Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gratitude - Days #22, #23, #24, #25, and #26

Welcome back! To you and to me! The stomach bug has hit the McNamee house for the second time this year. I have to say that the first round, in May, was more violent, but Daddy got it this time. It's never good to have the daddy go down! We're finally on the upswing, just in time for a family trip back to Kansas for Thanksgivings. It still amazes me how ill our bodies can become, yet they can bounce back just as quickly. Speaking of bouncing, Baby McNamee #2 doesn't seem phased at all by the stomach flu symptoms (no need to elaborate...)! Once again...God's design at its finest :-) For our first verse, let me give you one simple verse for us to think on all day as mommies...

"I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers." 
2 Timothy 1:3

What a neat verse from our heavenly Father. Let's remember the family that God has chosen for us. Though they may be throwing up on you, praying for our sweet children and husbands and their well-being is a privilege given to us as mommies!

Here are our gratitude verses #23, #24, #25, and #26...

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." 
Psalm 28:7

Isn't that beautiful? How often do we need God to give us strength and to be our shield? Daily, right?!

"But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord." 
Jonah 2:9

How many of these verses throughout November have encouraged us to praise our Father heaven through song? He loves it! Imagine how sweet it is to hear our little ones singing, a real song or their own creation. I would guess that our God feels just the same way about us. Praising Him through music brings a smile to His face...every time.

Next, let's all agree to keep our eyes on Him with thanksgiving and to try not to be lured, or have our children enticed, by things of this world. See the picture in preparation for the days ahead!

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving." 
Ephesians 5:3-4

As silly as the picture is, there is a bit of stark reality that comes with it. Greed doesn't make God smile, it doesn't bring Him praise, and I imagine it saddens Him to see us act crazy after we spend a day devoted to gratitude. Now, don't get me wrong. Buying gifts for others and celebrating those special people He has placed in our lives is wonderful (especially when you get a great deal!), but I think we're all aware when that line gets crossed. Thankfully, He gives us enough grace to suffice for any moronic behavior we show as humans. Grace doesn't give us a license to sin, but instead gives us positive reinforcement and encouragement to behave in a way that is pleasing to Him. How cool to have the opportunity to teach that to our little ones! I hope we can all remember this as we draw nearer to Black Friday...

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Cry out, "Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise." 
1 Chronicles 16:34-35

I love the last part of this verse..."that we may glory in your praise." Isn't it cool that we get to share in the joy of the Lord when we offer Him our praise. While it shouldn't be our motivation, He blesses us when we give the credit to Him. He acknowledges our efforts when we first place the focus on Him. No matter our circumstances, He deserves praise and gratitude. When we are in the midst of a difficult situation...a sickness, financial struggles, a desperate desire for change in our home situation, etc., we often will begin to see Him work us through that season when our hearts switch from begging for a change, to thanking Him for all He has already done. What are you longing to be delivered from this season? Instead of getting caught up in a self pity-party, myself included, let's turn our words to those of praise for what He has done. Maybe He just needs us to be willing and grateful participants in order for His new plans for us to start to fall into place! 

I pray that each of these verses are a blessing for you today, and that God will bring them to your mind as you go about the busyness of preparing for this holiday season. Thanks for visiting, mommies!

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