Somewhere along the line grumbling became all too easy for me.
Complaining a little here. A little there. It begins subtly but swiftly takes hold of the heart, choking thankfulness while liberating a murmur that may or may not be audible to others, but with all certainty, is discernible to our God.
Last year, God revealed how my grumbling – my lack of gratitude – not only displeased Him but also negatively affected my relationship with Him as well as my testimony to others.
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be
blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a
crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the
world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I
may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 ESV
Grumbling dims God’s brilliance in our lives. Gratefulness amplifies it.
This is one reason why I’ve added Ann Voskamp’s devotional One Thousand Gifts to my spiritual arsenal. Nothing battles the ease of complaining than the power of gratitude. Each day contains scripture, a brief devotional, and “grateful spaces”, numbered lines for listing those things for which I am thankful — both great and small.
Replacing the habit of grumbling with gratefulness is a journey. I have not arrived. But as I pen each praise, each morsel of gratitude, I sense God gaining much ground in my heart, and for this I am very thankful.
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one
who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
A daily planner is a necessity. Think they’re the same? Think again!
Ann Voskamp is offering a FREE downloadable daily planner she calls The Day’s Draft. It’s not your ordinary planner with space to list your “to-do’s”. You’ll have to see it to believe it. Click on the link and scroll down to read her comments on how to use it. Did I mention it’s FREE?
Ann summed it up nicely: If it matters, you make the time.If it doesn’t, you make excuses.
This devotional is unique in that it’s written from the perspective of Jesus speaking directly to you, based on the Scripture that day. There will be days—many days—you’ll look up to the heavens after reading the devotion and smile, sensing your heavenly Father inspired those words…just for you. This little book has often reminded me that God has all the details of my life under control. What better gift to share with another?
“In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God.” – Excerpt from the Book Description, Amazon
Both would be ideal for the men and women on your gift list. Don’t let the cover of Ann’s book fool you. It’s not a girlie book (just check out the Amazon reviews if you don’t believe me!)
Do you have another favorite on your Christmas wish list you’d like to share?
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