Freedom to Praise

“I want to encourage us to live our lives to the glory of God.  Our lives should be characterized by gratefulness and giving.”  Hearing this, I would normally have simply nodded, but last Sunday the words hit me with full force conviction.  

Sometimes we have a hard time being grateful when we’re in the middle of tough times, but have you ever found it hard to give God glory when things are too good?  That’s where I found myself.  Now it seemed as if God was saying, “Simply thank me.”

Simply thank Him?  Oh, I wanted to thank Him.  It was just that I was crippled by the fact that  it was so nice–our house in Atlanta, that is.  Even though I’m still way too self-centered and way too selfish, the truth is–I’m accustomed to sacrifice.  I finger lots of fabric I don’t buy.  I put things I’d like to buy into my cart then return them to their respective shelves before checking out.  I strictly monitor water and electricity usage.  I can make do with just one vehicle.  And in Atlanta?  I was definitely prepared to live in a shack.  

A three bedroom, two bathroom house with a nice kitchen (including a dishwasher!!!!) AND a laundry room and a front porch and a back yard and a paved driveway and a nice neighborhood that feels safe?  No, that I was not prepared for.  

Oh, I’d prayed for it.  I said, please, then kind of left it.  I don’t usually win when I enter drawings, and I guess I really didn’t expect to score this jackpot even if I had asked God.   I’m much more accustomed to accepting that He wants to teach me something through the “no” than through a “yes.”

Like a five year old boy whose eyes gleam at the gift of a pocketknife while also cautiously glancing at his mom–suspicious she would say it is above his level–I sat quietly holding the knowledge of a sweet little house.  

Then there were these words:  

“Our lives should be characterized by gratefulness and giving.”

Suddenly I felt freedom.  Freedom to enjoy.  Freedom to bless.  No longer did I want to be bound by a fear that this was too good for me or to hold my luxury a secret.  I wanted to thank God for giving to us so generously.  I wanted to give  freely and share this house with anyone who needs care.

Thank you God for a house–

–for two closets in our bedroom

–for an extra room (third bedroom) for storage/office/projects/a place for the unpacked boxes where they don’t stress me.

–for a nice kitchen and working appliances (stove as of next week, hopefully)

–for a dishwasher (if you hear me repeating this a lot it’s because I’ve never had one before) AND a garbage disposal

–a laundry room!!!

–for LOTS of windows to let in the sunshine–so cheering and warm!

–for a fireplace

–for a front porch where the boys can play

–for neat details like the wide trim, the attic fan, and the hardwood flooring

–for a back yard with enough room for the boys to run around

–for nice neighbors and a pretty quiet neighborhood

–a go-with-anything color scheme

–that our landlord is so quick to see after repairs

It’s not a mansion.  It has horrendously rough walls, cracks galore, missing this and that, it could smell better, and it’s not very energy efficient Still it’s a darling house.  It’s waaaaaay better than any house I dreamed of (or dreaded); and I am, well, I am simply grateful.

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9 thoughts on “Freedom to Praise”

  1. Christy,
    I just read this.. I am so happy for you. I can barely put into words how excited I am for you. Also just read Z’s comment on God having hard work for him to do.. so cute.
    Hope things went well at the seminar, I know you both did great. I prayed for you.. it was so hard for me to miss it.. but God had other plans.
    We get so used to giving up that sometimes when something (like your house) comes along we are speechless.
    I feel the same way about the house God gave to us.. yet, I still worry about things.. finances etc.. will I ever learn?
    Whew… once again for not being sure what to say.. I sure am wordy. :)

  2. Yay! So happy things are working out for you. When you *have time* we’d love to see pictures of your lovely place. =)

  3. You sound like you’re at such a good place ~ emotionally I mean. :) Although, the house sounds great too!

    Thinking of you a lot. Hope the transition goes well forll four of you!!

  4. All that goes through my mind is, Praise the Lord, dearie!! He did it.. I find myself in the same shoes many times.. I want the nice and the best, but.. Do I really deserve that? I have discovered in many cases, that… If I leave it to God, and His will, I almost always get way better than I even was dreaming of!

    1. Thank you! Once we have internet at home (and I have time to catch up) I want to hear all about your ventures. :)

  5. Wow This is good Christy! I am soo thankful for the things that God is doing for you.
    This past week I have been thinking about you sooo much. Yesterday after getting your email update, I kept thinking “They are living their dream!! Thank you God for giving that to them” I was just thrilled all over for you! :)

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