Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Warms My Heart

Last year I came across Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and I want to make an effort to focus on the many things that I have to be thankful for.  I will share some of those things from time to time in a series of posts called "Warms My Heart."  In the meantime I thought I would look at what it means to have gratitude and to give thanks. 

  • An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received
  • a sentiment of kindness towards a benefactor; 
  • a sentiment of good will towards a benefactor
  • thankfulness

  • Gratitude is an agreeable emotion
    • consisting in or accompanied with good will to a benefactor, and 
  • a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or
  • when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy. 
  • Gratitude is a virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies 
    • a feeling heart and
    • a generous heart, and a 
    • proper sense of duty.  

The love of God is the sublimest gratitude.  ~Webster 1812

Thanks:   Generally in the plural.

  • Expression of gratitude; 
  • an acknowledgment made to express a sense of favor or kindness received. 

Gratitude is the feeling or sentiment excited by kindness;

      thanks are the expression of that sentiment. 
                                                                                                                    ~Websters 1812

To sum it up we express thankfulness from a heart filled and “overflowing with an emotion or sentiment of gratitude” for goods or benefits received according to Colossians 2:6-7.  In order to have a heart filled with overflowing gratitude we need to be purposeful in looking around us for favor and benefits received on a daily basis.

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him,  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
~Colossians 2:6-7

Warms my heart… 

things that make me overflow with gratitude.

It was 16 years ago that we first met our precious second born daughter.  God created her special and unique and knew just who we needed in this position in our family.  He has used her to reveal things within me that He wanted me to give up and change and He has used her to teach me how to love unconditionally more than I ever have before.  She is a delight to my heart and I am so grateful to be her mamma, I am so grateful to celebrate her 16th birthday with her along with the rest of our family.

A friend once explained to me that children are forced into maturing prematurely when I told her how sweet yet so different it is in my mind (especially compared to my own experience at their ages) that my children enjoy “playing” in their teen years.  I am so grateful to see such sweet fruit developing between my four children from the work we have been doing, particularly during the past three years, in the form of them enjoying spending time together in so many different ways.  On this particular day it warmed my heart to witness my children playing together.

My husband was laid off work almost three months ago and he is taking advantage of the time he has available for various things.  Some thing that warmed my heart was the experience of going to the mall with him and some of the kids on a weekday (unfortunately our oldest sweet daughter stayed home with the flu).  His surprise at how different (empty) the mall is on a weekday and what he has missed all these years was cute.  I experienced a warmness of the heart excited by the benefit of being together when my dear husband normally would not have been with us.  I am grateful to be able to see the precious nuggets mixed in with the challenges of life, may we always be focused on the joys of life that the Lord brings to us in the challenge.

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