Friday, June 21, 2013

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

"I will offer to You the 
sacrifice of thanksgiving,
 and will call upon the name of the LORD."
~ Psalm 116: 17 ~

Lately things have been busy here for us...  Felipe is gone from home lots lately, as he is out working at other locations, attending meetings and working on new projects.  I am hunkered down at home with my precious beauties, and lately my days seem super long.   I am trying to juggle the daily tasks of keeping my house, work responsibilities, and sometimes (actually many times) I am getting lost in the mundane.  

At the moment, my Jessie is down for a nap and Sophia is focused and quietly playing. Yes!  A few quiet moments...  So, I have retreated to my room to soak in the Lord's presence.  I literally crashed on my bed (I have been fighting off sickness this whole week) and decided to spend a little while listening to the song "ALL I NEED is YOU LORD" over and over. How completely refreshing...

Then I opened the Bible and turned straight to Psalm 116.  What a blessing the Word of God is! Alive and speaking straight to our hearts.  Today I am reminded once again to focus on thanking and praising the Lord.

"I will offer to YOU the sacrifice of THANKSGIVING..."

A side note in my Bible reads, 
"Sometimes it will be a sacrifice to thank God.  Why?  Because our attitudes are not always right, and things are not always going the way we think they should.  
When we begin to offer God the sacrifice of thanksgiving (to thank Him even when we don't feel like it), we discover that our thanksgiving gives us a fresh, new outlook on things." 

This is totally where I am at.

I am not sure what your week has been like, but for me, this week has been full of lots of bumps in the road.  Things have just not been going my way, and honestly, my attitude could be better.  
I am weary, yet God is SO worthy! 
I want to offer it ALL to the Lord, the good and the bad, and focus in on HIS goodness, gaining His perspective, and knowing His heart.  I took the JOY DARE last year and kept an on-going journal of things I was thankful for.  When traveling I got out of this habit, so it has been a while since I have done this...

Today I am returning to this important principle.
I want to offer the Lord a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 

So, these are the things I am thankful for today:
1.   God's mercy.  New - every, single morning.  We don't deserve it, but He gives... So generous! 
2.  A husband who loves deeply, encourages me, accepts me as I am, and continually reflects God's character.
3.  Sophia's personality and her caring and compassionate nature.  I am proud to see these qualities developing in her.

4.  Healthy girls
5. A roof over our heads. 
6.  Food in our tummies.
 7. The way Sophia is talking so much now and is constantly making me smile with the funny things she says.
8.  The much needed help of a friend this week.
9.  Both my girls sleeping by 7:30 pm, so mommy and daddy can have time alone together.
10.  God's constant provision through our mission partners - THANK YOU!
11. Ivanete, the Lighthouse cook, who is a dear friend and blesses my life daily by cooking lunch for us here at the Lighthouse.
12.  Felipe´s family who live in the same city as us.
13. Living in community with fellow missionaries, and their encouragement as we serve and pursue the Lord together.
14.  Sophia dressing up in her princess costume and proclaiming, "I am a princess!"  She reminds me of my place in the Kingdom.  I am a princess too, the daughter of the most High King.

15.  Rest on the weekends.
16.  Hot showers.
17.  The red car we will hopefully be getting soon!
18.  The LONG process of receiving my permanent visa (to live in Brazil) is almost finalized. Praise Jesus!
19.  The amazing things God is doing in the lives of precious kids who live here in the slum.  You can read one story HERE . It was written by a missionary who serves here.

20. My baby Jessie, who is super joyful, sweet, and has such kissable cheeks.

21.  The view from the Lighthouse Community Center. The sunsets are amazing here.
22.  The beauty of nature. What refreshing and wonder it brings...

23. The Lord's presence. So sweet, tangible, so renewing.
24.  The way the Lord knows my heart, sees me (weaknesses and all), and chooses to love me, forgive me and offer grace.
25.  The Word of God, what a gift!
26. The ladies Bible study I will be starting soon. I am expecting good things!
27.  The honor to know personally and serve a GREAT God!  How I want to serve Him with integrity and joy!
28. This computer I am typing on and the gift of internet. I am thankful.
29.  My daughters' clothes.  Almost ALL of the clothes were given as gifts or hand me downs.  God provides...
30. The English tea I received as a gift and I am still enjoying.
31.  Being able to borrow Felipe's brother's car for a few days.
32. Reading a book together with Felipe at night when the girls are in bed.
33.  My times of reading together with my girls.

34.  Bedtime prayer times with Sophia.
35. These three people, who have forever changed my life, captured my heart, and are greatly used of the Lord to teach me and minister to me in ways that no one else can. 

36.  Jessie's love for music, especially hip-hop.
37.  Skype
38.  Peanut butter we brought from the USA.
39.  Grace given in love, when Felipe and I made a mistake today.
40.  Fresh bread in the mornings, from the bakery in the slum.
41.  Friends treating Sophia to a ice cream outing this afternoon.  Sophia LOVES ice cream!
42.  Playdough - it offering hours of entertainment.
43.  The ability to see and hear - life is rich with these senses!
44.  The challenge that happened this week that led to a blessing in the end.
45.   Our kitty, Amora.  What joy she brings to our girls!

46.  The herb garden being planted on the Lighthouse grounds.
47.   The fruit donation we receive weekly here at the Lighthouse.
48.  Sara Joy, Sophia's friend, who lives here at the Lighthouse.  They are SO cute playing together.
49.  My washing machine
50. Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, He paid for my sins and made a way for me to have relationship with a loving Father. 

There is SO MUCH to be thankful for!  Just writing this list has lightened and strengthened my heart, as I remember the faithfulness, love, mercy, goodness and never changing character of my amazing GOD!
This is my sacrifice of thanksgiving today!

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