Thursday, November 29, 2012

{noontime gifts} a gratitude challenge

Brandon Christopher Warren via photopin cc
last weekend we visited a church in our new neighborhood. i was anxious-excited-nervous and if i'm completely honest, a tad reluctant. so when the young-energetic-engaging Pastor started talking about leaving our past behind and being thankful for our now-here life, it tasted a bit like humble pie.

i listened and took it all personal as if God arranged this message just for me. (of course He did) and at the end of the service, the Pastor issued the congregation a challenge: to every day, take a moment and ask 1) what can i be grateful for in this moment? 2) is there anything in this moment that is good, noble, lovely, or excellent? and 3) who does God love in this moment?

a gratitude challenge? a make-the-most-of-it dare? sign me up.

because even though i gift-count and ephesians 5:15 is my everysingleday prayer, God knows i am dealing with some emotions in this season that don't exactly match up with being grateful for every day moments. the only way to turn homesickness and anxiety into joy and peace is thanksgiving

hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me...
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that i might sing praises to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, i will give You thanks forever!

so, Pastor, i accept your challenge with gusto. i set the alarm on my phone to chime a harpsong at noon every single day, at which i will stop, snap a picture of wherever i am, whoever i'm with, or whatever i'm doing, search my soul, pray, and use the three questions to trigger gratitude. 

why noon? because it's smack-dab in the middle of the day and there's no telling where i'll be or what i'll be doing in that moment. why take a picture? to make the moment a tangible memory, and to add complexity to the prayer, as not to become a mindless routine. why the harp ringtone for the alarm? because it sounds like a reminder from angels. 

i'll share some of my noontime gifts here on sundays at, you guessed it, noon.