It seems that everywhere I turn lately, the word Gratitude keeps showing up on my radar. Last week I mentioned here, that I have been participating in an online study of Suzie Eller’s book, Come With Me. And there it is again, in this week’s chapter for study: Living in Gratitude!
How is it that all these things have come together at just this time to point me back to living a life filled with Gratitude? I did a small word study to find the early beginnings of the word “gratitude,” and was surprised (but not really) to find that GRACE and GRATITUDE have their basis in the same Latin word gratus.
hmmm. . . remember that “pool of grace” that I am supposed to be swimming in?
The latest word from the Doctors continues to be fear-inducing concerning my husband: valve insufficiencies, and cardiologist appointments. But here’s the thing: while my mind wants to go back to fearing, my heart is hearing this GRACE and GRATITUDE word coming from Heavenly Influence.
Ifeoma has put together a wealth of wonderful Scriptures, in her book, Overcome Failure. She has so many encouraging words for any of us who have ever felt ourselves to be in a place of failure. One of her stories involved a time when she felt like a failure as a Mother. I won’t give any spoilers here, because you really should read the book yourself, but in the midst of the crisis that was averted, she heard the Lord whisper to her that she had not thanked Him for what He had kept from happening. She had been so focused on what she HAD allowed to happen, that she had forgotten to thank God for what He had PREVENTED from happening.
My heart has been stirred within me ever since I read that story. You see, I tend to focus on what IS happening right now, and then what COULD happen tomorrow. But am I willing to lift my eyes to see what Grace HAS ALREADY prevented from happening?
Yes, I know, I am usually quick to say “Oh, things could always be so much worse!” But I wonder, am I actually just tossing around a phrase, with a bit of a cynical heart?
Have I let my past failures and weaknesses compound in the hidden corners of my heart, and somehow, they’ve come to whirl and whip my thoughts back to a familiar place of fearing?
What if, instead of the whirling, I stopped the sequence in the beginning, and found a word of true thankfulness to speak? Maybe the GRACE comes as we lift GRATITUDE out of the closet, and dress ourselves in garments of praise.
“comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:2,3
-Thank you God, that your GRACE uncovered a hidden problem with my husband’s heart.
-Thank you God, that my own weaknesses from RA/Fibromyalgia have prevented me from trying to “fix and carry” those issues that my loved ones must bear to You.
-Thank you God, that even when I have felt like I have failed to find my own recovery, YOU are bringing me into the pleasant places of Your Presence.
-And most of all, Thank you God, that fearing cannot hold my heart, when my eyes are full of your GRACE to me.
Ifeoma Samuels can be found at her blog Purposeful and Meaningful . I am glad I was part of the launch team for her book #OvercomeFailure, and would highly recommend it!
Linking this week at these wonderful sites:
14 thoughts on “Gratitude”
Thank you so much Bettie, you have been an encouragement to me! Thank yu for your kind words. I am truly grateful.
I am praying for you and your hubby…The Lord Keep you and sustain you. May His grace wrap you and your family and grant you peace and strenght you need in Jesus Name. Amen
Oh thank you Ifeoma for your prayers! And thank you for offering your heart of encouragement through the words of your book. I am so glad that God has allowed me to “meet” you through these pages. May He give you everything you need to go forward! –Blessings to you
Bettie – Thank you for sharing about Ifeoma's book, I will check it out – I love how you shared her book has helped you to stay in an attitude of gratefulness and thankfulness for the things that He has already prevented from happening. Such a powerful point in gratefulness. I am praying for you to remain at peace no matter what the doctors have said or will say, and fully believe God can heal in an instant, or He can utilize modern technology. Praying for your faith to arise and get so BIG fear can't even exist. Love catching up with you weekly at #TeaAndWordTuesday
Thank you Debbie for such a beautiful prayer! Yes, I really do want to keep my heart full of gratitude, and to find my faith growing through all of this. It's not the place where I would have chosen to be, but God is here! And, yes, I love reading your words over at #TeaAndWordTuesday! –Blessings!
I am in the Come With Me Study too and the prayer today – “Ask God to shine a light on one area where a lack of thank you festers” has really made me think! Sometimes we can get so stuck and we don't even realize how much our focus has shifted away from gratitude! Thank you for sharing Ifeoma's book! I will definitely check it out. This has been a year of ups and downs and when we take the time look His treasures are everywhere. Her story about focusing on what she allowed versus what He prevented is a powerful reminder to give thanks even in the storms of life. Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to reading more.
How exciting to find another sister in the Come With Me Study! I am just so blessed by the way God brings all these connections together, to keep our eyes looking up to Him. I am glad that HE has been showing you His treasures on your journey! Thanks for your encouraging words here! –Blessings!
I'm hoping you receive some encouraging words about your husband's health but what beautiful words you write about being grateful for not only grace but for what God protects us from and accompanies us through. It's not easy to turn the challenges around and look at them differently but you do, and are here to encourage us!
Thank you, Bettie, for this encouragement to focus on gratitude for what God has prevented or has done instead of what is happening now or could happen in the future. It can be hard to do sometimes, right? I hope and pray your husband will turn out well and God will give both of you hope and strength for each day. Hugs!
Thank you Valerie for such uplifting thoughts! Yes, it is hard to keep my focus away from the fearing. But every time I come back to Gratitude, there I find Jesus just waiting to show me how Great He truly is! Isn't He so patient with us? **Hugs**
Oh, yes, Trudy, it can be so hard not to give in to fear! But isn't Jesus so sweet to keep reminding us that His Grace still covers us? I appreciate your prayers so much! **Hugs**
Bettie, I love this book review and also I love that Bible verse so much, as I was going through a dark time last year- that I had it on a sticky note on my dresser mirror to look at everyday. God;s word really is powerful especially when we speak it to ourselves! I am praying for you and your husband but I am so happy to see you being courageous and sharing about gratitude through the unknowns. It is a witness in and of itself! Thanks so much for linking up at #TeaAndWord, friend. *hugs*
Meg, Oh yes, God's Word is so powerful! What a great way to remind yourself of God's Beauty in the dark times, by pasting it to your mirror! Thank you for hosting us all in your #TeaAndWord link-up! And thanks so much for your prayers. **Hugs** & Blessings to you!
This is a wonderful review of Ifeoma's book. This has been so me lately and I too was convicted of my lack of gratitude: “You see, I tend to focus on what IS happening right now, and then what COULD happen tomorrow. But am I willing to lift my eyes to see what Grace HAS ALREADY prevented from happening?” I'm discovering the need to STOP to look back! Ifeoma's book is a treasure trove with its strong Scriptural basis, isn't it?
I've been reading Come With Me too and it's been so amazing how things have spoken directly into situations I'm going through.
Hi Anna, Yes, I am so thankful for having read Ifeoma's book that is so full of God's Word! I think I will be referring back to it often–letting the Scriptures sink in for new days. God is making so many different stories available to us, for these times we live in. And I am so longing to read your book also! Thank you for your encouraging words! –Blessings!