God continues to speak through the highs and lows we have all experienced the last 7 months in our nation. I hear Him whispering and waiting for us to lean in and listen to His still small voice – Thank Me for the glorious gift of My Spirit. This is like priming the pump of a well. As you bring Me the sacrifice of THANKS-giving, regardless of your feelings, My Spirit is able to work more freely within you. This produces more thankfulness and more FREE-dom, until you are overflowing with gratitude.
Overflow defined- to fill, be filled beyond capacity or spread beyond its limits
This past Thursday the beautiful, peaceful creek by our getaway camper in the mountains “filled beyond capacity.” The overflow of water impacted every space that it spread “beyond its limits”. Let’s just say my first thoughts were not “overflowing with gratitude”. After assessing the damage, we began to assess all of the other campers now filled with water-logged trashed treasures. Just priming the well y’all. We are going deep where we really live in hopes of stirring our souls toward overflowing gratitude. He has graciously allowed us this season for a reason. A recent widowed lady could not even enter her porch for debris everywhere. Compassion met gratitude and it swept over me so powerfully. She sat in her truck snd sobbed. Everything she and her late husband had was destroyed. I was humbled because the first thought I had was- we have damage but ours could have been so much worse than it was. This very gratitude challenge kept coming to mind- How can I share the overflow of gratitude with women come Monday? Truth is the more we walked alongside of each other on Thursday, the more I was compelled to share compassion from the Lord and to speak life and Thanksgiving over every circumstance.
I heard the Lord speaking and leading the more I leaned in toward His goodness. God is right about us. I had already written the following before the dark Thursday @ the campground.
I shower blessings on you daily, but sometimes you don’t perceive them. When your mind is stuck on a negative focus, you see neither Me nor My gifts. In faith, thank Me for whatever is preoccupying your mind. This will clear the blockage so that you can find Me. Giving thanks in EVERYTHING invites me into His presence.
As we bow our hearts low before Him, by faith, let’s THANK Him for whatever it is that is preoccupying our minds, surrender it back to Him and rewrite our very nature to think the worst with the overflow of gratitude.
Grateful for grace my friend.
Forgiveness. Freedom. Full life.
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High. —Psalm 50:14
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. —2 Corinthians 5:5
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. —2 Corinthians 3:17
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. —Psalm 95:2 nkjv
If the Son has set you free beloved of God, you are free indeed. I’ll be practicing this beautiful way of surrender right alongside of you today. Look with grateful eyes for thanksgiving throughout your day. I think we will all be amazed at the beautiful work of the Holy Spirit all around us in every little moment of every day!!!
Thanks for gathering with me today- ten days to focus our energy on living life to the fullest measure of gratitude.
I pray that you will be encouraged and as a way of reminder, find a place for thanksgiving today as we enter into a time of remembering. Affirmed and grateful for how timely God always is when we need a “word in due season”. God continues to stretch & shape my heart as I bend and surrender my will, to each committed new mercy-filled day to give thanks in ALL things. The last few years have been filled with some challenging, fear-full, one step at a time, God-Sized and yet “hard” eucharisteos–the giving of thanks for my family and I. This joy journey, the purposeful pursuit of grateful living, where “thanks-giving” rewrites the habits of ingratitude into “thanks-living” has caught me off-guard, captured my thoughts, and is continuing to transform my heart. As a way of transparent confession, this truth-teaching that transforms hearts at the same time has opened the door for warfare unlike anything that I have ever experienced. Yet. Will. I. Praise. Him.
It is easy to say, I give thanks in ALL things. It is another to give thanks as you walk THROUGH the “hard eucharisteo’s” and come out of life’s most difficult “opportunities” to learn that giving thanks is the only way to fullness of joy. Sigh. You see for me it has settled deep, opened, exposed and removed dark places closed off to the Lord and recreated a beautiful place for God to fully live. Emptied. To. Fill.
The Lord dwells there. His presence makes known to us the path that leads to life according to Psalms 16:11 Apart from HIM there is no joy-filled life, rest for my soul, nor surrender to His sovereignty. He is working ALL things together for good, from His view of ALL that is going on. And on the days when thanksgiving has truly transformed my life, we meet there. Without the giving of thanks, I am left empty with nothing of the Who He is in His fullness to spill out one drop of thanksgiving. Lord. Help. Us.
Today, I stopped and with a burdened heart, gave thanks. He IS the mighty warrior, supreme and powerful ruler…the God of the universe; yet in His mercy, His presence sees. Knows. Leads. Comforts. Provides. His presence fills every emptied out place with peace in this life when ALL things seem to be shaking in this world and the spiritual realm. We will never understand the ways of God, nor comprehend how His unfailing love is working in ALL the days of our lives for our good and His glory. Lord, Your ways are higher, stronger, greater and every moment of thanksgiving back to You is a small gift from this veiled view. The mystery. We. See. Dimly.
Such love…..so pure, rich and deep. Oh, the JOY that floods my soul.
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Tonight we give thanks. WE. GIVE. THANKS. Tomorrow’s mercies will be there for every bent and spilled-out surrendered heart to what seems so very simple. It will likely challenge every programmed response we have ever learned to date. Yet, His promises are trustworthy, sure and steadfast. He is God and HIS character, nature and attributes remain the same ALL-ways! Sure as the sun will rise to greet each new day, if the Lord wills. New. Every. Morning.
“Eucharisteo…always, always precedes the miracle.”Ann Voskamp
Thanks Ann Voskamp for validating my heart’s journey towards fullness of joy! God has taught me so much in 2013. I am grateful that He does not give up or abandon His creation but continues to long for a relationship with His beloved! The privilege that I have had of leading women, children and families along the same path that this simple life traveled has been beautiful to watch from my view. My heart leans in to their stories of their journey fills my emptied heart with such deepened love and joy around the living Word received and applied so powerfully in their lives. God’s message and directed course for this season has led surrendered hearts through the “hard eucharisteos” into the places where THEIR messy story began. Their pathway still meandering, as does mine, around the field of mines that vie for the lies and affections of our life. Hearts rewritten with gratitude and Thanks-Living are among the best in this season of remembering.
Thanks-Giving. Miracles. Thanks-Living. Fullness of joy.
Excerpt from Ann Voskamp’s Journal Entry Today…..
“They were simple people, but they knew it because they had lived it:
No matter what the headlines shout, the world only has two stories: bless God or curse God.
No matter what the world tries to sell, we all only get to choose from two shelves: Give God thanks or Give God the door.
No matter what we’re facing, there are always only two roads: thanksgiving to God or dismissing of God.
“They were simple people but they had decided that they….
…..would not let hard times steal their thanksgiving.
…..if you let something steal your thanksgiving, you let something steal your joy, and if you let something steal your joy, you let something steal your strength.
…..would let nothing steal their thanksgiving to God – so that in everything they could stand strong in God.
Simple people – keeping it simple……. we will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is.
No disaster, no storm, no cancellation, no termination, no catastrophe would stop them from giving thanks. Because…….they knew it:
No matter where they were, every thanksgiving always brought them home —- giving thanks always brings you home to the heart of God.” ~Ann Voskamp
My children, grandson and family will be together around the inherited family table, the gathering place of so many great memories. It represents a lifetime filled with so many blessings. Countable gifts. The measure of a gracious God. We. Give. Thanks.
Home. “Thanksgiving” is bringing them home. Around the table, our collective hearts will pause and find peace above ALL circumstances through Thanks-Living EVERY DAY IN ALL THINGS.”
Yes, and this I know……Thanks-Living will lead us directly to the heart of God. “In His presence IS fullness of joy….” Psalm 16:11
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