Do you ever just get completely overwhelmed with thankfulness? Like to the point where it brings you to your knees? It has been happening to me daily for about a month. For some reason, 2010 has had a beginning unlike any other year in my life.
They say your relationship with God has valleys and mountains and 2009 was definitely a valley for me (with a few minutes of mountains). At one point in 2009, I honestly told God that if He was trying to teach me a lesson through my infertility, He had completely missed His chance. I had been open to His lesson for several months and still no baby, so I told Him I was done with being okay with Him trying to teach me something. I didn't want to have anything to do with his lesson! How stupid. I have since completely fallen on my knees in forgiveness over ever telling Him something so dumb. I don't think God works like that and honestly even though I had said that I completely surrendered, it wasn't true. So, when I was thinking about my goals and what I wanted for 2010, my main goal was completely surrendering to God and what he wants for my life.
Our pastor is teaching out of Ephesians right now and for a couple of weeks we heard about how we are God's masterpiece, made to reflect the artist's heart. Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. This life really, REALLY, really is not about me. It has nothing to do with me except for my life to reflect Christ. It seems like a concept we should get from the very beginning of making the decision to be a God-follower, but apparently I'm slow :) When I started realizing that this is all about God's plan for my life (which is the PERFECT plan), the ideas for my life and our family's are quickly falling away. I'm digging into the Word like I never have before to get to know God better, so I can reflect Him and His love most accurately. Most of all though, I am more thankful than I have ever been in my life.
When I look around I can't even believe I was having such a pity party day after day. I have so much to be thankful for. A husband who loves the Lord, loves me intensely, works so hard for us. A little girl who is the light of my life, who brings me joy every day. A family who is so close to each other that outsiders think we're weird. A house with more than we ever need. Clothes in my closet. Food in my pantry. A church that lights my heart on fire. A Lord who is in control and loves me more than I could ever imagine. Friends who really know me and love me anyway. The list could go on and on and on. It makes me want to just curl up in a ball and cry to think that I was dwelling on what I didn't have when all of this was around me the whole time.
One very practical way this new thinking has affected me is shown in a conversation Justin and I had the other night. Justin had mentioned that he would really like to get a new table for our house. A bar height table. We have always loved higher tables and it *would* look really nice in our dining room. As he was saying that, all I could think was, "But we have a table. I would much rather buy a table for someone else who needs it." That's not to bash Justin because he wanted something new (lol!) or to say I'm some saint (because heaven knows I'm not!!). It's just crazy how your thinking changes when you realize how much you love God, all that He has given you and how much God wants you to love those around you.
2010 is going to be a good year for so many reasons. But most of all because God hasn't missed His chance with me :)