Psalm 103...by Me

In this day and age, letter writing is a lost art, isn't it? Emails, texts, even voice mail have become the communication modes of choice. Sometimes that is how we also see our relationship with God. There are devotionals and books that give us the idea that we can squeeze God in to our busy days, making Him work into our schedule. We shoot up quick prayer arrows when we need His help or guidance. Yes, fast, quick and easy have become goals that we aim for, even in our spiritual life.

And yet in our harried, hurried pace of life, especially as the holiday season approaches, we are robbed of the joy as well. I noticed that Black Friday is not just limited to Friday anymore as more and more businesses start their sales earlier and earlier. What has happened?

And so, this morning, inspired by a blog post I read, I thought I'd take up the writer's challenge to write a thank you letter to the Lord. As we look forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow, I encourage you to carve out some time to write your own thank you to our Father. If you're stumped, Psalm 103 is a great jump start.

I praise You, Lord, with my heart and soul. I praise You for all the many benefits You have showered on me, on my family and in our home.

Thank You first and foremost for sending Your Son, Jesus on our behalf. Without Him, I would have no hope, direction, or life. When I think of my life without Him, I am sobered to think what I could have become.

Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit who indwells me, who prays for me, guides me in the paths of righteousness, and convicts me of the sin that sabotages the life You offer. Thank You for never leaving me alone to navigate this world. Thank You for lifting my eyes to see beyond what is before me to what is yet to come.

Thank You for your Word. It has been a source of life and a fountain of wisdom as I navigate through my days. As I have been reading through it from cover to cover this year, I am amazed by its beauty, unity and depth. Its truth is what I need and it satisfies my soul in ways nothing else can.

Thank You for the gift of health. Despite the unknown circumstances that have arisen over the past few months, You are still in charge of my body. Thank You for every breath I breathe. It is all Your grace.

Thank You for each member of my family and all that they mean to me. Thank You for my husband, Daniel, and for how You are using him to challenge and encourage me in my walk with You. Thank You for my daughter, Janna, who fills our home with beauty. Thank You for my gallant son, Matthew, and his gentle and quiet spirit that ministers to my heart. Thank You for our little Jonathan who makes me laugh! And thank You for our Anah, who has yet to join our family---and yet you have used her to already start softening my hardened heart.

Thank You for our church family, one that proclaims the Gospel and seeks to live it out. I am so blessed to be a part of this fellowship. Through this community, I have been stretched out of my comfort zone so many times. And though it has been difficult, You have deepened my faith and understanding in ways that I could never imagine.

Thank You for the neighborhood You have placed us in. This past fall, You have opened my eyes to the many special people that live right around us. You have blessed us with good neighbors and friends that enrich us.

Thank You Lord for meaningful work that fills my days. Thank You for the freedom that I enjoy to homeschool my children and raise them up in Your ways. Thank You for the ordinary tasks like cooking, cleaning and laundry, for they remind me that I have been blessed with a family to care for.

Thank You for the privilege I have to serve You. You can easily carry out Your will without me, but You give me the opportunity to taste the joy of being used by You. Thank You for allowing me to see the fruit of my labors. You don't have to, but You do.

And lastly, thank You for all that You have been doing in our family this past year. When we began 2011, I would never have guessed that we would adopt a child or receive an offer on our home. Even though the journey has not been easy, You have used these things to strengthen our marriage and grow godliness in our children like nothing else can. Thank You that with You, all things---difficult or easy, painful or joyful---work into Your mighty plan. Thank You that I can be a part of it.

You are truly worthy to be praised. I love You and thank You for all You have done. Though these words are small and limited, may they bless Your heart as You have blessed mine.

May your Thanksgiving celebrations be full of gratitude and praise.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits..."--Psalm 103:2