Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 1: The Gratitude Experiment

Day 1 was interesting.

I'm not sure that I'll be updating this on a daily basis, in fact I'm sure I won't be just because life is so busy. But I wanted to write today because God is so faithful and kind. I have a sneaky feeling that my thought life will be under the magnifying glass over the next few weeks as I go through this personal gratitude experiment.

As soon as I said I'm ready God, He showed up.

It's 5:30ish last night. I'm scooting around the house doing all the stuff we Moms do. I'm yawning, it's been a long day and I still have a long night ahead of me. It's Thursday, Dylan has Vertical youth group on Thursday nights. I'm tired, I don't want to go anywhere. He's a new driver and in NC they have a provisional license that limits the time teens can drive. Since Vertical ends at 9pm he can't drive himself, so about the time I'm ready to be in pj's fading into la-la land, he needs to be picked up. Normally, Brian picks him up, but Brian's out of town. So I say to Dylan, "wow, I really wish you could drive yourself tonight." Innocent enough right? Out of the mouth comes the abundance of the heart. That innocent statement showed my true heart. I was more focused on my needs than what God wants or what Dylan needs. Instead of being thankful that I have a car to drive Dylan to youth group, instead of being thankful that our church has a thriving teen ministry that teaches MY son how to be in intimate relationship with Jesus, instead of being thankful that I have a son who wants to go be in the presence of God, instead of being thankful for all those things...I was complaining that I had to drive. BOOHOO!!! Wow! I immediately apologized to God and took time to thank Him for all the blessings that are wrapped up in this one little act of driving my son to and from youth group!

An hour later, it happened again. I decided to stop by the grocery store on the way to drop Dylan off. Just to run in and get 2 little things. I wanted to just hop out & run in, leave Dylan & Zachery waiting in the car. Nope, Zachery wouldn't hear of that. "Please Mommy, I want to go with you." Then he pulled out the big guns..."Mommy, I love you and you my best friend, I want to go with you, please. I'm having good manners." So, I take him in the store. Which makes a 2 minute quick run in turn into a 20 minute adventure. So as I'm telling him one more time, Zachery please stay right beside not walk away from my side. And, if I'm honest, getting a little frustrated! Quietly God says to my heart, isn't it beautiful that you have a child who can walk? A child who wants to be with you? Who says you are his best friend? Yes, God. It is beautiful and I am thankful for that! Now, this situation is a little different. Zachery does need to obey me, if for nothing else but safety's sake in this situation. But I think God was showing me that even in frustration, even in my rushing around, I can be thankful for the gifts he's given to me.

Day 1: The Gratitude Experiment. A big success!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Gratitude Experiment

It's November. I love November, mostly because it has Thanksgiving in it! Yay, Turkey and pumpkin pie! Oh, and all the other delicious food we get to eat for the rest of the year! :-) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I mean, Christmas is awesome and I'm a Christian so Christmas has very special meaning to me but I really love what Thanksgiving embodies. The thoughts of how our lives are blessed, reasons we have to be thankful. It just brings out an overflowing amount of gratitude in me and I see that in other people too.

So I was pondering thankfulness and gratitude today. Thinking about what God says about thankfulness. I believe God wants us to have a lifestyle of gratitude. He talks about it so much in His word. He considers giving thanks a sacrifice that truly honors him (Psalm 50:23). Giving thanks brings you into the presence of God (Psalm 100:4). He tells us to give thanks in everything (Ephesians 5:20). I want my life to honor God and I want to be in His presence always.

Usually, at Thanksgiving dinner, as a family we all share a few reasons we are thankful. It's so gratifying to hear what everyone says. As I thought about all of these things and the scriptures, I wondered what would happen in my life if I chose to have more gratitude? What if I made a deliberate effort to have a lifestyle of gratitude. I felt God nudging me forward, saying why just think about it Dawn? Do it! Try it out. Thus, the gratitude experiment was born!

A month of giving thanks in everything! A month of sacrificing myself to truly be grateful in every circumstance! I'm not sure what will happen....I'm sure I'll have more joy but I wonder what God is teaching me! If you are reading this, hold me to this okay? Make me accountable! .

Surprise me God! I'm ready!