Gratitude… the 2012 Joy Dare
This year, those of us counting gratitude have been challenged by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience to continue counting our 1000 gifts (things we are grateful for) but the 2012 challenge is to count 3 gifts a day.
As my main photography blog is on Blogger at The Greatest of these is LOVE, I spend much of my blogging time there. This year I decided to embark on a photography challenge called “Project 366 Rewind” – a photo a day during 2012. The main aim was to improve my photography, however I have also been photographing the things I love & those I am grateful for. I usually take numerous photos a day (some days 100 or more). So I realised today that I can easily combine the photography challenge with my Gratitude Journal.
Counting 3 a day is not as easy as it seems, even with Ann’s Joy Dare. I have found already this year that there are days when I am totally exhausted and worn down by ill health, the frustrations of raising teenagers again after my own 4 children are all grown, and other challenges that life throws my way. It is so easy to get bogged down in everyday life and to find myself slowly feeling overcome. But that is the whole purpose of gratitude – to change our focus, to find the gifts in the hard stuff, to learn to see in the fog, to be grateful for blessings and for lessons…
Wisdom comes from lessons & adversity, more than from blessings – I have learned in my 46 years of life and my 27 1/2 years of being a Mum. Perhaps it comes through the difficulties, trials & struggles because we, by nature, often rely on our own strength and God needs us to be worn down down before we sit up and listen.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We need to be weak in order for Him to be our strength.
We need to be quiet in order to listen to Him.
We need to be grateful & rejoice in ALL things. ALL THINGS!
And this has been my biggest lesson in the last 6 months – Learning to be grateful not only in the good times, but also in sickness, in need, in adversity, in stress…
Still counting my blessings:
87. Safety from the flood waters – again
88. Phone calls from my Sarah just to see how I am
89. Breakfast in bed
90. His Word – truth, light, love
91. Wisdom from lessons & adversity
92. His voice in the quiet
93. His strength in our weakness
94. Finding gratitude in the hard stuff
95. The man I love – his humility and willingness to get it right
96. God’s patience as I walk, stumble, learn and grow
97. Finding calm in the storms
98. Grace abounding
99. “The Love Dare”
100. “Courageous” & “Fireproof” – the movies that changed our lives