All of my life I have wanted to live in the country. I have prayed and dreamed about living the country life. Never in my imaginings did I ever believe I would actually live my dream. But this year Peter and I bought a beautiful place out in the country through God's good grace alone. He made it so obvious it was He making this home happen, it could not possibly be denied. Oh, my gosh! Was I ever thankful. I was filled with gratitude until...escrow wanted another $1000 two days before closing and then another $1400 the day the house absolutely HAD to close. I was filled with gratitude until...the homeowner's insurance was cancelled after only a month in the house because of a fire in the hills near us. They now wanted triple what they had quoted us in the beginning. I was grateful until...the enormous koi pond on the property began to have a traumatic fish die off. Did you know that fish need oxygen? Yes, indeed they do...and I thought all they needed was water and a handful or two of fish food. Poor things. Peter and I eat fish not watch them or take care of them. By the way, it has gotten better...this is for all the koi lovers out there:).
My attitude was pretty bad. Not only did my grateful attitude morph quickly into ugly, but when my attitude turns south, because I am a word person, I think of all kinds of things I could say. An entire dialogue goes through my head for days...I lose sleep and the "peaceful country living" is a dream once again.
Ironically, I sat down with this book to read the next chapter with a bad attitude. Tomorrow I have to pay..in cash...$500 to the insurance company to keep our insurance. I am stewing over that and have had more than one "mind conversation" with the agent I will be handing over the money to. In the midst of this "conversation," the Lord reminded me...you better get going on reading the next chapter for the blog. So I put the conversation on hold and picked up the book.
FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD...REALLY???? I saw the title, "I Bow My Attitude," and thought..."Oh, Lord, You are a sneaky Guy. You totally set me up." I had to smile. What love...what personal care. I knew He was answering the call of my heart to love Him better, to worship Him in truth, to be obedient and pleasing to Him.
Once again I realize worshiping with my attitude is a choice. I was humbled by the stories Linda tells of others...Corrie ten Boom in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, the young wife whose husband was killed in Iraq, the mother whose daughter was rebelling against her and the Lord. We would look at these precious sisters and not give a thought to their complaining or bad attitudes. Their situations deserved bad attitudes...they were entitled to them. And yet, they CHOSE NOT to stay in attitudes of disgust, anger, fear and sorrow and be grateful.
Linda gives a description of an old woman who overflows with thanksgiving... "She has a beautiful smile and a contagious laugh. Her strength is drawn from the River of Living Water, and she whispers to her Lord with a confident intimacy that entices me. An attitude of gratitude flows over her because she has developed a lifestyle of giving thanks in everything--it has become a part of her very nature. She no longer has to tell herself, 'Remember to be thankful.' Her thankful spirit is a by product of years of walking with her God. This is the woman I want to become." Me too.
Today I'm pulling out my "gratitude journal" I use at Thanksgiving and write...Lord, thank You for this home. Thank You that we can still be insured. You provide for us and we can trust You. Thank You that the fish are not dying any longer and we are learning a new skill...how to take care of a koi pond, and thank You for the delight our grandchildren take in this pond.
Colossians 2:7 makes a beautiful prayer specifically to make us into grateful followers and lovers of God: Lord, I pray that my roots would grow deep down into You and that my entire life would be built on You. Then my faith will grow strong in the truth You have taught me, and I will overflow with thankfulness. Lord, I desire to be a thankful daughter, not a grumbler, fretter or complainer. Help me to make gratefulness a natural part of who I am and not a something I need to remember. Amen and amen!
Praying that the Lord would bless you with hearts filled with gratitude!