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A Grateful Heart | Jacquelyn Zook Larson

A Grateful Heart

Posted by | November 24, 2016 | Blog, Uncategorized | No Comments

As I blinked my eyes open early this morning and protested my alarm.  I did one of those “let me try and wake up, yet stay in bed” …aka I browsed through my emails from the night before. I laughed out loud as I literally saw 7 emails addressed to me with a heading: “Get into the Holiday Spirit.”

As I did a massive delete (I’m really bad about signing up for every raffle that promises a discount or something free), a thought tugged at my un-caffeinated brain—why do we wait until Thanksgiving and Christmas to “get into the Spirit.”

Now don’t get me wrong-I’m all about this season… the red Starbucks cups, the generosity, the angel trees, the giving, and the apparent miracles that happen around these few months. Quite frankly… it’s magical. But, why do we need a reminder of a holiday to live this way?

And that got me thinking of Adam and Eve. Yep…I have a mind that spins a web faster than Charlotte herself.

Adam and Eve had everything in Eden. I mean, everything! God walked with them in the cool of the day- no big deal, organic (and I’m sure perfectly tasting) crops just sprouted from the ground, work wasn’t cursed, they were free from shame, and lived in paradise… and yet still–

“when Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise she took of its fruit and ate.” Genesis 3:6

Can’t you just see Home Girl?

Looking back over her shoulder at this gorgeous, lush, fabulous garden God gave her–then that slow turn back…. Hmm…this tree LOOKS better…it SOUNDS better…It HAS what I don’t….

………And she ate.

And while I feel some kinda way about Eve – I have to recognize myself in her reflection. Because when it boils down… ungratefulness will take me right off the road of freedom and cast me out of my own Eden. And all of a sudden I find myself on this well-beaten path of comparison, where the scenery mocks and entices me to believe that it’s all greener and plusher and more delightful on that side.

So before I go adding Eve to the naughty list, I think I need to link arms with her. I feel ya girl. But with all due respect, I’m going to choose a grateful heart.Which PS I think is easier to do than to “choose joy.”  I can count what I’m grateful for, and out of that thankful attitude comes Joy ……
……but that’s probably too long for a coffee mug, soo….

Because friends, I think maybe at the root of every sin lies some level of ungratefulness. And if we can view our lives through the lens of a thankful heart, we might actually see the gorgeous, lush, fabulous garden of Eden, instead of the illusion of some tree.

I believe that’s why Paul tells,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6-7

With thanksgiving! With a thankful heart we make our requests known. Paul isn’t saying, “want not” or “don’t ask” he’s saying God knows what you need. He’s saying, stop being anxious…how?

Be grateful.  

Count your blessings. Even when you don’t feel like there’s anything to count. Praise Him for what He has already given you.  Be grateful for what He Can Do.  And as you get caught up in that praise….Eden comes  into focus…then we may not need a reminder to “get into the spirit”…because instead of magic only happening once a year, it could happen year round.


“I will give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1

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