Trading my ashes for beauty….that He might be glorified.
Purposely Claiming Today’s Gifts
Today. This day – another gift from the Lord. Filled with potential and gifts. Gifts from my Heavenly Father. But how often do those gifts unappreciated? Some are unappreciated because I have allowed myself to become accustomed to them. They are taken for granted. Yet, others are unappreciated because they are unclaimed. Never even accepted from the loving Father’s hand. How many do I leave unaccepted? What could this day look like? Feel like? How different could it be if I had simply stopped to acknowledge and commune with Jesus…and then accepted the gifts He had anticipated and planned to give?
Today is not just another 24 hours I have been given in order to simply fill time or to “check boxes”…but this is today. Another gift from God…filled with untold gifts and blessings, as well as opportunities.
All I need do is walk this day with Christ. Amazingly, He longs to walk with me!!
These thoughts are some that I recorded here on the blog a couple of years ago. Apparently, I had written them down as notes (intending to put them together into a post) even earlier than that. And, yet, not only the notes but the impact they made on my heart back then is so familiar. Similar to my feelings the last few weeks.
I wrote back then: My soul has been unsettled lately, if not completely troubled. I notice evidence of this in so many ways – many of them of small and otherwise insignificant – but symptoms just the same. For instance, I want to nap. Not a big deal but I know that, typically, I never nap. Don’t like to nap. I’m touchy, easily irritated, sarcastic, and too often feel angry for no reason. And me, lately? Still easily irritated, sarcastic, and way too touchy. Do some things really never change?
Two years ago, I went on to say: Current events, society’s turmoil, constant anger, and condemnation even among believers – all make me anxious, keep my thoughts troubled and my emotions all over the place. It often starts at the beginning of the day. Before I am even out of bed. And this ought not to be – because this day truly is another gift from the Lord. I believed that truth when I wrote the words above and I still believe it, but I don’t always live it.
Perhaps a lot does not change. Certainly, there is still much that keeps my thoughts troubled and my emotions all over the place. For sure and for certain. As I scroll through my blog – not necessarily looking for “answers” but finding much reassurance, encouragement and even wisdom- I am reminded that life has led me down tough roads before. Each season and even each year includes hard days and unique challenges. And I can see that I need to be often reminded not to rely on my feelings. To live by faith…and to allow my faith to be bigger than my fears.
This was my “takeaway” and encouragement to myself years ago: It is the leaning upon – the depending on or trusting – my own understanding (my own wisdom, judgment or perception) where I go wrong. Even when I am unable to make sense of situations and circumstances, I am often guilty of trying to control my own little world. I not only try hard to put everything in order but then work even harder to keep it all together and in place. All done with my own effort and through my own strength and understanding. But, right in the middle of all that self-discipline and best efforts, I want another nap! Keeping all my ducks in a row is tiring. More importantly, when doing so, I miss even the simplest joys and the sweet gifts Christ has included in each day.
I went on to say: I want to not only walk with Christ each day…to follow on the paths where He leads…but to do so with confidence (not fear, dread, or even angst). I want to anticipate, look for and then accept the good and gracious gifts that He offers each day! I want to walk with Him and commune with Him. What a change of perspective and attitude that would be!! This post may well be a “note to self” reminder and encouragement. But I will tuck it away and, prayerfully, the Lord will bring it to mind when I need it most.
And, indeed, He did. I know this post has been a bit “all over the place” and maybe not the easiest to follow. It might just be a (repeat) “note to self” but, then again, it might be an encouragement to just one other today. Maybe even to several. Whatever your day might look like, refuse to let even one good and gracious gift that He offers you today go unaccepted! Enjoy His gifts today!
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