"How did that happen?" our daughter asked.
"Because it's yours," my husband said as I handed her the keys.
"It is? Can I drive it?" she asked.
"Sure!" my husband said; and off she went across the parking lot with her friend. My husband and I watched as they climbed in, and she backed out and exited the parking lot.
I leaned my head on my husband's shoulder and began to cry. "She didn't eeeeven smile...or laugh...or cry...or even say thththank you or give us a hhhug," I sobbed.
"I know," he said in a voice cracking with disappointment. "That's a teenager for you."
This week as I studied my Bible I became convicted about my own ingratitude to God for the blessings He has given me. I have found that God often uses disappointments and hurts to teach me a lesson. As I thought about my daughter's senior year, I wondered if I had ever acknowledged and thanked God for the work he does behind the scene to bring about spiritual growth and change in my life. Had I even been grateful that we could give this gift to our daughter? Hadn’t I behaved just as she had? How often do I show my joy and excitement about the blessings He bestows? How often do I give Him a spiritual hug with praise? How often do I even say thank you? Not nearly enough.
As I asked the Father for forgiveness, I decided to take a gratitude challenge. Every day I am going to take or find a photo in my collection to put in a thankfulness collage on my website. It will be a beautiful collage, a memorial to the wonderful ways that God has blessed me and a reminder to thank God often and freely for loving me so much.
Here's the challenge. I hope you will take it, too. Feel free to start the challenge at any time. You can start any day of the year. Or you may choose to write in a journal, or blog, or make a scrapbook of thankfulness.
Day 1 - A picture of the sky, as a symbol of the universe created by God.
Day 2 - A picture of nature to symbolize the beautiful world He made for us.
Day 3 - A picture to symbolize my country and the religious freedoms I enjoy.
Day 4 - A picture of my church, the bride of Christ, where I learn more about God.
Day 5 - A picture of my Bible to symbolize His guidance through His word.
Day 6 - A picture symbol of Jesus, who saved me from my sin and gave me hope for a future.
Day 7 - A group or individual pictures of the family God gave to love me.
Day 8 - A picture of a friend or friends who encourage me.
Day 9 - A picture of my home - inside or out.
Day 10 - A picture of the transportation God has provided to get me where I need to go.
Day 11 - A picture of water that supports life.
Day 12 - A picture inside the pantry, refrigerator, or cupboard to symbolize all that He provides for my nourishment.
Day 13 - A picture of me in action to symbolize my health.
Day 14 - A picture of my pillow, blanket, or bed where I can rest.
Day 15 - A picture of the work He has given me to do.
Day 16 - A picture of a gift that was a blessing sent by God through another person.
Day 17 - A picture of an animal or pet that encourages me.
Day 18 - A picture of music or art to symbolize the creativity God gave me.
Day 19 - A picture of a happy time when my spirit was refreshed
Day 20 - A picture of a difficult time when God held and supported me.
Day 21 - A picture of a blessing that I never dreamed that I would have.
Day 22 - A picture of warmth and comfort.
Day 23 - A picture of rain.
Day 24 - A picture of beauty.
Day 25 - A picture of a mission God has entrusted to me.
Day 26 - A picture that symbolizes a hope or dream or prayer that God will answer in His time.
Day 27 - A picture of a simple pleasure that I enjoy.
Day 28 - A picture of sunshine.
Day 29 - A picture of clothing.
Day 30 - A picture of an innovation that I am grateful to have.
“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world that you see”
Dr. Robert Holden
In a month, I will post my collage and tell you about the challenge. I will also have information about posting your collage.