Choose Gratitude

I’ve been reading about gratitude, which is appropriate for this time of year, I suppose. It’s interesting to see the contrast between those with a grateful, humble spirit and those with a sense of entitlement and a proud heart. The difference truly is an attitude of gratitude! Don’t get me wrong. I have been, and still can be, the biggest complainer of anybody! But I’m working on it, and believe me… It’s a process!!!

The song in my head this morning is Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman. I don’t know if it’s there because I’m grateful and thankful, or if all the reading and thinking about gratitude made me think of the song. Either way, it speaks to the heart of what I believe to be true. God is good, all the time! And I am so very grateful for every good and perfect gift that He sends from above.

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord

I love that phrase… “Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise.” Giving it all back to God is the one thing we can do to be a worshipper instead of a whiner… other-conscious instead of self-conscious. It’s the difference between being satisfied and discontent. It means having a full heart instead of a leaky heart that always needs more.

I much prefer to count (and re-count!) my blessings instead of my problems. We have all been around negative people, and wished that we weren’t! See, that’s the thing. Gratitude is contagious. Negativity is toxic.

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Practice gratitude. Just like practicing the piano or the violin or baseball or yoga, it’s the practicing that makes it better. Stronger. Let your heart choose to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”

CHOOSE GRATITUDE!!

Click here to listen to Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman.

Check out Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com

When You Least Expect It

Sometimes, I don’t know why a particular song is in my head when I wake up. That’s okay, though, because God is always showing me something through the music. Today is different. Today, I know why my spirit is flooded with music about grace, specifically Matt Redman’s Your Grace Finds Me.

It’s there on the mountain top
There in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace
Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
There from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

Grace found me yesterday, when I least expected it. I was minding my own business, sweeping my front walk, tending my ferns, hanging pictures back on the wall since the painting is finished. I missed a phone call in all the busy-ness. Grace left me a voicemail. One of those last-thing-I-expected-today kinds of things. It flat-out put me prostrate on my living room rug, praising God for his goodness and mercy.

See, just a couple of hours earlier, I had been blogging about how God’s love is like a Waterfall… A wall between us and the world, cooling and refreshing when we stand behind it. But standing in the middle of the waterfall of God’s love will knock us down with his overwhelming, all-consuming grace and mercy. And then Grace SHOWED UP!!

Like a sponge left on the sink, dried and cracked, my thirsty heart soaked it up. God’s love filled all the holes and cracks. His mercy soaked into every pore and cell of my heart. His Grace drenched my parched and thirsty heart, swelling it to the size and shape He planned for it to be from the beginning. The “every day and the mundane” gets in the way sometimes, if we let it. The sorrow of our days. The interruptions in our lives. They can dry that heart-sponge out again. But Grace is there!

It’s there in a newborn cry
There in the light of every sunrise
There in the shadows of this life

It’s there on the wedding day
There in the weeping by the gravesite
There in the very breath we breathe

It’s the same for the rich and poor
The same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world

I chose the featured image because it screams Grace to me. Beauty from ashes, flowers growing out of the stones, God cares for the smallest flower and he cares for me! Taken in Rabat, Morocco in October 2013.

Listen to Your Grace Finds Me by Matt Redman

Read Your Grace Finds Me from my post in May this year.

Your Grace Finds Me

I woke up this morning hearing “your grace finds me” singing in my head. I love that thought… That God’s grace finds ME. Not the other way around. Watch and listen to Matt Redman perform his song, Your Grace Finds Me.

There are so many other song lyrics and scripture verses floating in my head right now about God’s grace. Amazing grace how sweet the sound. Grace marvelous grace. But I love how Matt brings it down to the everyday living of our lives. The grace of God, the unmerited favor of The Lord of the universe, is there with me every moment of every day if I am His child.

My friend told me once that she uses the word grace as an acronym… God’s Richest At Christ’s Expense. I’ve never looked at this word the same since. I have the unmerited favor of God because Jesus gave His life for me. And He finds me. I don’t have to look for the grace of God… It’s there already in the “every day and the mundane.” It’s there in the laughter of my grandchildren, in this beautiful Spring we are having, in every morning I wake up with another song singing through my head. And, like the flowers blooming this Spring, I think the grace of God opens me up to all that God has to give. And if I accept His gift of grace, My spirit becomes more beautiful and fragrant.

Eph 2:7 says that God shows “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” It will take all of eternity to fathom God’s love, and those who are saved will never plumb the depths of it. Immeasurable. Eternal. Unfathomable. And I don’t even have to look for it or earn it or work for it… It’s there already!!!

Special thanks to Jesslyn Newhall for the featured image on this post.