Disappointment in the gift

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We have a full yard of white clover at our new home. I love the wild craziness of the flowers. I am one that does not like to spray the yard with chemicals, especially with a new puppy that likes to chew on the grass.
I will often take a few minutes to see if I can find a four-leaf clover when I pass by the patches of green. For me, it is like a little treasure hunt, looking for the unlikely in the midst of a million possibilities, as the chances of finding a four-leaf clover are 1 in 10,000.
Tonight the thought again crossed my mind that I wanted to find a perfect four-leaf clover, a gift set aside just for me.
I bent down and saw all the tiny perfect little shamrocks with their heart-shaped leaves.
There, right in the midst of them, was my find. A large four-leaf clover. At first, I was elated to have spied one, finally. But then…

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As I examined my four-leaf clover I was disappointed in the straight leaves with no heart shape. I was disappointed it wasn’t tiny and cute like all the sprouts of three-leaf clovers in its midsts. The leaves of my clover were all different sizes and not at all what I had pictured a four-leaf clover would look. Without taking a moment to truly enjoy the treasure I had found there was quickly a disappointment in the gift. 

I knew it was silly to feel disappointed and a knowing rose up in my soul. How often do we get exactly what we hoped or asked for, but when it arrives and it looks different than we expected we have disappointment in the gift? Or how often do we look with disappointment in our own gift within us if it does not look like the shiny gifts and talents that others seem to have?

The phrase ‘be careful what you wish for” comes to mind. Or in my case, pray for. When you seek open doors and new opportunities, It is important to be mindful that what you pursue may come wrapped in a different package than expected. Yet there can still be beauty in a treasure that is uniquely your own.

Looking closer at the four-leaf clover I see a sweet etching of a smaller clover inside. I see that there is a gift within that I almost missed because my mind was clouded with my own expectations. I was thankful for the treasure. Thankful for the moment and no longer had disappointment in the gift.

The next day I was again outside with the puppy. Without any searching, I felt the tugging to look down. There at my feet was another four-leaf clover. Smaller and closer to the ideal in my mind. My heart swelled at the thought, there are many treasures to behold. There is no limit to what can be revealed. Sometimes the treasures come when we are in a place of contentment and not even searching. Will we be observant enough to notice them?

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Green eggs and ham… literally

My father was very active in my life growing up. He took me to Blue Birds, trick or treating and allowed me to dance o his toes. One Saturday morning he made our breakfast like he often did, and he set the plate before me.

He had a huge grin on his face as he waited expectantly for my glee. I looked at that plate and cried. My father in his creative genius and love for me, made me green eggs and ham. I hated the color green and as I looked at the green glob of eggs on my plate, my emotions overwhelmed me, not at his love but the thought that I was hungry and how could I eat these green things.

I look back now as a parent and think with great joy what an awesome father I had to take the time to make something special for me. He knew I loved the story of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

I am reflecting on this gift and wondering… how many times do I look at the gifts the Lord has set before me with disdain or sadness rather than the gratitude and joy that should be in my heart.

How often does He place gifts and I don’t even recognize them for what the are?

I still do this today with my own husband. He will go out of his way to do things for me and I just take them for granted or do not appreciate the way he does them. Instead I am looking at the way  I would do it, or he should do it. What kind of gifts am I throwing away every day?

In the bible, often God would give His people gifts and they would complain, or not see them as they were.

Some of the gifts I have overlooked from the Lord are:

The gift of time: Instead of rejoicing that our basic need was met in layoff time for my husband, I fretted and worried about where the next job would be. Instead of enjoying each moment with my boys I focused on their tomorrows far too often than I should have. Rather than enjoying my moment with loved ones I fretted about their leaving more than just enjoying the moment.

The gift of peace: I overlook the peace in my life often. I have to remind myself that the Lord grants peace to my heart and that anxiety or worry leads to depression. I have to not overlook this gift He has given to me. He causes the calmness in the sea of life that only He can provide.

The gift of needs: Often when I look at our life situation, I have focused on all my wants and they seem to fall short. Yet, when I look at my needs, He truly does meet them. Not in a way I think they should line up but He meets my need nonetheless.

I am so truly thankful that God is a Father that bestows gifts to His children. I want to keep my heart and eyes wide open in thankfulness as I see the work of His hands for what they are. He desires to give me gifts, to do the work ahead of me so that I may  enjoy great things. I do not wish to complain or look at those gifts with disappointment because of my immaturity in Him,  but rather with grown up insight.

These are just a few simple areas that I overlook and I am sure there are so so many more! What gift can you be thankful for that maybe you overlooked?

Thanksgiving

Merriam- Webster’s  definition of thanksgiving :

1. The act of giving thanks

2. A prayer expressing gratitude

3.  A.   A public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness.

B. capitalized : Thanksgiving Day – a day appointed for giving thanks for divine goodness.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is a celebration that, to be honest should be celebrated every single day in our lives. Every day we should, myself included, stop and give thanks for divine goodness in our lives.

