“God is always good and I am always loved.” ~Ann Voskamp
I have this quote posted in my kitchen. I believe this but sometimes I forget it…the times that I am struggling, the moments of sadness or stress, the days of discomfort or weariness. When I start to dwell too much on the hardships or trials, I find myself drifting away from this truth. Life can be hard and moments can be trials. But, through it all I do believe that “God is always good and I am always loved.”
It helps me to count the good things, to write down the gifts, to focus on the blessings and thank God for them. One of my very favorite books is “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. She was challenged by a friend to write down one thousand things she loved.
On page 45, she says, “On a whim, a dare, I scratch it down: Gift List. I begin the list. Not of gifts I want but of gifts I already have…That is the beginning and I smile. I mean, they are just the common things and maybe I don’t even know they are gifts really until I write them down and that is really what they look like. Gifts He bestows. This writing it down–it is sort of like…unwrapping love.”
I too began this challenge and it has been one of the best ways I know to remind myself of His goodness and love…to keep reminding myself so I don’t forget. Taking the time to write down the blessings has helped me worry less and thank Him more. I have been keeping this list for over five years now and although I may not write the gifts down daily, this simple routine has helped me greatly. In the hard moments and difficult days, my mind goes back to counting the blessings and noticing the gifts He’s given me. My mom also kept a journal of gifts.
I wanted to share with you the details of a God-given gift that happened recently. My dad and my mom celebrate birthdays 6 days apart. Without mom here now, the week is somewhat bittersweet and especially hard for Dad. This year we celebrated his 75th birthday! We gathered all together with extended family to celebrate the gift of him. We sang “Happy Birthday” and he blew out the candles. A few raindrops had begun to fall…it was dripping lightly on us from above. Moments after we sang to him, the sun came out and a glorious rainbow appeared in the sky. This rainbow had the entire color spectrum and even turned into a double rainbow toward the end as it faded away.
Some might say, it was just a combination of sun and rain that came together at the same time to form a rainbow. I believe it was an extra-special gift from God, sent at a perfect moment with precision timing. Dad had been especially sad having to celebrate this monumental birthday without his bride by his side. I don’t know exactly how things work between heaven and earth. But, I do believe that God knew exactly how to show us His love and help us feel close to her at a very special moment. Maybe she got to see this amazing gift and even got to see the tears of joy that fell from our faces as we gazed up into the sky? Either way, I am grateful!
Thank you God for the gift of this rainbow, the colorful reminder of your promises and your love.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1:17
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” ~Psalm 9:1