Not Just Thankful, FULL of Thanks

I talk a lot about the impact that moving to Texas had on me and today is no exception. Three years ago today was our first service as a campus for FLC San Antonio. To see so much hard work and prayers come to pass in that moment was overwhelming. Not only was it amazing to see this come to pass, but I was blessed enough to actually be on the stage with my family and just usher in that atmosphere of worship with them. It was humbling and such a “dance for joy” moment. In truth it was the start of a totally different walk with the Lord than I could have ever had while staying in Virginia.

I look back on that night and the years that followed with such thanksgiving for what God brought me through and taught me in those small moments. Even now he continues to amaze me with the daily gifts he bestows in my life. In fact I’m reading an incredible book on the topic of being obsessively grateful for all life has to offer, even the ugly beautiful things. The name of the book is called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and let me tell you, God got my attention real quick when reading this.

She writes about how she was living this half full life and was always wondering if there was truly more to where she was at. Would she have to travel across continents and experience all the world has to offer to live a full and joyful life? She quickly introduces the word eucharisteo, which means thanksgiving, and how the root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace”. She ties that in with how Jesus had taken the bread at his last supper and saw it as grace and gave thanks. But it didn’t end there, that word eucharisteo also holds the Greek word chara, which means “joy”. For her it clicked: a full life is one full of joy no doubt. But to find that chara joy one must approach the table of euCHARisteo– thanksgiving. To live a full life, one full of deep joy, one must be thankful.

Sounds so incredibly simple right?? The key to a life full, right where you are at, is simply to be thankful? It is so simple, yet I never thought about it in this way. She was challenged to write one thousand things she is grateful for and I quickly said yes to this challenge as well. I have never experienced the world or the way I approach the Lord like I have since starting this journey of being obsessively grateful for it all. Even grateful for those ugly moments that I wouldn’t ever think about being grateful for. Time has quite literally felt more full and abundant and full of electric joy and tenderness that I am almost left speechless at moments. I never realized how much all of what is in my life is of God and how everything SHOUTS his glory, even the ugly simply reveals how perfect and good he is.

I can’t stop honestly. I thought I was a pretty joyful individual and thankful for the obvious things in my life, but God is pulling back the scales from my eyes and showing me the world in such a childlike perspective. And I am left in awe at his feet because of it. This simple act of writing one thousand things puts me in a place where I am constantly seeking the throne room of God and setting my eyes and heart on things above. The lights just keep on turning on people!

272. three year victories

273. childlike joy

274. light in abundance

This craving to know him and to see him in the small things and to rejoice even when I don’t feel like doing so, has overrun who I am and I can’t go back to ignoring all these little things. This past year and even since the beginning of 2017 has been revealing as to God’s relentless pursuit of my heart and being. I never thought I’d see the world from this perspective, in so many ways he is humbling me in all I am and all I thought I was. This simple act of being in constant communion and thanksgiving with every moment of this life has put me in such a mindset of my relationship with Christ essentially starting anew and if I wasn’t as bold about my light going out before this then for sure no one can put this light under a bush now! I will be obsessively grateful for all God has given me. I can no longer go back to an empty life of half joy and ignoring the little gifts he’s given us. I will step boldly and proclaim how good our Lord is and how he desires to pursue us through it all!

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