Thursday, March 11, 2010
Some of you may remember the day my niece, Natalie was born. She has such a hard start in life. To read her story, follow this link, Natalie's Miracle Story, you will read an incredible miracle story.
Today Natalie is 3 years old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATALIE!) and we are rejoicing that we have her in our life. God has given her and continues to give her a stronger heart. You would never know by looking at her and watching her that she had such a rough start. She is so lovable, funny, and very active.
I am also rejoicing in a fellow blogger, whom I have never met except through her blog, Confessions of a Chosen One. Just recently her son, who was born at 28 weeks and who also had a rough start in life like Natalie is home with her and her husband and little girl. He was in the hospital for over 90 days. These are miracle stories, yet I also know that there are stories that don't end this way. How do you have gratitude in that? I have never lost a child, but I have definitely been through tough times. Cancer, Three job losses at churches and now chronic pain. In each one of these troubled times I have grown a little bit more in cultivating of heart of gratitude.
I have been reading a book by Nancy Leigh Demoss on Gratitude. It is called "Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy".
I have several books throughout my life that have made a huge impact in my life and this is one of them! This is also the theme of our Women's Conference this year which is coming up in April. I have been surrendering my negative, life is so tough, attitude for an attitude of gratitude. We do have so much to be thankful for. Even if all seems bad, we can have a thankful and praiseworthy heart that God loved us so much that he sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Believing this to be true and the awesome free gift of salvation makes me forever grateful. Committing to praise and thank God for the things in life that do not change, like His unfailing love and compassion are the best places to start. Before you know it your life will become one of PRAISE. A LIFE of PRAISE- That's what I want!
Isn't it wonderful that we have a helper in this? The Holy Spirit who was sent by the risen Lord to indwell in us and empower us. I am always teaching and reminding my children that no sirree can they live life on their own, but how wonderful that we don't have too. We have the Holy Spirit to help us. Through him we have all we need for a life of holiness. We have everything we need through him. He is our comforter, overwhelming hope, our strength and our power to love and serve. He will set our hearts to be thankful and to give praise. I don't have to beg him to take control of my life, he is just waiting for me to let him take control. I really wished I would have understood the role of the Holy Spirit earlier in my life, but I rejoice in the fact that I know this now.
Hebrews 13:15 says:
"By him (Jesus) let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."
Ephesians 5:18-20 says:
"Be fulled with the Spirit...singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Psalm 34 The words of David say:
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Psalm 71 states:
"My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long... I will praise you more and more."
I am finding myself to be more thankful for both big and little things all day long. It's amazing how this has taken my Eeyore type attitude to one of Tigger. Ok... maybe not that much but I have been waking up much more content and thankful in the morning instead of worrying and complaining about my different situations. It is a daily journey that I will not be able to do on my own but with the Holy Spirit's power.
Below I have two songs that are my favorites on this Praise/Gratitude theme. You will have to pause my playlist at the top of the blog!
Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman
Life of Praise by Casting Crowns
Posted by Kristin at 1:24 PM