“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.