"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20 (my emphisis)
I began The List the other morning - a list of things for which I am thankful. I want - I need to develop a more grateful heart so I am making The List. It will be somewhat random in nature though I am putting Jesus, my Savior at the top of The List.
What prompted The List? I have been perusing One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and have been thoroughly convicted of my failure to recognize how truly blessed I am. I know that fact, but as I actually name my blessings (as Ann has emphasized),it gives me greater awareness of how God has blessed me. It also shines a light on my lack of thankfulness.
That very morning on which I began The List, God sent a most refreshing rain after a long dry spell. Refreshing rain made The List. My screened porch, where I have my time alone with God during the spring, summer and fall, also made The List. Cooler temperatures, gentle breezes, a hot cup of coffee, butterflies, hummingbirds, family and friends all made The List.
My prayer is that God will give me a grateful heart through this exercise so He will shine through me. I desire to be thankful even for the small things in life such as my first cup of coffee in the morning. I don't want the tough things in life - divorce, illness and the like - to consume me and take away my thankfulness or my joy.
I want to give God the tough things in life and turn my focus to Him and His abundant blessings - His gifts. "Give me a grateful heart, Lord."