A Dare to Be Grateful

I’ve been thinking a lot about my need to focus on giving specific, daily praise to God. Not just because He wants me to (although that alone is reason enough), but because I need to. 

I need to remind myself of the good things that He blesses me with, instead of always focusing on the negative things that happen. I need to become a more positive person, instead of one who often sees the glass half-empty. And I need to fight against my perfectionism – by learning that just because things don’t work out exactly the way I want them to, it doesn’t mean that my life is over. It just means that we live in an imperfect world. But there are still many, many things to be thankful for!

I didn’t know exactly how to go about beginning this “praise journey,” so I did a little research on the internet. I looked for ideas – prompts, if you will, for a specific thing to focus on each day.

God, in His goodness, led me to the Joy Dare. It was created by Ann Voskamp, author of the book One Thousand Gifts. In the dare, you use the prompts that she provides to help you “count your own One Thousand Gifts.”

I want to take this dare. I want to focus on praise to my God. And I want to “change perspective — give thanks — and live all His joy!” I want to become a more grateful person.

Will you join me on this praise journey?

Photo Credit: Ann Voskamp

He Holds in His Hands the Mightiest Mountains

Come, let us sing to the LORD!

Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.

Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.

For the LORD is a great God,

a great King above all gods.

He holds in His hands the depths of the earth

and the mightiest mountains.

The sea belongs to Him, for He made it.

His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,

for He is our God.

We are the people He watches over,

the flock under His care.

~ Psalm 95:1-7 (NLT)

Photo by Tomasz Paciorek; Edited by me 🙂

**P.S. Get free high resolution photos from unsplash.com!**

The Fullness of His Grace

Close-up of a crepe myrtle tree in our backyard. :-)
Close-up of a crepe myrtle tree in our backyard.

Why does God bless us so richly? This was the question I was asking myself as I drove home from the supermarket a short time ago. The past few days, God has been pouring out one blessing on me after another, and I am so grateful.

Yesterday, I received a letter in the mail informing me that I had been approved for a month of temporary disability. This was a process that I had been going through and praying about for the past several months. To be truthful, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to get approved. Finances have been very tight, and I have to admit, I was doubtful that God would provide. But He did, out of the fullness of His grace.

A second blessing entailed my having a conversation with our car insurance agent, which led to a discount in our rate of about one thousand dollars for the year. I was so thankful for God’s provision!

Then today, I went to the supermarket armed with two fifteen dollar gift cards from my Mom and several coupons. I wasn’t even keeping track of how much I was spending–I just grabbed what I needed and tried to be mindful of using the store discounts and the coupons that I had acquired. When I got up to the register and checked out, my bill–for everything that I had needed–came to under thirty dollars. So I was able to use the gift cards and still have a little left over!

I know these may seem like small things, but for me, I see God’s hand in these events. So often I focus on the negative circumstances or the difficult situations that I face–but today all I could do was praise God for His goodness.

Thank You, my loving heavenly Father!!!

From the fullness of his grace

we have all received

one blessing after another.

~John 1:16 (NIV)