Advent | Week 2 | Thursday
I can get very attached to my expectations and when they aren’t realized, the lurking bitterness and resentment launch a hostile take-over of my heart. Something about the promise of the holidays fertilize my expectations and make me susceptible to disappointment and the bitterness that accompanies it. I want my way, my perfect holiday experience with all the beautiful settings, delicious treats, and perfect relationships, and when I don’t get it, I can throw an internal (and occasionally external) tantrum to rival the best toddler rage or teenager rant. Somewhere on the backside of the outburst, hopefully before it goes outward, God gently reminds me of his purpose and invites me into an attitude shift- a shift that always begins with gratitude.
“Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings. See what God has done.”
~Johnson Oatman, Jr.
This old hymn offers a powerful means of grace- taking inventory, specifically and by name, of all that God has done for you. So, take some time today to count your blessings. Here are some ideas and categories to get you started:
- Both good and hard things from today.
- Both good and hard things from this year.
- Family, friends, and companions who support you on your spiritual journey.
- Difficult relationships that require you to lean into the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Painful and challenging things that invite you to take that pain to Jesus and share in his sufferings.
- The unique ways you are created in the image of the Father.
- The ways you have grown into the likeness of Christ this year.
- The sufferings that drew you closer to the Trinity this year.