Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! [1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (NLT)]
After returning home from nearly three weeks on the road, we hit the ground running and occupied ourselves with unpacking, laundry, sorting through piles of mail, paying bills, returning calls, watering plants, and restocking the pantry before leaving three days later to go out of town again. Busy with household tasks, editing photos, answering emails, writing devotions and updating the website, and knowing we’d soon be leaving again, I hadn’t even bothered to unpack my book bag. This morning, in a quiet moment, I reached in the bag to read some C.S. Lewis and found my gratitude journal. Sadly, no entries had been made for five days. Was there nothing for which I was grateful? On the contrary, there was plenty. Granted, the journal was buried under a pile of books but that was no excuse. I had simply been too busy and involved in doing things that I’d neglected the most important thing: pausing and being with God. Oh, I’d spent time in prayer every morning but, admittedly, those prayers had been rather rushed and the thanks had been pretty generic. Writing in the gratitude journal, however, makes me pause and truly consider the specific gifts with which God has blessed me each day.
As I reviewed the last several days, there was much for which I’d not offered thanks: over 3,000 miles driven without incident, accident or ticket; the littlest grand started preschool with a smile and another grand is adjusting well to her new school; the flowers survived our absence and neglect; neighbors had taken in the mail we’d forgotten to put on hold; my 98-year old mother-in-law continues to do well; five devotions got written; my shoulder is no longer sore and my foot has finally healed; a friend is recovering well from surgery; another friend is healing from the pain of losing his wife; my children sent pictures of the grands; I got caught up on my paper work; hurricane Erika petered out; my husband cooked one of my favorite meals; and I saw a buck and two does walk through our yard this morning. The list goes on and on. None of it is earth-shattering, none of it is deep, but all of it is worthy of thanks to God. Since He never seems too busy to grant His blessings, why is it so easy to become too busy to thank Him?
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we take your blessings for granted or neglect to acknowledge them. Daily, you bestow upon us gifts of every shape and size. May we always recognize the source of our blessings and never take them for granted or forget to express our gratitude to the Giver of all gifts.
For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson]