A couple of night’s ago, after I released this little dream of mine into the world, my small group leader asked me to share about my journey of gratitude. She said, this might be last minute but I feel like you can handle it. Because she was texting me approximately three hours before we were scheduled to meet.
So I handled it the best way I knew how.
I avoided thinking about it entirely.
I mean, it’s four women meeting in a Starbucks talking about Jesus. This is not a high-pressure situation. Even though they are still getting to know me and I’m getting to know them.
But at the end of the night, after a good conversation on consistently seeking to be grateful for the present, I thought, okay, I might need some action steps here.
And perhaps I should have spent time thinking about those action steps before stepping into the Starbucks.
My journey began when I reached the end of myself.
That was not at all a place I wanted to be, but it was the place where I was finally willing to let God be God.
That probably needs some explanation.
Here’s what I mean: While I agreed to join my Father on learning how to be grateful, I did not come to the place of full surrender to Him until a year later.
The end of myself began a journey back up to the Father.
Both the climbs up and the slides down in life take time.
I left Starbucks, grabbed a diet frozen lemonade at Chick-fil-a (because all deep thought requires ice cream), and started processing exactly how I had gone from being angry and bitter and lonely to being incredibly grateful for one single thing, My Savior.
And how that one single item on my list looked a whole lot like absolute freedom.
So if you want to start your own journey, over the next three Fridays, Gratitude Fridays, I will share with you some practical steps. Learning to be grateful is not difficult. Honestly. It’s not. But it does begin with an intentional, deliberate decision. A decision to begin.
And that’s where we start.
1. Be grateful for the plumb line.
Several years ago, there was an article floating around social media with a title something like, “Stop Being Grateful for a Parking Spot.”
My thoughts on that?
I think we should absolutely be grateful for a good parking spot. It’s like a rainbow unicorn. Rare and lovely.
And if it’s raining? Or below freezing? Or you have two kids to tote in with you?
Sometimes, a good parking space equals ALL THE FEELS.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” ~ Zechariah 4:10
Being grateful for a good parking space might just be your plumb line.
Your exact starting spot.
The beginning of the work God will do in your life and there is ZERO reason not to start there.
And to quote Maria, “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.”
I started with a Honeycrisp apple (which I can list all the live long day), a ginger peach water, and a Beatles song.
Is that a super holy, fancy, righteous place to start?
Um, well, if you believe that article about parking spaces it’s not.
But if you believe God’s word, when He says He REJOICES to see the work begin, then YES.
Because that list, that work, was the beginning. A very good place to start. Every journey, every transformation, every glimpse we get of our Father’s goodness begins at a plumb line.
Start with whatever has brought you joy or relief or even a smile THIS VERY DAY. That is your own plumb line.
Then offer that to God.
Lord, I am grateful for a yummy apple, for this ginger peach water (which Target stopped making for reasons I’d love to hear about when I get to heaven), and for a song I know all the words to and can sing at the top of my lungs. Thank you for this provision.
And with those simple, sweet words, I began.
My very own plumb line.
Time to begin at your own plumb line.
To help you get started, I’ve made a pretty little page for you to use. Print out one or seven. Make a list every day or just one list at the end of the week. You do what works best for you. This is your plumb line, your starting point.
Welcome to the beginning!
When you offer this list you create as a sacred gift of gratitude back to your Father, I want you to picture Jesus rejoicing over this work beginning. Rejoicing over you, friend.
However, you picture Jesus rejoicing. Personally, I like hugging me tightly, kissing my forehead while He holds my face in His hands rejoicing Jesus.
Next week, the difference between four-year-old gratitude, ten-year-old gratitude, and 24-year-old gratitude. You will want to go ahead and plan yourself some serious distractions because, after that teaser, you might not be able to think about anything else.
Thanks to the delightful Hannah over at We Lived Happily Ever After for the graphics, font, and tutorials on how to create these kinds of beauties. She’s the best.