Monday, January 6, 2014

A Formula for Gratitude

In studying 1 Thessalonians, I get hung up over in chapter 5:16-18 on three of the simplest verses in the whole book.
Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Easier said than done--or is it just me?
Yet, these things are God's will in Christ Jesus for me, 
so He will make it possible for me to do those things.  
In me, impossible.
In Him, all these things possible.
This morning I read a quote from Charles Spurgeon that brought these verse together for me.
"When joy and prayer are married, their first born child is gratitude."
Joy + prayer = gratitude.
When I seek joy with a heart that's in continuous communication with my Father, gratitude for Him will flow.
Eucharisteo precedes the miracle,
but chairo (rejoicing) and proseuchomai (praying) precede eucharisteo. 
I love that.
I did some gift-counting in 2013, but I'm starting my list over and working toward 1000 in 2014.
  (I gave myself a head start.)
1. warm house
2. cold winter sunshine
3. blue skies
4 hot coffee with cream
5. gluten free banana bread with coconut
6. the hands that made the bread
7. raspberries from our summer garden
8. Big Red
9. a new, gentle alarm that makes me smile (a little) when it goes off
10. DD#2 and her sense of humor
11. under warm covers
12. a plan for the paper clutter that tries to eat my house
13. Hillsong's Aftermath album
14. a plan for Sunday morning
15. hot soup
16. electricity
17. a paycheck
18. giving
19. & 20 two of my favorite sisters in Christ
21. a job
22. blue mason jars with white daisies
23. 1 Thessalonians
24. God gives God.
25. All I really need I already have in Christ
26. I am His and He is mine
27. What He starts, He'll finish
28. bacon
29.& 30 appliances to make life easier
31. a new journal
32. years of old journals
33. onions cooking in olive oil
34. morning dark
35. first light
36. a clean floor
37. the testimony of the year
38. snow day!
39. Jesus Project verses
40.  Jesus was in the Beginning
41. The Word is God.
42. Sunday morning worship with our little group
43. morning quiet in my house
It's a long list!  Keep me accountable for counting!


  1. Thank you for this - I need a little hope and joy today. It's dark and dank and stormy here and the inside of my head is no better, so I've been reading your list and imagining your house with its blue mason jars and peace and smell of onions and banana bread and I think it's a little bit of healing. I can see the love for the Lord in your heart, sister across the sea. A long list indeed - I have a long list too. Must focus on that.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi sweet friend! I love counting gifts! I never finished counting mine - started in 2012 - I got so close - I know I have surpassed 1000, but since I haven't kept track.....
    I will try and be a good reminder for you to keep counting!

    Thank you for your words of encouragment on my word for 2014 -- I am seat belted in - ready for whatever He brings! Trust is a scary thing, but I need it! Thank you for being my friend!
    Love you - big hug!