Praise You With a Grateful Heart – for Today!

ImageI had an epiphany today, if you will. I’ve never had an issue with gratefulness. I love my life and typically look at situations and circumstances through rose colored glasses. I feel blessed and really thank God for who he has made me to be – and how he works through me.

However, as you get older, things change a little bit. Your life does not move at the speed of light anymore. You are not graduating from high school to college and then on from college to the working world. Challenges and goals don’t come up so quickly and you can find yourself feeling dull – even useless.

I hate to admit this, but I have felt this way at times. Heck, we are all human. You get into a routine – and that spice for life somehow dissipates.

You think, ‘When is the next best thing going to happen to me!?’ When is that next phase is life going to happen!?’ Yet, you continue on every day like a faithful servant, but lacking that zeal.

I think on Matthew 5:13, ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Think of saltiness as zeal or a joyful heart. You are basically useless without an inward joy and peace. And, boy, I don’t want to be useless! Joy attracts others to you. Thankfulness sets your face aglow!

Time to adopt a thankful heart again! I have to tell myself not to long for the future – but to live in the moment. Days go by wasted, if your heart is not right. Think of how far you’ve come in life and praise God for this!

This exercise is a surefire way to get your mind back to that grateful state.

When I first moved to the Washington, DC area, I lived in a tiny studio apartment. And, we are talking tiny, like a little box. I washed my dishes in the bathtub y’all. No dishwasher for this girl. But, you know what, I may not own a house now – but I don’t need to gravel in that fact and let it destroy my day. I need to praise God for where I am now. I live in a nicer apartment with a beautiful new dishwasher. So, I praise God for the sudsy bubbles in that machine that make my life happier and easier.

I praise you, God—for the little paws that pitter patter on my hardwood floors, and that sweet little puppy face that has been living with me for 3 years. This is a blessing and is something that blesses my life. This is something I did not have before – and now, I do.

Try this exercise. It works wonders – and the list will grow like those grow magic capsules! Of course the future holds wonders for you (this is a promise!) – but don’t long for it. This will only make you unhappy. Praise God for where you are now – and ask him to use you in your current state. Life is too short to live unhappy.

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Praise For The Everyday

ImageI wake when it’s dark. The sun is still waiting to show its happy face to the world. Hardwoods creak and morning barefoot feet shuffle to the kitchen.

Body realigning from last night’s rest, I stretch to the popcorn ceiling like a long branched tree and fill my lungs with air. This is one of life’s simple moments.

It’s Sunday and we have so much to be thankful for – after all, November is the bounteous month of pure Thanksgiving. So often times I forget to list off my beautiful gratefulness. I forget to praise God in the small and simple; but, I surely rejoice in the large and extravagant.

However, I will take today to say thank you for the everyday.

I praise you for the toasty leaves that grace the cold ground, the misty afternoon rainbows after a soft shower, princess china cups filled with warm chamomile tea, tender human embraces, shining crescent moons in the night sky, woolly mittens on chapped hands, thick spiral notebooks with pages for heart words, dark grey laces on pink tennis shoes, neon post it notes for precious reminders, cocker spaniel wet kisses…this is my everyday life, and I praise you for the here and now.

My thanks is overflowing. I am a cup and you fill me up. I praise you, Lord, for the everyday – for it is all a precious gift. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. – Psalm 23:5