His fingertips are lightning bolts; reaching out for impact. Each flash of light is contact and it shakes the planet. His voice echoes for miles and if it weren’t for the trees, we’d all be wiped out. But these electric bolts aren’t limited to destruction. They cut hearts to change them, and burn bad habits like fire at the butt of a last cigarette. His hands surround a single orb of life in a galaxy of dead globes and we’re alive because of Him. He breathes over space like a whisper with the force of a thousand hurricanes. He says, “I’m here,” and for the first time it feels like all of creation could explode into a million stars and it would be alright. He is the Alpha and the Omega. His will cannot be stopped. The greatest reassurance for this speck of a being that I am, is that He sees me. He sees us. We are loved.
20. I’m grateful for technology.
There are definite ways to abuse technology but considering all it allows us to do, I’m pretty grateful. For example, social media and email lets me stay in touch with my family from back home. My gramma and I can have video calls wherever we are, whenever we want, and give quick hellos every day. Technology also allows me to get inspired by giving me access to Google! I can learn all kinds of things, even from websites like YouTube and Instagram. I’m also grateful for the technology that provides good transportation. Cars, busses, trains, and planes, all allow us to explore new places in a matter of hours, and see all of the beautiful things this world has to offer. Being able to get around is huge for connecting people from all around the world, and helps us to be more open minded, accepting, and appreciative of the qualities that make each of us so unique. There are many reasons why technology can also be a bad thing, especially if we get consumed in it and don’t take time to explore other areas of life, but generally I think tech is intended to make communication and transportation easier. It’s meant to expand our reach and allow us to do things we never could before. I’m grateful for that and I wonder what other advancements I’ll see in my lifetime…
7. I’m grateful for long weekends.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend, finally, and Gratitober has made it through its first week! Hooraayyy, someone bring me Oreo cupcakes! Focusing on something I’m grateful for every day has helped me be more conscious of my thoughts, and shaped my perspective in a positive way. It’s also been helping me push through some tough emotional battles. Thank God. I’m so excited to write and share with you all the other things I’ve been thinking about for Gratitober.
Weekends are supposed to be for rest, but here I am writing at 7:00 am going on six and a half hours of sleep… “Why ever,” you say? Ask my body! I’m excited about the fellowship this weekend, reflections on life, my cousin’s wedding today (weeoooo!!!), and recharging by staying in bed past 5:30 am! I love long weekends. Some of my favourite things I’ve done in the past were camping trips, family time, road trips to my friends’ cottages, going for long drives in the boonies, and visiting friends. Going away is nice, but it’s also nice to stay put and spend time with people we love. This Thanksgiving is going to be unlike any I’ve had in a long time… aaaand as we speak my left index finger is not cooperating cause she works harder than anyone else on this keyboard, clearly!! I know, it’s a sign… I need coffee.
I think I’m going to make an “appearance” this weekend, to introduce this blog series and encourage someone else to pick up this fun thankfulness project thingy and start keeping their own gratitude journal! So stay tuned for that sometime this weekend :). When it’s up I’ll link it below so check back heeeyyyaaaaaahh… I’mmm TIRED. lol. *puts music on… gets adrenaline rush… survives* xD
Hooooooooope you all have a wonderful weekend! Whether you’ll be competing with your dad on who can eat the most turkey and mashed potatoes, having this one awesome day out of months of bad ones, or styling your hair just right so that you feel like a million bucks, have a great one. What things are you grateful for this year?
Every day we are bombarded with ideas and the older I get the more I realize progressive society wants us to safeguard ourselves from the intentional or unintentional harm of others. It’s grown to be part of our natural human reaction to pain and disappointment. Scroll through Instagram or Twitter and the majority of perspectives on forgiveness are… well.. you wont see any. That’s because the progressive voice of media is focused on making us believe we are void of fault and everyone else is our enemy. In a time where autonomy and self-preservation are the norm, forgiveness is seen as naive and even a foolish response to harm.
Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.
This is only one of the statements Jesus made on the subject of forgiveness. He even went as far to say that if we do not forgive our brother, He will not forgive us. (Matthew 6:14-15) Most of us find the first part of this verse favorable. We relish in the idea of correcting someone and taking them out of their troublesome ways. We like to fix people and we take pride in being able to provide someone the help they need to make their lives better. But see how quickly Jesus moved on to say “if he repents, forgive him.” He doesn’t just want us to correct our friends but to forgive them, even when they do it over and over and over again, and even when they don’t ask for it. See, there is no limit on how many times we should forgive someone, and there are no conditions on whether we should or not either. Jesus doesn’t offer conditions such as “if she gets professional help” or “if he brings you nice gifts and makes you a lot of promises” or even “when she says sorry.” He just tells us to.
Kindness has more power than resentment.
This is the profound mystery of grace: Jesus asks this of us because this is how He forgives us. Whoa. Really? But isn’t he going to punish me for my mistakes? Isn’t he going to expect me to follow all His rules perfectly? How many good works will I have to do to earn it? That’s the thing! There is nothing you can do to earn your forgiveness. It’s free. He just gives it. No questions asked.
When someone comes to you asking for forgiveness, it takes a lot of humility and courage. It’s hard to be honest with ourselves and with the people we have wronged. Speaking it aloud makes it real and sometimes the risks are terrifying. When we step back and look at the big picture, we can see ourselves in both roles at various times in our lives. We see times where we wanted forgiveness, and times when we wished for it. Even when forgiveness is painful, it’s also our path to peace. Holding grudges make us bitter and hardens our hearts. Built up bitterness makes us skeptical of people and makes us hard to love. Forgiveness takes a lot more strength than rejecting someone for their mistakes, and it actually makes our lives a lot happier in the long run. It sets us free.
…on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.
-2 Corinthians 2:6-8
Last year around this time I went with my sister, her boyfriend and his family for a mini-getaway to Goderich. We stayed at Cedar Lodge and spent the day sight seeing and shopping along the main road. The trees were in full blown sunset shades and I was cozy in my warm knit sweater. It was a tough time in my life but this getaway was the beginning of something.
I purchased a thin leather wrap bracelet with the Serenity prayer on it. I tried to memorize it in my head as we watched the sunset and I prayed for healing and peace. One year later I can truthfully say I have that peace I prayed for — my Heavenly Father cradles me safe in His love and promises. Even though I don’t know what the future will bring, He does, so I choose not to fear it but hope for it.
I don’t think it’s naive to be optimistic, or to dream, or to believe in great, powerful things. Focusing on hope leads us to hope. We go where we look. Sometimes life throws unexpected misfortunes at us and often we sink to unbelievable lows, but that’s not the end of the story.
Turn the page :).
People say love hurts and love is pain but I don’t believe that’s true. Love is the unshakable, unmovable, unstoppable force that drives people to do good, to make sacrifices for the betterment of others and to overcome the most earth-shaking tragedies.
The reason for this hurt and pain is not love, it’s reality. Life, unfortunately, is not a fairy tale. You don’t always win the heart of your first crush, one mistake can ruin years of friendship, a university degree does not always guarantee a job, buying lottery tickets every week does not guarantee you’ll ever be a millionaire. We’re faced with hurt and pain because evil exists and it’s everywhere. Love is the force that sustains us, keeps us, guards our hearts and gives us hope. Love keeps us believing things can get better, love encourages us when negativity starts to wear us down, love restores, repairs and revives. Love gives new meaning to life when previous ways have failed us.
Don’t allow bitterness from the disappointments of this world to grow inside your heart and don’t let a bad attitude and negative thinking prevent you from experiencing love and joy in your life. Take control of your thoughts, make active choices about who and what you invest yourself into. Remember love is not the criminal; love is the hero. When life gets tough, and it will, remember this: Love is the only thing that will get you through to the end of the road!