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The Grateful List

Ok, so this post is probably just the opposite of my last post! Soon after I wrote that post, I came across a website that helps women develop their own home business (Dream Unlimited). One of the ladies there decided to make a list of 100 things she’s grateful for, and it made me start to think more about what I’m grateful for and less about what I’m not. I don’t know that I’ll make it to 100, but I’ll post what immediately comes to mind.

1. Food, clothing, shelter.
2. Husband, children, parents, and grandparents who are with us and healthy.
3. I’m grateful that I’m grateful for my husband coming home from work each day.
4. I’m grateful that my husband actually HAS work.
5. We have more than what is needed.
6. Our car (that is currently working fairly well).
7. Prospects for the upcoming year.
8. We are now a part of two loving churches.
9. Friends who bear with us in all things, love us, and pray for us.
10. Doctors who are knowledgable and caring and who take care of our family’s health.
11. Our dog who makes it ten times less likely that our home will be invaded by burglars or other intruders.
12. Our town, it’s coziness and closeness. I never realized just how grateful I am for this town until I came back to it.

So I know that’s an odd number, but that’s what came off the top of my head. I challenge anyone who reads this to come up with as many things they are grateful for as possible! On days (or weeks or months) that simply aren’t going right, stop and think. What do I have? Now I am reminded of the phrase “count your blessings”…a phrase that doesn’t make me cringe but makes me think and refocus.

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?””

William Arthur Ward

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Thanks to the Chef

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Funny story. When Bloke and I went on our honeymoon we went to a super duper nice restaurant. I mean it set us back a couple of hundred bucks it was that nice (and we were that stupid). Anyway, I was less than following Christ at that time in my life. Let’s just say I’d strayed for a period of years. We had some really nice champagne (complimentary of the restaurant for $10 a glass). And we chose to order a really nice bottle of wine. Well, it was really yummy. I mean I didn’t even taste any alcohol in it at all! I had more than a couple of glasses (after the champagne) and, not being a drinker, I was pretty wasted. Before we left, our waiter was clearing our table, and I said to him (kind of sloppily I’m sure but I did mean it…lol), “Thanks to the chef”. Bloke was so embarrassed. He told me there were a number of correct and kosher remarks to say to a chef in a restaurant such as that and I didn’t say any of them.   Anyway, the point was that I was thankful to him for such a wonderful meal.

Right now, I am so thankful for my Chef of Chefs! I’m so grateful for the good and bad that He has allowed and/or placed in my life!  I don’t always thank him appropriately or with the right words  (and obviously NEVER in a drunken state), but my gratitude is still recognized.

I’m so thankful to Him that I have a husband who, despite our marital struggles, is willing to go out there and work hard so that I can stay home with our girls and raise them to love and serve the Lord and others and (hopefully) homeschool them when the time comes.  I’m so thankful that we are not homeless and we have enough food to share.  I’m beyond thankful that the Lord provided my husband with a job that gave him a company car so that I am able to run errands, see friends, and take the girls on “field trips”.  I have fabulous parents who are constantly loving, supporting, and always interested.  God has blessed our family with a fantastic church family who are are “in it for the long haul” with us.  We are all healthy and have remained healthy which is a HUGE blessing!  I’m thankful for all the stormy days in our lives because I know that a) they WILL end one day and b) they are refining us and teaching us how to better follow the ways of Christ and glorify Him.  I’m thankful that Christ died for ME.  I always used to say US, and He did die for us.  But He also died for me which is more personal and the realization of that makes me all the more thankful…and all the more aware of my sin.  I’m thankful for every single day I have with my children and for every day my husband returns home safely, for every smile, laugh, cuddle, kiss, hug, and touch that I receive, even from friends.  I”m so thankful for my separate abilities as a wife and mother and as an individual in Christ.

I am of the mentality that no matter what situation you are in, you can be thankful because you always have more than what you deserve.  I know this may be a hard concept for some.  There are “innocent” people, children, starving.  Homeless people.  Beaten people.  Tortured people. Families broken by divorce or death.  I’m not naive.  I know the many horrors of the world.  My heart breaks for them daily.  But what we truly deserve is far worse than any of that.  The absence of love, of light, of peace.  A complete void. Imagine what it’s like to have no love.  That is only a little of what life in Hell is like.  As a Christian, I am thankful for many many things.  I’m also thankful that God is God.  He’s perfect and holy, sovereign, love and wrath.  So we don’t have to be able to actually be grateful for something.  I do, however, feel like we can always find something to thank our Maker, our Chef for, no matter how tiny it may be.  But we should also remember simply to be grateful that God is who he is, our Creator, Maker, Shepherd, Rock, Lord, Savior, Refiner, Perfector, the Alpha and Omega of all.