113. that my house didn't get damaged by the storm.
114. that Kenny is in PA with Jeremy. It's always nice to see a familiar face when you're out of town.
115. that I've learned to how to find my joy when I loose it. I've learned to thank my way out of those dark places.
116. for my church...and the freedom to worship there without fear of persecution.
117. for my friend Sharon, and the fact that, without a second thought ,she was willing to run my daughter a snack to school because she forgot hers this morning.
118. for unexpected messages from old friends...the friends that you never get see or talk to, but when you do it's like you see each other everyday.
119. for things yet to come and the lessons I will learn.
Whew.....I feel so much better now.
I had to start out with thanks today. And now that I stop and think about it.....it should be that way everyday. I should start everyday with thanks!
I admit, this morning I started out with thanks in attempt to dig myself out of the ugly hole I'd fallen into this weekend.
My old enemy depression comes around occasionally trying to pull me back down....and I can usually brush it off and keep moving....but this weekend a little of it stuck and I didn't seem to have what I needed to shake it.
But thanks be to God that today is a new day! A day of sunshine and cool fall breezes. A day of awakening! And I awaken to the fact that I have to live on purpose. I have to push through the dark days and find the thanks. The thanks that leads to joy! It's impossible to be two things at once. If you choose to be thankful all the time (which will always result in joy) there's no room for anything else.
CHOOSING.....that makes me think of the talk that I had with my girls this morning. Here in the South we like to refer to these little talks as a "Come to Jesus Meeting". They've both just had a little too much attitude for me lately. Too much arguing with one another....to little love and compassion, and considering others feelings. And this morning was the straw that finally broke it.
So in my "I mean business" voice I let them know that we ALL wake up every morning with choices to make....and it's our choice how our day will turn out. We CHOOSE what kind of attitude we will have each day....we CHOOSE how we will react to others....and a lot of times our OWN attitude determines how our day will go.
As we sat there I realized that they weren't the only ones being taught a lesson. God was using this to teach me as well. We were all learning....learning a lesson in living life on purpose....taking control of our actions, our tongues, our decisions....learning that everything we say and do effects someone, somehow. And that the outcome of the days challenges have a lot to do with how we approach and react to them.
So as I sit here, with each word I type I inch my way out of the hole that I dug. I see the light of day....the positive.....the good....because I choose to give thanks to the God who created me.
My pastor gave me some new perspective on thanks during Sunday's sermon. He pointed out that giving thanks is a part of what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that there are three types of thankful people. I like to think of them as stages of learning thanks.
The first stage is the easy one....giving thanks after you've received the blessing. It's easy to give thanks for something that you already have.
The second one is a little harder....It is giving thanks before the battle begins. Remember the story of Jehosaphat.
The third is the hardest....giving thanks in the middle of the battle, when it looks like you've been defeated. That's giving thanks even when you don't understand...because you know that God has a plan and purpose that is perfect...you know that He works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Everyday the Lord reveals something new to me....I am amazed at just how little I knew about the importance of giving thanks.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."