Sunday, April 27, 2014

Giving thanks at all times...

In the middle of a Sunday afternoon with dark gray skies and weather of monsoon like downpours,
there's just enough break in the weather to capture a few photos of some spring blossoms.

It's not unlike counting my blessings, gathering my gratitude,
 this search for beauty in the midst of the storm.

 I realize that God uses the storm to create the beauty,
and so I give the hard eucharisteo, the difficult thanksgiving,
and thank God even for the storm.
I humble myself and surrender to His processes in my life
and ask that He be glorified in it all
and pray that the beauty of Jesus is seen in me even in the midst of the storm.

It's in looking back that I can see that God has never wasted the storms I've gone through in this life.
It's me that has made it more difficult when I've gotten angry and bitter and resentful at Him
 during challenging circumstances, when I've resisted trusting Him with things I don't understand or can't control.
I'm still learning to give thanks and to yield to His processes and purposes in times of trial and testing,  
but I am confident that He doesn't allow anything that He doesn't intend to use for my good.

{I have this on my mind and heart today,  not necessarily because of any current circumstances I am going through, but because the theme of submitting to God's processes in our life 
has been coming up frequently of late from many different sources.
One of the Scriptural examples used has been the story of Joseph in Genesis 39-50.
He is one of my favorite Bible characters and a true example of God's goodness 
prevailing in the midst of suffering. }
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-a phone call from my big sister
-a sunny day that turned into evening showers

-the smell of spring rain
-a photo of my hubs from Ghana

-going to the children's museum with my oldest daughter and two youngest granddaughters

-getting a bit of a run in between rain showers
-watching my oldest granddaughter at her volleyball practice
-my daughter's blood work for possible pre-clampsia coming back good

-coffee at Petit Provence with a dear blog friend
-working on refinishing a dresser 
-texts from my husband

-Bible study
-praying together and seeing answers
-the hubs waking up in Ghana when I'm going to sleep in Oregon and texting me goodnight

-my pregnant daughter's blood pressure going back down after a scare that resulted in a few hours in the hospital
-taking the two oldest grands to the dentist,
(while their mama was in the hospital and their daddy is in Ghana), 
to get some stubborn baby teeth pulled and them being so brave and good

-going out for Wendy's Frosties afterwards

-a safe return from Ghana for the Hubs and the team from our church
-God's good work in Ghana

(the orphanage we're building)
-God's good work in us when we minister to others

-joy in God's house
-a word we all needed from our dear friend who preached today and visiting with his wife and him at lunch afterwards
-a visit with youngest daughter 

gratefully yours,

Join the community of gratitude gatherers here...


  1. This is a wonderful reminder, Elizabeth! The storms are the Refiner's fire, aren't they? Love your thankful heart, too! I have kept a prayer and praise journal since I was saved almost 30 years ago, {lots of storms} and it is so great to go back and see what God has done through the years. He is so loving and faithful!

    Have a joy filled week!

    1. You are such a blessing, Becky! I love that you've kept a journal of your prayers and praises for so many years.

  2. Prayers are the power of everything. I have experienced a lot!
    Have a nice day!

    1. Yes, prayer is indeed powerful! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. Beautiful post from beginning to end. You are so right about the hard eucharisteo, of course. Right now, I'm trying to hold to the beautiful, both that which I can see right now, and that which I know will come.

    I loved the pictures of your grandchildren (even the hapless, toothless, one) the best of all.

    1. Debbie, I just know we'd be the best of in real life friends. Much love to you!

  4. The story of Joseph has brought me so much encouragement over the years. That he was able to say to his brothers at the meant it for harm, but God meant it for so amazing! Such a great lesson that God's ways are always perfect and good...even when we may not see it.
    Mary Alice

    1. I agree with every word, friend. Won't it be great to actually talk to Joseph some day...oh the questions I have for some of the people in the Bible!

  5. Love this reminder, verses, pictures...You are a blessing!

    Hope your week is EXTRA BLESSED...

  6. Hi Elizabeth! It's really raining here today, and I know what you mean about being reminded of the storms in life. As I look back on them, I have learned a lot about myself, and grown closer to the Lord.
    I kind of wish it didn't take all those hard times to get there, but God knows me so well. Brick walls, just like Joseph's well...they are impossible situations that lead me right to the Lord. 'Hard thanks'...I like that image, thank you.

  7. Loved all of this. Love this ~> "I humble myself and surrender to His processes in my life and ask that He be glorified in it all and pray that the beauty of Jesus is seen in me even in the midst of the storm." Yes and Amen! I alway love your counting of gifts too. Blessings.

  8. Such gorgeous photos, and so many blessings to be thankful for. May God bless you for your grateful heart and for sharing His beauty with us.

  9. I just love reading your gratitude list. Thanking Him right along with you about your daughter's good news from the doctor! Love from rainy Georgia....xoxo


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