So I am continuing some thoughts on how I have grown over the last few months. To be quite honest, being transparent is sometimes a hard thing. To admit to others that I might actually NOT be so perfect? However, I have learned that it is very "freeing" to not have to be perfect and know that God is growing me and changing me into something for HIS glory.
Let me start off by saying that if you asked anyone who knows me well (husband, kids, close friends, parents, etc) they would probably say that I tend to be a negative person. I get in this rut and nothing seems to go well, or maybe I should say, nothing goes my way. I really do know that I can go to this place of "yuck" and at times it is hard to get out of it. I know that ultimately it is a lack of trusting God and where my heart is so wrong. Well, about 6 weeks into arriving at the training center, the wives were given this book called, "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. If you have ever read anything by Nancy, you know how awesome she is in calling sin what it is and speaking the truth through God's Word. At first, I set the book aside because I was working on reading another book that we were given (I will talk about it at a later time). After I finished the other book I picked it back up and started reading. Honestly, I wanted to throw it down because I was so convicted by the truths that were penetrating my heart. It was so practical. I want to share just a couple thoughts today that I have pondered on from chapter 3. So yes, I am giving a plug for this book!
Chapter 3 is called "No Thanks" and it begins with this awesome quote by Elisabeth Elliot, "Thankless children we all are, more or less, comprehending but dimly the truth of God's fathomless love for us." If you asked me I wouldn't really say that I was an unthankful person or had ingratitude. But when the following list was given I was really convicted. Here are some signs, feelings or attitudes that can set off ingratitude in our hearts:
- unrealistic expectations-sometimes I expect a lot from others around me or situations around me and when they don't live up to what I expect then where do I go?
- forgetfulness-we were talking in family devotions last night about the Israelites and how they complained and forgot what God did, but how true of us that we forget what God has done in our lives (even if He just saved us)
- entitlement-I have to say that this was a big one for me....I think, "really God? Look at how I have sacrificed to serve you and do what you ask and this is what is happening?" Or I think God really owes me some things....
- comparison-This is really easy to do, especially in the ministry. You see other people that God is blessing in different ways than you and you start to compare and feel like you are getting the raw end of the deal. The whole time our focus in on me! How crazy!
- blindness to God's grace-This is where the rubber meets the road for all of these mentioned. Think of all that God HAS given and done for us. The Bible even says, "His mercies are new every morning." Lam. 3:23 So everyday, I have new grace and mercy from God to go through what He sees fit to put into my life. Sometimes things aren't really as bad as it seems. Look around....you can find someone else hurting worse, or experiencing God's grace and mercy in a different way than you.
Just some random thoughts that God is using in my life....by the way, at then end of the book there is a 30 day devotional focusing just on Gratitude. I am on day 4 and looking forward to how God grows me in this over the next month.