Now, the American Thanksgiving originated as a celebration for a successful harvest the pilgrims had, due to the advice of the Indians. The Pilgrims rejoiced that they had a harvest and took an opportunity to invite the Indians to sit and share with them. This harvest, the pilgrims knew, would not have been successful without the wisdom of those who knew the land. They gave thanks to the Lord for His divine goodness, for bringing an opportunity to learn and to be able to bring in a harvest they so desperately needed.

When I give thanks, joy rises forth. I remember a hope when I look back and see what has already been done. I remember what I have to be thankful for and expect more to be thankful for tomorrow, the next day and the next. I have seen faithfulness and can expect to see it again from the Lord.

Naming the things I am thankful for each day this month, makes me realize, I never run out of my supply of subjects to be thankful for. I will think of one thankful thought, and another comes and another.

We don’t need an American holiday to give thanks. We don’t need to gorge ourselves with feasting one day of the year because the nation has declared a holiday. What we do need is a deep recognition of thanks in our heart continually. A continuous daily prayer expressing gratitude or declaring public acknowledgement of divine goodness.

Oh the difference you see in the public’s faces when they are looking forward to Thanksgiving day.

There is a light and an expression of joy, that crosses so many faces as they wish you well, because Thanksgiving day is nearing. This is a light that is available everyday, if we only remember to stop and give thanks.

I like what has become the traditional fare at our home for our Thanksgiving dinner, and I like the time spent set aside for a special day, but mostly I like that today and everyday I can give thanks to the one, whose love endures forever.

Challenge this day my friends: Make a point to give a prayer expressing thanksgiving, not only today but everyday, for our Lord is that good 🙂

Psalm 100:4 

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

(KJV)

Thank You

 I get so disgusted when I am out and about shopping and standing in line I notice the people around me are in so much of a hurry, that they do not stop to thank anyone. I hear from one say, “thank you and have a good day” and there is silence as a response. It is so sad that I feel like apologizing and shouting out THANK YOU to the person that was left without that little blessing of feeling appreciated.

 Thank You! Two simple words can mean and do so much. When you thank the service worker with a genuine heart, you sow a seed of joy. When you thank your parent, friend, teacher, child or spouse for all they are and do, you sow a seed of joy. When you stop and take the time to say two words to our Lord for what He has done, you sow a seed of joy. Often the seed of joy may be in the receivers heart, but mostly a grateful heart sows a seed of joy in your life.

 Having a thankful heart keeps you focused on the good in your life rather than the troubles that may be stirring. When you share a thankful heart you give an opportunity for another to experience a seedling of joy. Take time to stop and be thankful this day.

 I have seen a quote on Facebook before, I apologize as I do not know the author of it; ” what if you only woke up today with what you thanked God for yesterday?”   

 This gives us a pause to really think. Have we walked around with a thankful heart? Have we walked around with the goodness of knowing even in our worst circumstances there is always ‘something’ to be thankful for?

 Let’s start simple; thank you for this breath! Thank you for a new day! Thank you for the sun that will shine and bring life and for the stars that hang in the sky at night. Thank you that this day I can say, thank you within my heart and that I will be grateful not now but always.

 It is time to be thankful afresh. It is time to remember all things, you can be thankful for, and you can spread a little joy!

 

 Challenge this day my friend: List your own simple things to be thankful for. Come up with at least one to think upon. Make sure you share a thankful heart with someone else.

 Psalm 107:1-

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

(NIV)

 

Sing a new song

I am called to sing. I was the eight year old that would write songs and record them on my little boom box, completely oblivious to how it actually sounded once recorded. My aunt taught me how to sing to a music track so I could sing in church. My parents bought me a karaoke machine one year for Christmas and I wore the machine out. My heart experiences joy in singing a new song, a fresh song of what is on my heart for the day.

When I was 15 there was a pastor that had a message titled ‘sing baby sing’. I have never forgotten that message. Singing in all situations at all times, sing through it. Song changes the atmosphere, changes the frustration, and changes your flesh reaction to the moments you are going through.

I do know there are many out there that hate to sing. But the experience of expressing a song of thankfulness, joy, praise and hope will  eventually bring  a more natural reaction of praise when you are in situations that you wish to do without. Practicing praise will bring it bubbling in your heart. Even if the song is expressed simply by speaking the words, writing them down or a whisper; rejoice, praise and lift of the name of Jesus with a new song  that comes from you.

There is something amazing about  letting go of the self and letting loose and belting out a joy. I will sometimes start with a thank you or if I don’t know where to start in the moment I will  repeat the psalms. Focusing on a joyous song completely takes my eyes off of the situations I am in and puts a joy to my day…. regardless.

I have learned also the importance of writing these fresh songs down. It doesn’t matter how simple, or if it is only one line. Sometimes the rest of the song will come later. Sometimes the one lines are only going to be one line, but in the times of sorrow or heartache it is a joy to look back and read moments of joy that were written down.

Challenge this day my friend: Start with a step. Sing a simple song and don’t focus on how it sounds, just let loose and the words to take root. Sing a joy, a thank you, hopes or what you wish to see as an outcome of your situation. Sing a new song. Go on, I dare you , sing!

Psalm 33:3-

Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy.