Thankful for Provision

I am blessed. 

I am blessed. 

I am blessed!

God blesses His children. Period. 

And today He reminded me of His loving provision in a mighty way:

The school called me at work and told me that my tuition is taken care of! An anonymous donor called the school on my behalf. 

Talk about a reason to praise God! That’s all I’ve done since getting the news. 

I am thankful for God’s provision. 

I am thankful for the genorisity of the donor. 

On my drive home, I prayed for the donor and asked the Lord to bless he or she in a special way. 

I know that He will. 

We’re learning in our classes that God honors faith and every step of my journey to Tulsa has been a step of faith. 

Praise God for the journey!

Praise God for friends and family who support that journey! 

Here’s my question to you, my friends:

What step of faith do you need to take?

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30 seconds or less

I just watched The Golden Globes for the first time. There were so many movies that I had never even heard of!

I’m not one to follow celebrities, but it was interesting to see the fashion and winners and the general hoopla surrounding the whole affair. 

I’m surprised at how little time they give the winners to say thank you. 

Only 30 seconds to express gratitude for projects that took a year or more to make?

I can’t even imagine what I would say or do under those circumstances, though, as a Christian, I’m often under the same pressure when asked questions about my faith. 

Short answers are hard to give, yet that is what many people demand. 

Explain God in 30 seconds or less…go!

Wow. 

How can I explain the love of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son, and the job of the Holy Spirit in that time frame?

We are instructed to have an answer ready for any occasion. 

We are also told that the Holy Spirit will tell us what to say. 

And most conversations about faith ebb and flow nicely between those to paradigms.

 The difficulty level, for me, comes in trying to express the fullness of joy I have found in my relationship with God. 

It’s rich and deep and intimate and fun and challenging and intentional (and I could keep going). 

I usually get really worked up in my explanations because there’s just so much I can say, which is why I can relate to all of the Golden Globe winners. 

Sometimes I can wrap up my thankfulness in 30 seconds or less, sometimes I can’t and I keep talking until the commercial break. 

Every good gift 

I gotta good deal today!

I needed to replace my brown boots and the sale was amazing. 

Me-maw bought me a new pair of jeans and received a coupon for 50% off a pair of ladies boots. She then turned around and gave me $10 toward the boots, so they only cost me $25. 

The shoes were $65 and I paid $25…

I’m not one to pray for closer parking spots or anything, but it was so exciting to see how everything just worked out. 

And there’s nothing wrong with that happening either.The book of James says that every good gift comes from the Father above. 

We need to keep this scripture in mind because too often God ends up looking like Scrooge. 

He loves us. 

He wants what’s best for us. 

Listen, this post is not meant to make God out to be a slot machine. 

Corvettes won’t fall from the sky and giving an offering to a televangelist won’t make you rich. 

But God does give good gifts to His children. 

He will take care of you. 

So, today I thank God for a good deal on my shoes.

 On top of everything else He’s done, which is much bigger and more important, I am thankful for this fun gift as well. 

A gratitude muscle workout

Today’s post will be short and sweet. 

It’s been a long week and I’m really tired. But, my gratitude far outweighs the negatives. 

Here are 5 things I’m thankful for from the past week:

  1. My job. I have a great job that’s been nothing but a blessing. Sure, there have been challenges, but those challenges have only helped me grow as a person. 
  2. My second job. All of my late nights are paying off! Money for school is being provided through this opportunity. 
  3. Deaf church. I have the privilege to serve in a wonderful church community. My signing would not be where it is today without the help of the church members. 
  4. Comfortable shoes. I could tell a BIG difference in all my running around because I chose comfort over fashion. My feet haven’t been screaming, which is a gift in itself. 
  5. A sense of humor. Being able to see the funny side of things makes life easier and more entertaining. 

What are some things you’re thankful for?

I’m finding that a habit of thanksgiving is changing my perception of life’s challenges. 

Let’s work out our gratitude muscle this week by taking 5 minutes a day to name 3 reasons we’re thankful. 

The difference this single practice makes in our lives is huge. 

Grace is the greatest motivator

“But for the grace of God” is one of my favorite phrases to describe how blessed I am. 

Paul was the first person to use this verse as an explanation of his life and ministry:

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭15:10‬). 

In this verse Paul was talking about who he was because of the grace of God. The phrase I grew up hearing talks about who we’d be without the grace of God. 

Either way, the greatest common denominator is grace. 

Grace is the best motivator. 

Nothing empowers you toward change, toward action like the undeserved gift of grace. 

I try my best to see everything through this lens, especially as I hang out with non-Christians. They need to see that grace is for them. 

Do you remember what life was like before Christ?

Do you remember the patience and mercy of God during that time?

How often we forget where we started. I know that I’m guilty of this mentality. 

As a child, I was reminded quite regularly of how fortunate I was to end up on top despite of the abandonment of my parents. 

And it’s true. 

I should’ve been placed in foster care. 

I shouldn’t have graduated from college. 

I should’ve ended up impoverished or inprisoned. 

The statistics were not in my favor.

But for the grace of God…

Redemption and restoration is found through grace. There is hope for the seemingly hopeless. 

Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27) and Christ is full of grace and truth (John 1:14). 

This is what makes the gospel such wonderful news. 

 

The opportunities in your reality

Did you ever watch The Brady Bunch movie?

It was a spoof from the ’90s that was not that great, but made me laugh nonetheless. In it, Mike Brady gave Bobby some great advice:

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

I’ve seen this “advice” plastered all over novelty items. (I also googled the saying and found out it’s the title of a meditation book. Go figure.) What a goofy thing to say, right? We all know that…..or do we?

Recently, I was part of a conversation where a friend said, “Do you know what I could be doing?” and then went on for about 10 minutes about a job he could have.

I told this friend,  “You’re right and I agree. But here you are, so what are you going to do?”

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming or wanting to better yourself. Just remember that improvement starts right where you are. The weaknesses we possess do not magically disappear with a new opportunity.

The more I listened to my friend, the more I understood that the root of the problem was not feeling appreciated. Maybe an elevated position, a better job would do the trick. These people would appreciate me. These people see my true potential.

Once again, there’s truth in these thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with getting praised and honored for good work. Just be careful that praise and accolades aren’t the primary motivators. Applause is momentary–and it’s fickle too.

Motivation really is everything.

What are you looking to gain from an opportunity?

Be honest.

Answering this one question will show you the motivations of your heart.

Like I said earlier, the messy parts of ourselves–the things we want to leave behind–won’t disappear. You can’t just move on and not leave the new address.

Look around. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to do right, where you are now. Don’t be afraid to dream, but don’t ignore the opportunities in your current reality either.

Tips from the water cooler

The transition has begun!

I started training my friend and coworker today to take my place as full time office manager in January. 

We spent the morning doing the monthly reports and moving in a new tenant and lots of other job related things. (I had a list.)

It was cool to teach someone else about my job. I know that’s unusual, but it taught me a lot about how to leave a place better than when you came. 

Training the next employee is a great way to leave a workplace ready to move forward after you’re gone. 

I realize that not everyone has this opportunity. For me, though, it’s my way of giving back. This is what I can do to say thank you to my employers. 

Despite what you see in our culture, going to work is a great privilege. Not every job is awesome, but burning bridges as you leave is not a good idea. 

I’ve been blessed to only have wonderful bosses. I can only imagine the bad ones I’ve heard about from my friends. 

If you’re like me, be sure to thank your employers. 

If you have a bad boss, well, try to find at least one nice thing to say. Cling to it like a life boat while you look for employment elsewhere.