friend and to see what trusting Christ can really do.

Are you at one of these stages in this cycle regarding something in your life? Gratefulness may truly be the fastest route to acceptance and then to a new normal found in trusting Christ.

Dear Lord,

Thanks for being patient and merciful with our ungrateful hearts. Thanks for opening our eyes to what is going on inside our minds and hearts. Help us to figure out what keeps us from trusting you and keeps us being ungrateful. Thank you for giving us the grace and mercy we need to be thankful in all circumstances. Apart from you we can truly do nothing.