My aunt's church in Florida has been participating in a "No Complaining Challenge," and she has been forwarding me the e-mails her pastor is sending to the congregation to encourage them during the challenge. In one of his recent e-mails, he said the following:
We don't realize that when the Bible says "Do everything without complaining and grumbling" it really does mean EVERYTHING. The reason we shouldn't complain is because it is not good for us. We might think it makes us feel better but it really drives a wedge between us and God because we no longer can see and appreciate His blessings and what He is doing in our livesThis is one of the great things about practicing gratitude by finding 10 things to be thankful for each week... It helps me to focus on God's blessings and what He is doing in my life instead of getting caught up in discontentment!
With that said, this week I am thankful...
241. That I have gotten to spend LOTS of quality time with my nephew over the past couple weeks, sometimes holding him for hours at a time!! Joy of joys! (This has meant a lot more quality time with my brother and sister-in-law than I've had in a while as well! Win-win!)
242. For refunds on income tax!
243. That the church office is more clean and organized right now than it has been in ages, thanks to having the carpet replaced last week (due to a burst-pipe-induced flood a couple months back). My desk feels so much less cluttered! I love it!
244. That God keeps refining my perspectives on so many different things in life; that He is continuing to dig what's rotten out of my heart so He can transform it into what He wants it to look like; and that the changes He is making in me are making my relationships healthier, more edifying, and more joyful!
245. For another dinner and movie night with Jess, Ben, and TJ last Friday, this time with Ben and TJ's mom and sister joining us as well!
246. For a fun Superbowl party with good friends, during which I MIGHT have watched five minutes of the game, haha!
247. For our new young adults fellowship group that kicked off this past Tuesday night. Excited to share life and grow with these people as we seek to be the Body of Christ to each other and to the world around us!
248. For the chance to have lunch and catch up with my friend Abbey this week for the first time in about a year.
249. For this recipe for spinach and lemon soup with orzo (although I substituted quinoa for the orzo). YUM!
|a bowl of my homemade soup!|
250. For homemade wheat french bread, fresh out of the oven with a perfectly crunchy crust!
251. For these delicious little treats that I made for the first time the other night and can't get enough of!
252. For cooking, period. I started realizing last year how much I enjoy it, especially trying new recipes. Then I kind of lost my enthusiasm about it for a while but I'm rediscovering it now and falling in love all over again!
253. For a good conversation with my brother about how the Gospel should affect every facet of our lives and how it should make all our relationships right -- our relationship with God, first and foremost, but also our relationships with parents, friends, significant others, enemies, possessions, creation, etc. It's so exciting and FREEING to think of how the Gospel can and SHOULD truly transform our entire lives!
254. For people who live their lives in a way that exhibits what I just described, and for the way their lives challenge and inspire me!
255. For Heejun Han, one of my current favorites on American Idol. He is HILARIOUS!!! I actually thought he was going to be terrible when he auditioned because his interview clips were so goofy, but he's actually got a good voice, too!
256. For an especially fun coffee date with Jessie last night, and...
257. ...that God is teaching us BOTH that a lot of our struggles in life stem mostly from our thinking, and that He is helping us learn to retrain our minds and stop living inside our heads!
258. For opportunities to live out different things God has been teaching me!
259. For exclamation marks! Apparently I like them, seeing as to how I have ended almost every item on this week's list with one! (!!!!!) (Ha!)
260. For seven years of life, love, memories, adventures, faith, and growth in Reno, during which I have been overwhelmingly and abundantly blessed!
I've really been feeling overwhelmed with gratitude lately. There is SO MUCH to be thankful for! Life is definitely hard at times, but with a good God who carries us through the trials and even uses them for our good -- and our GROWTH -- and His glory, we can always take heart in the midst of whatever we're facing, whether good or bad! Hope you all have a great weekend!