From Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience
A simple request from Jerilynn came last winter to speak on Blessings. Such an timely topic at Thanksgiving. The simplicity of the one word title extends to the simplicity of the practice.
…to receive, experience, and, especially, to bestow to others.
In preparing to speak, I’m preparing my supply list.
What would you include?
~A picture that says so much:
~A link to We Love Gratitude, a web journalling site begun by Crystal Belle
~A free App from Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts at this link or search “One Thousand Gifts” on your iPhone’s Entertainment tab
~A quote to consider: “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick
~An important point for me to remember: Counting Blessings counters our fear manifesting as the “fear of not having enough” and the “fear of not being enough.”
~A verse to read, re-read, and memorize through tears:
What would you include?
Both questions from Ann Voskamp in this post
And if there are a few bitter memories, my wish is that you will toss them out along with the turkey carcass.
And I wonder, this Day After, What if we embrace gratefulness beyond tokens of thanksgiving, dutiful gratitude journals, and a few hastily written thank you notes?
What if we Remain Thankful?
What if gratitude became as natural as speaking?
Gratitude is a language you speak with your hands, the way you form the vowels and spaces of your life and we could all learn it together. ~Ann Voskamp
How to I begin to speak the language of gratitude?
The key to a thankful heart is focusing more on what God HAS DONE for you rather than on what you need. ~Rick Warren.
I want to Remain Thankful and continue the process of Thanksgiving so the language of gratitude becomes my default setting.
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2
Praise is about loyalty of the heart. Praise is focus. On God.
Not. On. Me.
“Skill Set” is a phrase flung around a lot. Skill sets are the collection of talent that a person has learned, received, and polished to the point of integration. Skill sets appear on resumes, job descriptions, committee vision statements and personal journals. There is a caution in touting skill sets as cemented talents, available as solutions to every problem without consulting The One who anointed us with them.
I am working to push Praise~~~Praising God~~~to the top of my skill set. This change may not be visible on my LinkedIn resume, but on my heart.
King Jehoshaphat is a great example.
Joyce Meyer, in her book The Battle Belongs to the Lord, describes the example of King Jehoshaphat in leading his people. In getting ready for battle, instead of moaning about the task ahead, concentrating on his fears, or asking God for his battle plan,
King Jehoshaphat put praise first:
“O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You.
~2 Chronicles 20:6 (continue reading through verse 11)
“Our part is to focus on Him and His mighty power, worshipping Him and praising Him for the manifestation of His solution and listening for a word or direction from Him” Joyce Meyer, The Battle Belongs to the Lord.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
~ Hebrews 13:15
Make every moment a cathedral giving glory…Ann Voskamp
How is this continual praise cathedral-building done?
- Christy sets several timers on her iPhone during the day to prompt her to praise
- Bill has praise verses on cards he carries in his suit pocket
- Charlene keeps praise music quietly in the background of her home and office.
- CB has a folder called “Praise” in her Outlook so that when she is on a phone hold, she can scroll through it
- JR has an iPhone Bible app, with praise verses highlighted
- Garrett tweaks blog posts of gratitude and praise to reference
Would you add to the list?
What are some specific ways that you are offering continual praise to God?
What are your Go-To verses of Praise?
This Saturday Digest calls on reflection, time to ponder, time to brew in your mind like a glass of sun tea in the waning hours of a late summer day.
Something to read slowly and then think about and re-read:
“Catastrophizing is how we make our own soul-cages. That fear’s always the flee ahead. That he really could take one long, deep breath and just relax. Abide. Because it’s never about your capabilities. When you’re in covenant with Christ, it’s His responsibility to cover your cracks, to be all your competency and completeness. Inabilities, in Christ, are made all-sufficient, just-right abilities. Abandon worries — and wholly abide. Ann Voskamp http://www.aholyexperience.com/
The Lord wanted me to NOT live by my emotions, feelings and circumstances, but by His power, His strength, walking in faith and trusting Him in all things. ~Charlene Steinkamp, Rejoice Marriage Ministries
Great Thoughts I saw on Our Prayer.org:
~Unless we rely on God’s power within us, we will yield to the pressures around us.
