Last week our Pastor preached on the commandment: "thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17). ( link to sermon) I already knew that this was an area that I had to be careful of in my life (see two posts back: "Life isn't Fair"). I fight against being jealous and coveting what others have that I don't have. I know it's wrong - but it's so easy!
One of the points Pastor Jonathan made was that we can fight the sin of coveting by being grateful. I have known for a long time that gratefulness was a good weapon and that being content was a continual discipline, but his sermon was a very good reminder to keep it up and to find more ways to cultivate a grateful heart in my day to day life.
So, here is one of my tools for practicing a grateful heart: I write lists on our bathroom mirror. We have always had dry erase markets in our bathroom and we often write notes to each other on the mirror - or to do lists, things to remember etc. So lately I have been playing the " Glad Game" (from the old Pollyanna movie with Halley Mills) I try and think of something new every time I look at the mirror that I am glad and grateful for. Sometimes, when the day feels like it is impossibly hard it is amazing how taking the time and discipline to write down what I am grateful for will change my mood and outlook on life.
Here are some of my current glads:
* above ALL the love of the Creator of the Universe ... if this was the only thing on my list I would still never have a reason to be anything but grateful.
* My husband is almost done (238 days!) with school!
* I am going to FINALLY get my degree!! (Bachelor of Arts in Ministry/Biblical Studies) ... this was a long time in coming!
* we have a cozy place to live
* the understanding of friends and family during this time when we are not as available as we would choose for social things.
* the days I have with less pain
* the days when I have worse pain - because it reminds me to be humble and depend on God
* what a beautiful Summer it's been (still is!)
* all the veggies we have gotten from our garden (and even our tomatoes are starting to ripen! - a huge challenge in our area!)
* two cars that run (and that I am finally learning how to drive on the mainland - such an island driver!)
* all of our fun and cute nieces and nephews
* dairy free ice cream!
* good books (currently reading: Born in Our Hearts: stories of adoption by Filie Casey and Marisa Catalina Casey - and Love and Respect - by someone but I'm too lazy to go find the book)
.... the list could go on and on - because when I think about it I have SO much to be grateful for and so much that makes me glad.
What are you grateful for today? Be intentional about being grateful and maybe buy some dry erase markers and start a glad game on your mirror. :) It's a very useful and powerful weapon against being discontent!