I once read something that really made me stop and think… It has really made the word gratitude mean so much more to me.
“What would you have if you woke up with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
I know that It would be impossible for me to thank God for every little thing in my life, every single day… but, I needed for God to know how thankful and grateful I truly am for all of his provisions and blessings.
How could I do this?
Well… I started a gratitude journal.
In my journal (It’s really just a notebook I picked up, fairly cheap.) I have a morning, afternoon, and an evening block and each block has the numbers one through five, that allows me 15 things a day to be grateful for.
Some days I have time to write in all three blocks and some days I only write in the morning and evening. Some days I write just five words in each block and some days I go into great detail. On the very front of my journal I have written:
How could I possibly thank you for all that you are and all that you do, Lord? I hope that this journal will help me to show you how grateful I am. My hope for this journal is to learn how being grateful will grow my relationship with You. From me to you… Thank You!
Lord, I could never possibly thank you every day for all that you so freely give and have given, but I need you to know just how grateful I am for all the provisions and blessings you bestow upon me. Your word in Matthew 6: 25-34 tells us not to worry, for you will provide…
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.“
All of my days you have done just that. Do I have all that I want? No. Do I have all that I need? Yes. Do I thank you enough? Probably not… but, I want to. I want to dedicate my gratitude journal to you, God, for all that you are, for all that you have done, for all that you are doing currently and for all that you will do in the future. My Lord, I am so thankful.
Then… I scribbled in…
Lord, I am most grateful when I see what you have done for others. It allows me to stand on the outside looking in and I have new found hope in you each and every time I witness your grace in others’ lives. Thank you for that as well.
I read something else…
It made me cry.
IT MADE ME CRY… A REAL UGLY CRY!
You know one of those cries that you hope no one else will ever see you cry. That sobbing cry where mascara runs down your face and your lips curl up in some weird fashion that you didn’t even know the muscles around your mouth could even do!
I grabbed my journal and wrote in the afternoon block not 5 things but an entire page almost as I sobbed and sobbed and black mascara tear drops fell upon my journal and stained the pages.
This is what I wrote…
I am crying. I am crying because I just read an article on the Coronavirus. It wasn’t the ordinary article that the news usually gives, Lord. It was written to tell us of a victory. A victory, Lord that is owed to you. The article stated that there was a 93 year old man in Italy that is now a survivor of the Coranavirus. When the gentleman was told he would have to pay for the respirator, he began to cry. The physician told him not to cry over the bill. The old man said, ‘I do not cry for the money I have to pay, because I can afford all this. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air for 93 years, but I never paid for it. It takes 500 euros to use the respirator in the hospital for a day. Do you know how much I owe God? I have never thanked God for this before.’”
I continued on writing in my journal like I said above for almost a page sobbing and blowing my nose into tissues and sobbing some more as I wrote. Writing how absolutely thankful I am for breathing in FREE AIR for nearly 50 years. I thanked God for healing this 93 year old man, and I thanked God for the many people that will see that same article and hopefully begin to thank God for how gracious a God He truly is. I thanked Him for allowing me to read about ONE of His victories of this horrific pandemic and for allowing it to change my life.
I will never again take breathing for granted… NEVER.
I will never EVER not EVER forget to thank God for the FREE AIR he has allowed me to breathe all the days of my life.
My gratitude journal has a completely different meaning to me now… I will look more closely at the verses in Matthew 6:25-34.
Tomorrow morning, I will open up my gratitude journal and I will begin the day’s entries:
“Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for allowing me to “stumble” upon the article of the 93 year old man; thanking you for FREE AIR. Nothing is done by accident, Lord, and I thank you for that as well. Lord, I praise you for all that you do and for all that you are and for all that you will continue to do and be for all the days of my life. In your name I pray, in your name I live, in your name I go… Amen.”
Deb Ridenour has been married to her teenage sweetheart for almost 33 years. They have three children they are so very proud of and they have five grands that they are even more proud of! Deb is a doggie mom to Gunner and it is no secret that he is her favorite child (he even has a tag to prove it!)
She is proud to be a daughter of the one true King, and she says it is NOT only because that makes her a princess! Deb feels that God has truly blessed her with a passion to create and design. She has just begun a business – Sparrow and Grace Designs. She seeks to honor and glorify His name in all she does and in all she creates because she recognizes that her talents come from the Lord.