~Teach us, Lord, to trust Your hidden hand, leading in ways we may not understand.
My Favorite Pinterest Pin: this butterfly with little hearts: http://pinterest.com/pin/113535243/
Sip tea and Praise God!
In honor of the last shuttle flight. Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating
universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Learning to Like Yourself by Joyce Meyer Did you know that you and I have to learn to deal with our do separately from our who? The fact is, I don’t do everything right all the time, but that doesn’t affect who I am. I know I’m loved and that I’m still a good person. I’ve made mistakes in my life—and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes in the future—but I still like myself
The True Way to Be Humble, by Ann Voskamp
And, a great family project~~~the Summer Photo Checklist
Please settle in with a cool beverage and read this beautiful post on Love and Acceptance called “A Hard Look at Love” from Dyamond, a beautiful writer and seeker in the Be Gentle, Be Love class
For those who can see, the world’s beauty outweighs its burdens, its grace greater than its grime. When gratitude journals became my permanent life furniture, white spaces opened wide, empty pages like cups to heaven, waiting to be filled with the color of His graces… my universe shifted. by Ann Voskamp. Please continue reading by gently clicking here
Coaching yourself toward positive changes, please click here to read this post by Belle Pirri
Distributive Positivity! Free Download of Positive printables~Click Here
Another personal icon in my life fell this week in a crushing torrent of rage. A surprise to my ego since this icon, This Voice, did damage so close to the bone of my identity. So close to the identity I thought defined me, since I had inherited parts of it. So surprising the suddenness of the quake of it.
And all I wanted to do was escape. Run. Leave.
And keep going. Keep walking. Away.
I retreated as far as the job listings in a familiar place. And there was one. There always is. And a friend there too. And an invitation.
To escape. But escape is a gilded temptation. Because when I escape, I take myself. And my problems. And my fears.
“Only leave when the crisis has passed and things are calm,” the mentor once said.
I remember those wise words now. And that is the wonder of it.So, what? So, what now?
From my memory, something familiar develops, fuzzy at first before Polaroid-clarity.
Return to the basics. “Watch the ball,” the good coach would say. “See it meet the strings of your racket. See it until your focus slows it down. Breathe through your shot. Good. Do it again. And again. 100 forehands. 100 backhands. 100 overheads. 100 volleys-each side. 100 serves. 100 lobs.
Always end with the lobs, because they take the most patience.”
And fast forward to today~~Return to the Basics: Stay Present. Breathe Deeply. Return to Water: drink it, submerge in it, splash in it, soak in it, let the tears remain from it. Return to what God says about me. Remember my identity in Him.
He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. Isaiah 40:11
Return to Gratitude and the wonder and truth that you and I are here because of grace .
And the escape comes in what The Father is making new.
This song is a gift for the escapee in me: Click to listen: Solid Ground by Shelly Moore Band
To read Ann Voskamp’s entire post, with her quote included, please gently click here.
☺ The servant-hearted never serve alone. Serve God –spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives — and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him…To read more, gently click here
☺ There is such relief in knowing that the most important time is happening right now. I can really let go of my worries about the future, ruminations about the past, and truly experience the freedom of living in the present moment. To read more, gently click here
☺ We are designed for community… To read more, gently click here
☺ It is not our job to be overwhelmed…To read more, gently click here
☺ Put your personal fingerprint on the service of your life and have fun creating memories for another. To view this movie, gently click here
“When God moves us out of our comfort zone —- into places that are way bigger than us, places that are difficult, hard, painful —- that even hurt — this is a gift. We are being given a gift. These hard places give us the gift of intimately knowing God in ways that would never be possible in our comfort zones.”
Ann Voskamp in A Holy Experience, to read the entire post, gently click here