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Today I read a book to my son about complaining.  It seems that my kids like to read the same books and watch the same movies over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and if you try to sneak in a new one…well, I wouldn’t suggest that as a good idea, let’s just say that.  That’s okay, because I am convinced that the repetition not only helps my kids grasp concepts and new skills, but I have seen how God regularly uses it to get through to my busy-bodied self, when other tactics are probably not working as well.  For example, it’s not until I have heard the soundtrack (b/c I am driving and the DVD screen is in the back) of the movie Daniel (about the character Daniel from the Bible, his life as a captured Israelite and witness for God to pagan kings and leaders as their “wise man”) that I hear a strong message for my own heart come forth.  Or after reading the “Big Fish” story, as my son likes to call Jonah’s life story from the Bible, a few hundred times that God stops me in my tracks with fresh insight into my own disobedient heart that mirrors Jonah’s.

Anyway, what I am saying in all this is that  God speaks to me constantly through simple, everyday experiences,  especially through teachable moments I am having with my kids.   In reality, the student is the grown woman  I see in the mirror, receiving another much-needed lesson from her  patient and faithful Teacher.

Today my lesson was on thankfulness…again.  (I seem to need this lesson repeated often)  It’s funny how mindless, casual and thankless I can become about certain aspects of my life:  health, relationships, the ability to move and breath…until there is some pain or discomfort to get my attention.

Well, let’s just say that my attention has been captured.  I am recovering from my first second knock down drag out with poison ivy this summer and both times I faced humiliating defeat.  Two things are obvious: 1. I don’t know poison ivy when it’s staring me in the face, and 2. I do not have a green thumb, even though I really want one.  I enjoy reading Martha Stewart and love checking up on the Pioneer Woman, but I look at them with envy, not sure if/how they really do what they do, with immaculate gardens and “delish” food and all that other mind-blowing glory.  Any hints from those of you domestic divas out there on how to do it all?  I could use some help!!!

After having poison ivy two times in two months and a dose of pregnancy discomforts, I feel very aware of how blessed I am not to feel these discomforts, or any significant problems for that matter, all the time.  I cannot imagine the daily struggle of dealing with pain, illness, sorrow, sickness, or any other life-affecting issue on a consistent basis.  God is merciful and faithful, always sustaining the weary, this I know.  For today I just needed to stop for a minute and give Him my heart-felt thanks.  

I give Him thanks for the incomprehensible gift of a child growing in my womb, for the fact that I have two strong and healthy arms (when they are not covered in poison ivy) to hold and comfort my two older kids and for His presence that fills my heart with peace, patience, and gentleness, even when those things are far from my ability to maintain as a worn out momma.  I give Him thanks, for He is good, all the time.

Thankfulness should be my constant M.O. but so often it takes a thorn of some sort in my flesh to draw it out.  Ugh.  Lord, forgive me and give me eyes to see the wonderful deeds of your hands all around me, and to thank You consistently for them, when I feel the wonder and when I don’t!

A thankful heart prepares the way for the Lord.  Come Lord, and make your ways clear in my life.

As my good and patient Lord grows me up into the things that gladden His heart, I pray that thankfulness and humility will flow freely from my heart, whether my current state is comfortable or not so comfy.  It is my prayer that I would be mindful of God’s present wonders all around me; that my life would be a consistent reflection and proclamation of the goodness and mercy of God that surround all of us.  His goodness and mercy really do follow us all the days of our lives.  Lord, give us eyes to see and mouths to speak of Your unfailing love and Your wonderful deeds for all mankind.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.     Psalm 107:8

What is it that your heart is thankful for today?  Have you told God about that?

What wonderful deeds of God can you share with someone you see today?

~Wrapped in His Affection~