For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time…
~ 2 Timothy 1:9
November is a month when most of us at least attempt to be more aware of things for which we can give thanks. Maybe we make an actual list or just try to keep a running list in our heads. Thanksgiving is our national holiday, so gratitude is the spoken focus. We make plans for the special day that will include family, friends and plenty to eat. We share thanks.
I’ve been working on a gratitude journal for the last couple of years. My goal is to write down at least three things each day. I’m usually able to keep it current, though sometimes I miss a day or two, then make my list a bit longer the next time. The idea is to consider the gift of the ordinary in my life, to be aware so I don’t miss them.
It has been a valuable exercise for me. The last few years have been, umm – shall we say, an adventure. They’ve been roller-coaster, crazy looking-glass kind of years. While there have been some lovely moments, they haven’t been the norm, and I’d bet most of you can relate well to that description. Practicing gratitude has helped me practice grace with my husband, daughters, extended family, friends, and particularly with myself.
As we move into December, the season of peace, joy and goodwill, I want to pursue the art of seeing and expecting joy. It feels to me like the next natural step, a way of honoring God’s love, patience, forgiveness, and relentless grace in my life.