It’s spring, or so the calendar says, yet this week found us waking up to a cold, dark, dreary  rainy beginning, with more cold and frost forecasted for the week.  Farmers are scrambling to cover and protect their crops and I am scrambling to find warmth and Light in the dark.

I don’t like rain, never have, and I definitely don’t like cold. No matter how hard I try, I find myself grumbling and complaining on these days. I could justify all this grumbling since my illness causes me to be so bone-chilling cold it’s miserable. Not to mention the barometric pressure and weather events wreak havoc with P.O.T.S. patients. But I remember a Man who carried a cross two thousand years ago on this particular week and never grumbled, never complained, and I try to tap down my own petty complaints.

I grab my hot coffee, cover up with my blanket and go to my chair, the place where I begin my day every morning, and meet with God. The view from this chair is stunning. I watch The Master paint amazing sunrises as His creation comes to life every morning.

But on this particular morning it’s dark and murky and I have to get raw and honest before the Lord, confessing my grumpiness and disappointment that this morning’s view is not going to be as beautiful as the last few have been, complaining the deck construction’s not going to happen this week and Lord, you know how much I love the sun and bask in the warmth, and these cold days, well they just plain make me miserable. And by the way, how am I ever going to find any “gifts” on a day like today?

A couple of years ago I read Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Where You Are”, and it changed my life. The idea is to look for and list a minimum of three gifts a day from God and give Him thanks and praise for them. The idea being you can’t be give thanks and praise to God and be complaining at the same time.

I have my “quiet time”, my time of study and prayer and get up to go about my day.  You cannot “plug in” to a God whose Word is alive and active and working in your heart and not walk away transformed. I go look out the window, its still dark and murky, but with new eyes I begin to notice all the changes. The grass is so green with the drops of rain clinging to it, the blooms on my flowers are smiling up as if the rain is just for them, there are leaves on the trees that were bare a few weeks ago, and the birds are singing away. Oh, God is so good and He knows me so well, He knew I would need to see those “gifts”, treasures laid out just for me on a day where I was struggling to find light and warmth.

I quickly grab my “gift list” notebook and began to list these treasures!

Grace Filled

Tammy Mashburn

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever” Psalms 118:29