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Motivate is a Verb

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Seeds and Weeds

What a ride life is, no?  I decided to take a break with the blog and see if I missed the discipline and to see if it changed me if I stopped the process.

It turns out that being thankful is good for me. I didn’t miss writing right away, but within a few days, I felt a loss.

By the end of the second week, I find that I’m drifting in my thoughts and priorities.  Could it be that being thankful keeps me focused and on task?  Hm.  I look at my garden today and portions around the flower bed need some tending, but the vegetable garden is a veritable prairie of Midwestern weeds.  It will take a delicate hand to sort out which are the good and the bad.  Again, gardening preaches to me…How sad to lose a harvest by letting weeds take over.  Also true with projects done poorly, missing a chance in reaching out to those who need a touch and ignoring my own soul’s tending.

Well, today I begin…again… Ah, what a wonder life is that we can start over.   Time for some manual and spiritual Weed-B-Gone. Now, where is that hoe?

86.  Thankful to God for His new mercies every morning.

87.  Grateful for truth revealed and a heart ready to receive it.

88. Embracing the pain of loss for the joy of purity and contentment

89.  Eager for soul rest and the seeds of hope reborn.

90.  Appreciative that restlessness can lead to something good and whole, if a person is willing to let the cause come to the surface, be identified and dealt with.  This leaves room for fresh growth and it’s no longer shadowed by shame or sorrow.

What disciplines are your using to cultivate your soul and life?  Tell of your experiences. I’m here….I’m listening.  🙂

 

 

I’ve discovered something: I’m happiest when I’m sharing.

It can be all sorts of things, but when I’m truly “with” another, the camaraderie and community grows in the act of sharing.

As I continue the journey of gratitude, ponder with me in the ways we can generously share “the good stuff” of life…with others.

76.  Sharing a treat is always more fun then eating it alone.  Always. Even chocolate.

77.  Sharing in someone’s grief and bringing comfort and hope. What an honor; an intimacy.

78. Sharing a joy with someone and having them really celebrate with me…without envy, sarcasm or bitterness.

79. Shared prayer, seeking God together is satisfying.  It’s so much more meaningful to pray with a person than just to pray separately.

80. Shared humor is a blessing. Not everyone finds the same things as funny, but when you do, joy doubles, spirits soar, laughter echoes in the heart, …friendships deepen.

81.  Sharing in-kind goods with those in need or receiving something while in need. Both have grateful prayer written all over them.

82.  Sharing is part of being a healthy person and regular generosity breeds health and freedom of spirit.  The opposite is also true: greed breeds bitterness, envy and a low morale.

83.  Sharing good news brings joy to the listener …and the teller.  What news can I share today to build up another…

84.  Sharing “the best” frees my heart. When I hold back the best for myself, I reveal a stingy heart. Lord, free me from wanting the biggest or the best and let me honor another by giving to them as I would to you.

85.  Sharing the load makes the work better and builds bonds that would be otherwise missing.  When I share in the chores or work with others, I am blessed because they let me help and we often can be more effective.  I am blessed by others’ awareness and their willingness to be engaged in the world outside of themselves.

What else do you share?  How is it meaningful to you? I’m here… I’m listening.  🙂

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Are you like me? So often, I miss important things just because there’s so much noise and distraction around me.  Or, the inner noise is so loud, my soul is restless, seeking the quiet, the peace, the contentment that is as elusive as a butterfly.

Gratefully, today I am more settled and at peace. I took time to notice things I love hearing. Join me in thanksgiving for these. Maybe you’ll think of things to add or maybe you dismiss some of them as too ordinary.  Here we go!

66. Hearing “I love you” or better yet…”I love you back.”

67.  Hearing the sound of waves on rocks at the shoreline.

68.  Hearing shared laughter of friends across a busy restaurant, knowing they’re making a memory.

69.  Hearing convicting words of a pastor, passionate to see his people follow closely after Christ and not at a distance.

70. Hearing the cheer of thousands as they worship God in His splendor…recognizing Him for who He is and not just the gifts he so readily provides.

71.  Hearing “I forgive you” in a tone that makes me weep with thanks and humility.

72.  Hearing favorite songs that bring memories of days gone by and the smiles that come with them!

73.  Hearing other languages spoken in kindness, not knowing what is said, but seeing the kind countenances as conversation is shared.

74.  Hearing the wind tickle the leaves and enjoying the praise that arises.

75.  Hearing the happy whistle of people who work as maids, waitstaff or do other mundane tasks.  You bring joy to those you serve. Thank you!

Today I’m surrounded by wonderful scents!  It’s amazing to me how time slows when I notice things, familiar and desired. Celebrate with me as I reflect on them so far…and then add your favorites!

61.  The homey scent cinnamon is everywhere, in the cherries, the bread pudding and the sticky bun from Grandma’s Swedish Bakery (Door County)

62.  The heady scent of pine, grass and wood-smoke while tromping through the woods.

63  The unmistakable scent of the lake, calm and inviting on a humid morning.

64.  The clean scent of sunscreen, shampoo and soap… the world is happier when cleaner, don’t you think?

65. The ever-welcoming scent of freshly made coffee, served in a real mug.

Approval: Received

ap·prov·al/əˈpro͞ovəl/Noun

1. The action of officially agreeing to something or accepting something as satisfactory.
2. The belief that someone or something is good or acceptable.

In reflecting on thanks today, I am so very aware of God’s hand of mercy and grace. To have HIS approval is an amazing gift of hope that I aim to freely give to others. This IS part of the good news of the Gospel.  Let’s give approval to others and verbalize acceptance often today!

56.  To know it’s possible to repent and be forgiven  is such freedom.

57.  To be able to appropriate God’s grace in the moment it’s needed is a miracle.

58.  To offer a gracious response to difficult people is to reveal the grace of God I’ve received.

59.  To have a clear conscience and be welcomed as “blameless” is my soul’s delight

60.  To walk into the day with God’s hope is a triumph over dread and fear and it is NOT (thank God!) dependent on my feelings.

Plenty

I have a full heart today as I continue in the experiment of exercising thanks. Today, I’m noticing an amazing array of resources. Even the words fill me with contentment: plentiful, more than adequate, beneficial, all that I need, abundant, good, whole, full to the brim…

What would you add?

51.  Abundant supply of classic lit and other materials. And many are available online…for free!

52. The never ending joy of love and overflowing grace from God.

53.  Dancing around the sprinkler like I was 7 again, giggling…hearing the water hit the brick – celebrating the tingly cold on a hot day.

54.  The vast amount of lush greenery all around. What a gift parks are to townspeople everywhere.

55.  The joyful worship of creating, of making, of designing… It all reflects the Creator.  May God be praised!