and what better time to think about the blessings of God than at this time of year. Sometimes this time of year can be a real downer. Maybe the excitement and the decorations and the lights and the anticipation is a bit of a let down to what the reality of what the actual Christmas season turned out to be. Maybe the focus was too much on the outside appearances the tree, the stockings, the presents and not the PRESENCE of Jesus.
I have a strained relationship with my side of the family. No other time of the year does this make itself especially known than at Christmas. It probably because of the "ideal" nature of Christmas and the picture perfectness that we associate with the holiday season.
I choose to "give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart". I choose to "recount all of his wonderful deeds". My personal blog has become a collection of good things that I can focus on instead of all the negativity that threatens to outshine all the blessings. I am "glad" and I do "exult" God because I know that it is through Him that I have what I do.
When life gets hard, it's so easy to get bitter. Bitterness can leach into all aspects of life like a poison. It's hard to escape and so easy to drag others in when you look at life through a bitter lens. We are all a product of our life choices. We can choose to be grateful or choose to be bitter. Choosing to live a life that focuses of being grateful is a life that has been changed by God. It does not been that my life is not without problems but it is that I am choosing to look on the blessings that I have and not on what I do not have. I am a sinner. I fall short. I am not perfect. Through God's mercy, this does not keep me from Him. I am grateful for that. I am just human and I fail miserably and often. However, I am grateful for repentance and forgiveness and the ability to live life giving thanks for the many blessings, especially when I do not deserve a single one.
You are so gracious and full of mercy. It is so hard for me to comprehend it. I make bad choices, I hold grudges, I am a sinner. Thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for welcoming me back again and again. Help me to show this same generosity and mercy to all those who need it from me. Remind me often that all blessings come from You and protect me from the poison of bitterness. Amen.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Psalm 10