To Read on the Journey

Friday, November 7, 2014

Smack-dab in the middle

The season of thankfulness is here!

I love November because people are intentional to take stock of all the good things in their lives.
I think it's no coincidence that I was born in the middle of this month filled with thanksgiving...
over the years God has shown me that He wants me to LIVE smack-dab in the middle of thanksgiving, AND that it is smack-dab in the middle of thanksgiving where I truly LIVE!
 Being thankful isn't my first instinct though. My first instinct is whining and complaining and worrying and demanding my way. Yep. All four. At once. I can be loads of fun to be around. ;)  If you don't believe me ask the four people who live with me.   
You all know the saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  Well boy, does this ring true in our home?  This mama knows that she's typically the one that sets the emotional temperature of our home (click text- that's a good read); that it's often my attitude that determines whether the rest of the family is walking on egg shells in our home OR living smack-dab in the middle of grace and joy and love.

Let's be frank, because I set the temps I have a lot of power in this house. AND THANK GOD, He is in my life!  'Cause I knnnnnoooowwww that power would be used for uuuuuuugly around here if He wasn't. 
God's Spirit daily reminds me of His heart for me. This includes God reminding me of who I really am in Him. In fact, take a quick glance at the "About Me" section, at the top right of this page (web version), and you'll see it says "Praise is who I am, praise is what I do." THAT IS WHO GOD REMINDS ME I AM.  

 He reminds me that I don't want to model grumbling to my people, AND I don't want them to think of OR remember me as a grumbler.  He tells me "Praise is who you are, Denise, praise is what you do! Now get to it! Model that to your family."   

Psalm 100:4  says this, 
  "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him 
and praise his name."    
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise"... I want in there, and more than that I NEED in there- smack-dab at the center of where God is? 

And God gives me (us) the key in! Through thanksgiving and praise.   

And what I've learned over time is that the more I practice thanksgiving and praise the more that becomes my first instinct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That's deserving of an excessive use of exclamation marks, folks. That's a big deal!  Don't believe me... ask the 4 people who live with me ;)    

When I take stock of all the good things in my life I find myself smack-dab in the middle of where my God wants me: 

Remembering Who He is
My God, Who "works all things together for the good of those who love Him." 

I decrease and God increases- 
"And the things of earth grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." 

"I once was lost, but now I see"- 
My eyes are no longer zeroed in on me, they're focused on the AMAZING GOD of heaven of and earth, and His loving kindness. His loving kindness causes me to see all I do have in Him. All the #andicantafforditbutitsmine. 

I find myself LIVING where He wants me to be- 
Smack dab in the middle of His grace and joy and love. And LIVING in all that goodness causes that to spill out of me into others...
especially my sweet family.

I pray that you will be encouraged, whoever you are, where ever you are, and in whatever season you're in to thank Him and praise Him. There is always always always something to be thankful for. There is. 

Even if/when things are trying, ultimately, those that are in Christ have every thing we need because the LORD is our  God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And if anything ever deserved an excessive amount of exclamation marks it's that ;)

Are you counting all the good things God has done for you this month? 
Where can I follow you?
And to those of you who are counting keep it up!
I  delight in ALL your thanksgiving.

And I pray that as you count you'll find yourself smack-dab in the middle 
of where God wants you
in the fullness of Him and His grace, joy, and love. 

Live in Peace!

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart 
that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old things are passed away; 
behold, the new has come."
II Cor 5:17 

Photos taken at the Jerseydale Ranch Pumpkin Patch in Boot Jack, Ca


Leslie said...

Denise, this post is a breath of fresh air I've needed!!! I love the part about us being the temperature in our homes. Too often I'm guilty of my anxiety and feeling lead me instead of the Lord. Your pictures are beautiful! It looks like you're having a wonderful fall so far!

Tegan | Celebrate Twelve13 said...

I've read this post a few times in the last couple of weeks. Like Leslie, the part about us being the temperature of our homes resonated with me too. I need to be more conscious about that, and intentional about keeping that temperature warm... not cold and uncomfortable.