Delicate white flowers brighten my table and remind me of a sweet night celebrating new babies with friends.
(And cause Georgetta told me to!)
Last weekend our church opened the doors on a new building. While husband and I have only been around for a few months, the church has been mobile for over six years. The church started in a home and later moved to the gym of an elementary school. Everything about the sanctuary was put up and taken down each week. Now we have a home.
There was a prayer and worship service on Saturday night before our first official Sunday morning. It was a time of thankfulness of all that God has done in this body of believers in just a few short years.
I cried buckets of tears on Saturday night. The first tear fell during the first song, and the last tear was wiped away as I walked out of the building. I’m not totally sure what all the tears were about, but I do know I heard a whisper in my spirit.
I got this.
What’s my role, what do You want me to do? – I’ll lead and guide you, I got this.
What about __? I’m worried about her. – Don’t worry, I got this.
Over and over again, I offered my worries, my fears, my jumbled thoughts to God.
Over and over and over again, He whispered back. Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid. I got this.
The next morning was our first service. The parking lot was full fifteen minutes before service started. Seats started to fill, then chairs were added and finally it was standing room only. A celebratory mood filled the room, any tears shed were tears of joy.
Dr. Walker spoke on John 6, the passage where Christ feeds the five thousand. Dr. Walker talked about the three responses to Christ wanting to feed the people
It can’t be done.
We have some, but not enough.
A boy who offered his lunch.
When the boy offered his lunch, he gave it to Christ and left the results up to God. The boy didn’t worry if it could be done, or if his offering was enough. He simply gave what he had and left the rest up to God.
I got this.
I know these two things are connected. I have to give up my need for control and submit to Him. I only have to offer what I have, my time, my talents, my treasure and allow God to do with it what He wills.
Lying on the floor, face down in a puddle of tears. I cry out to God to help me, to heal me, to take away my anger. You knew before the creation of the world what today would hold and You have me studying and reading about Thanksgiving? About living a life of gratitude?
Last Christmas, husband and I decided not to get each other presents. Instead, we decided to get the piano we’d been wanting since we moved in. He found a great deal on Craigslist and we had the perfect spot in the family room for it. Husband plays a little and I had taken lessons for years as a kid. This piano would give us both a reason to practice and revive our skills.
But I wasn’t counting on forgetting how to play.
A few weeks ago, husband finished the installation of our Endless Pool. This thing is amazing. It generates a current so that you can basically swim in place and get a great workout. He swam competitively in HS, and I took lessons every summer as a kid. We gave up half our garage for this ‘investment in our health’, bought goggles and swim caps.
But I didn’t realize you could forget how to swim.
Now granted I wasn’t passionate about piano or swimming as a kid. I learned how to do it, because that’s what kids do. Learn an instrument; try out some sort of athletics, things parents check off as they’re raising kids. I’m sure my mom never dreamed her hard earned money would go into lessons that would eventually be forgotten. (sorry mom.)
The point is today. Today I have a choice to re-learn. Today I have a choice to jump in the pool. Today I have a choice to sit my booty on a piano bench, fingers stumbling over keys, practicing until they become nimble.
I woke up angry. Angry that another’s choices were affecting me. Angry that I couldn’t control. Angry that I couldn’t make things go the way I wanted. Angry at everything.
In the midst of my angry day, my mentee and I decided to meet up that evening. I’d need to read the next chapter in our book and take a few notes for our discussion.
Eucharisteo (yoo-khar-is-teh’-o) = Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives.
I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks every day, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life.
One Thousand Gifts – Ann Voskakmp
I was distracted by my anger. I just kept thinking, “Get through the next sentence. Get through the next page.” Anger was choking the life out of these beautiful words of living a life of gratitude, living out the fullness of my salvation.
I had forgotten how to be thankful.
I stopped everything. I lay on the floor and cried out to God for help, for healing, for peace. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for eucharisteo to be a balm, a prayer, a lifestyle.
I rose renewed in my purpose. My anger, although justified, is not meant to rule me. Eucharisteo is meant to be the posture of my heart.
Thankful to love another to the point where their actions affect me.
Thankful when I am given a voice to speak into another’s life.
Thankful that I am not in control. Thankful for a God who is.
Thankful for grace on days when I allow my emotions to overtake me.
Eucharisteo = Thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.