The years, they fly by fast. And even faster since I crossed my mid-thirties. My youth and health that I once took for granted are on their way to becoming a memory.
Today I turn 37. Not a milestone by any means, but since my birthday lands on the day of the week where I list all the ways God has blessed me, it has given me an opportunity for reflection. Looking back over the years, I realize just how much of my life I’ve wasted. Most days I’ve spent waiting for the future, letting the present pass me by. “I’ll be happy once I find a better job.” “I’ll engage in community once we have a bigger house.” “I’ll be a better mom once my kids sleep through the night.” “My life will be better once my husband’s job slows down.” “If I didn’t live in Florida, I would be much happier.” And on and on.
For so long, I denied myself joy, thinking it wasn’t attainable until my life was ordered exactly as I wanted it. I never considered that joy was possible even in the midst of sleepless nights, financial troubles, or delayed dreams. Happiness is something I’ve always connected to circumstances, not a condition of the heart.
Since I started counting God’s graces two and half years ago, I’ve experienced a gradual shift in perspective. My eyes have been opened to see the countless acts of grace from a generous heavenly Father. Like one of my kid’s games where you have to search a busy image for a specific item, counting gifts requires looking past the big picture and deep into the details. From the tastes of favorite foods to the butterfly resting on a flower to the sleepy smile on my son’s face each morning–all are gifts to treasure.
Because I don’t deserve anything but have graciously been given more than I can count.
Counting these gifts have shifted my heart from always demanding more to seeing how much I already have. My heart’s posture is learning to bend in gratitude to the many gifts He gives. When I look at what He has already given me in Christ, through Christ, and because of Christ, I realize I already have everything I’ve ever needed.
But He continues to give so much more.
And so, as I face another year before me, I am thankful for this life. While there are challenges, trials, and uncertainties, I know that each and every circumstance in my life is a gift from God, for my good and for His glory. Though I regret the many years I spent grumbling and complaining about the taste of the manna I was given, I now realize just how rich and sweet that manna is. As I continue my journey of living a life of praise to my Savior, I look forward to seeing what gifts He will hand me in this next year.
Counting gifts in community (#1904-1924):
37 years of life:)
enjoying the sweet taste of manna each day
the generosity of God’s grace to my undeserving self
lessons learned and the ones yet to be learned
finding the gratitude community 2 1/2 years ago
visiting a friend who finally finished cancer treatments
after two weeks away, returning home safe and sound
waking my youngest up by singing happy birthday to him
celebrating Ian’s 5th birthday
going out with friend’s for my birthday
sangria, paella, laughter and fun
the tropical storm that came through was not nearly as bad as the last one
opening the windows and doors and letting the winds blow through the house
a day in pjs!
new blogging friends
getting back into routine
the birthday presents I bought for myself:)
Linking up with these friends: