Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Making a place for God to grow...

Something always comes to fill the empty places. And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.  Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 59

According to the book of Genesis, Jehovah Jireh was a place in the land of Moriah, which according to legend is the place Abraham was going to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide.

This evening I have been thinking of all the ways the Lord provides, sometimes in ways we may not be expecting.

This evening I have been wondering if as I strive to seek God in all places, to live from an attitude of gratitude, if I am more aware of how he is and has been providing for me?

I've journaled about the Wednesday Lunch Bunch.

I began this gathering as a Bible 101 Crash Course around a simple meal on the second Wednesday of each month.  I decided each month would be a stand alone conversation so people could come and go.  I would be lying if I had not hopefully envisioned a full table with lively discussion, but I have learned the past several years that those who God calls to gather....are those who gather.....and when I accept that.....I am ALWAYS RICHLY blessed.

Such is the case with the Wednesday Lunch Bunch.

Is there a full table, no.  Yet, those who God has called to participate have gathered and it is a small table with lively discussion.  I cannot begin to express how blessed I am with the conversation, the questions, the insights of those who gather for a bowl of soup and a Bible.  Today, I simply shook my head as I left the church and whispered a prayer of gratitude.

A few weeks ago I downloaded the e-book by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice, Untangling Christmas.  Karen and LeAnn are both authors of Proverbs 31 Ministries, not a site I visit.  In fact, I have no idea how I came across this book! has been a gift...a blessing!

I am untangling the upcoming holiday!  Me!!!

Originally I thought it would be a fun thing to offer as a women's gathering at the church.  Which means, like everything else I prepare...I really learn more than anyone else.

Because I stumbled upon this book and then decided to offer it to others, I have a focus as I approach the busiest time in any mom's, Giz's, and pastor's life...that I have not had for many years.  Plus, we are having a women's gathering that I am looking forward to!  In addition to the conversations around the book, it will also be a pitch-in of favorite holiday foods and a recipe swap. A win/win!  And I'm blessed more than anyone!

As I seek God in the little things and say, "Thank You" I am finding it easier to accept "gifts" without as much of my "knee jerk" reaction.

This coming Saturday is the church's annual Turkey Dinner.  It is a hard week of planning, grocery shopping, preparation.  Today I saw all the loaves of bread waiting to be broken up for dressing.  I didn't look to see if there were pounds and pounds of potatoes already in the kitchen waiting to be peeled on Saturday morning.  It is an effort of the entire congregation, but, like so many other things....a few do A LOT of the work.

I grew up with such dinners.

I know what goes into them and I expect to carry my weight.

However, instead of having a turkey to roast this year and desserts to prepare....instead of being scheduled to work....  I've been given the night off!  The email this evening read:

I hope you didn't get upset with my message. I really don't want to see you get burned out before the holidays. I have changed a few things about the supper and the upcoming holidays. I am not getting all tangled (notice the word "tangled"?) like I usually do. Please just come and enjoy. Mingle and enjoy....

My initial "knee jerk"?

What's going on! Do they think I can't carry my weight? What....

And then I thought, "San, where is God in this? Is it possible to simply say, 'thank you'? Because the reality is....this is a killer evening/weekend for you!"

By the time Sunday evening comes and I pull into my garage after an exceptionally long weekend, I am physically and emotionally tired.

Jehovah Jireh.

The Lord will provide when I open my hands, willing to receive his blessings.

Has this "transformation" happened because of Ann's book....No.

Her book has been a part of a ONGOING process that began many months, maybe years, ago.

I am slowly unclenching my fists and relaxing my stance....making it possible for me to receive.  Still....I'm just making beginning sounds of this language of gratitude.  With the help and encouragement of all those God sends to walk alongside me....I pray that I continue the process of learning how to speak this language so that I might live a life full.

Awesome God, I thank you for all those who bless my life with conversation, laughter, listening, caring....friendship and love.  Through them, I gain a glimpse of your kingdom here on earth.  Healing and merciful God, you know the needs of one I love deeply.  Please God, I pray for healing and strength....I pray for a way to be made.... AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sandi,

    I hope you are doing alright and the (thanksgiving) dinner look great.

    I normaly use the verses that you write down and text them to my friends. they always like them, so thank you!

    big hugs