This has been a busy week. Since I wasn't in the office at all last week, I had some catching up to do. I don't know about you, but I find myself complaining more than giving thanks. In the chapter in One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, that I've been reading this week, she talks about how learning to see God in all around us (she's not talking about pantheism here, but rather recognizing Who is the Creator) enables us to give thanks and to receive His joy. I need to keep consciously working on recognizing God in the gifts around me that He gives.
Monday -- I love pens...pens that write well, colored pens, markers, etc. I'm thankful for my purple highlighter.
Tuesday -- I got a new notebook for my Bible study on Philippians and am enjoying filling it up. (I love notebooks, too!)
"...faith is not a once-in-the-past action, but faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything. And if the eyes gaze long enough to see God lifted in a thing, how can the lips not offer eucharisteo? The truly saved have eyes of faith and lips of thanks. Faith is in the gaze of a soul." --Ann Voskamp
Wednesday -- This is some kind of lily on our terrace that seems to bloom once a year, usually right at the beginning of the hot season. Right now it has four flowers on it and more buds coming. Amazing the flowers that God makes for us to enjoy!
Thursday -- Often in the evenings or early mornings we hear rustling in the leaves on our back terrace. If you look carefully, you'll find one of these guys...a cute little hedgehog. Isn't he adorable?!
Friday -- Walking through sand (this is a desert country, after all!) leaves one's feet and shoes filthy. I threw all my shoes in the washing machine and gave them a good cleaning. Wow! They are no longer brown....well, at least until the next time I wear them!
"I've got only one pure thing to wear an it's got Made by Jesus on the tag and the purity of Jesus lies over a heart and His transparency burns the cataracts off the soul. The only way to see God manifested in the world around is with the eyes of Jesus within." --Ann Voskamp
Saturday -- We have several bushes in our yard that have grown out of control. There was also a row of hedges that seemed to have died and our neighbor lady removed those all by herself. That motivated us to go out and cut back the bougainvillea that has been encroaching on our clothes line. It's so tangled in the neighbor's concertina wire that it's going to take even more work, but we removed stems that were about six feet in length. John also cut back another bougainvillea that was growing into the path and I cut back the bushes along the side of the driveway. I'm thankful we had a cool morning to do this yard work and that we were able to work together on it.
Sunday -- And Jesus took the bread, broke it, and gave thanks (eucharisteo) for it. I love how this church used little tea cups for communion instead of a traditional western style communion set. And you can see the joy on the pastor's face. :)
"How my eyes see, perspective, is my key to enter His gates. I can only do so with thanksgiving. If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can't I give thanks for anything? And if I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates to glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy -- and seeing shows the way in.
"The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn't joy the art of God?" --Ann Voskamp