As each weekend comes to a close, I begin to prepare for the week ahead. Swept floors, washed dishes, packed lunch, organized book bag. In smaller ways, I also prepare my mind and heart for the academic rigor ahead and all the challenges a new week will bring. Listing gratefulness in my thankful journal, reflecting on the past week and praying through a few Psalms before bed. I also prepare myself in some small ways… Being a lover of words, one of my weekly preparations are to find an inspiring few words and scribble them into my day planner. Throughout the week, then, I have some truths, some beauty, and some goodness that I can glance over and be motivated, inspired or encouraged by. It helps that the words are sitting there, on the shelf alongside all my daily tasks; the papers to write, the books to read. Last week was inspired by some Wendell Berry words: “We live the given life, not the planned” — an attempt to keep my forced and rigid schedule free enough to live in daily acceptance of what I have been given: each day as a gift, each hour precious. Ever living in and following the theme of gratitude, this week is inspired by Charles Spurgeon:
“Before you go out into the world, wash your face in the clear crystal of praise.
Bury each yesterday in the fine linen and spices of thankfulness.”
At this point in the semester, the amount, length and difficulty of each assignment seems to grow ever longer- and yet the hours in the day seem to grow ever shorter. Recalling to mind God’s goodness, counting gifts and cultivating thankfulness – this is the only task I have found that revitalizes my heart and soul so that my brain and body may continue to do what is required of me. Thankfulness is paradoxical: the task of bending my mind towards seeing and acknowledging God’s goodness is that; a task. It is difficult to stop in the middle of a fully-loaded schedule and churn circumstances into gratitude. Yet in counting graces I see there is even more beauty and goodness in life, through Christ. We have so much to gain in Him alone, and He continues to pour His many acts of goodness upon us! Let us look for the ten thousand joys that lie before us, going out into the world with crystal faces, wrapped in the fine linen and spices of thankfulness.
Love and sing and wonder, friends.
snapshots of gratitude, lately: