Thursday, August 7, 2008

Today I am thankful



   My friend Tiffany asked me if I had ever posted for "Thankful Thursdays".  I said, "No".  She said, "why not"?  I didn't know why not.  I didn't have an answer.  So here I am.

   Last night as our small group met I couldn't help but be thankful for so many things.  We are reading a great book together; "He Loves Me" by Wayne Jacobsen.  In the chapter we were on last night, the first two pages describe a woman who is the busiest woman in the church.  It's out of her desire to be loved that she works so hard. She's not comfortable in her own skin so she works to gain approval, value and love.  That was ME.  

     As we talked about the chapter I realized how much things had changed.  My heart overflowed with gratefulness that Papa God had come after me to love me away from my work.  He had relentlessly pursued me.  He loved me so intimately that He refused to leave me striving in my own ability to gain love.    So He came after me. 

     It didn't come easy.  There was much strain and struggle to live free.  After all those things were what had given me value.  There were years of performance and striving attached to me.  To let them go, at times, felt like having an appendage amputated.    But in His mercy and grace, He gently cut them off, one by one.  And now I am free.  Free to bask in His finished work.  Free to realize that I am crucified and no longer live.  He lives in me.

     I am resting, now and it is the most satisfying place that I have ever known.   It is truly the sweetest freedom my heart has ever experienced.  

     He loves me so deeply, so intimately, so personally without my doing a thing.  Amazing.

    Thank you Papa God for setting my heart free.

    Thank you for your relentless pursuit to love me.

    Thank you for your perfect love that perfects my imperfections.

    Thank you for seeing me as I am and loving me until I see it.

    Thank you that He who the Son sets free is free indeed.

    Thank you for setting my marriage free.

    Thank you for the beauty that surrounds me.

    YOU are awesome!

    "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners."  Isaiah 61:1

21 comments:

Kristi said... Reply to comment

I'm so glad that you joined us. I enjoyed your TT list. I have a Hannah too! Blessings to you.

Tracy said... Reply to comment

Beautiful! And definitely words to which I can relate. Very slowly "Papa" is freeing me from working to gain His and others approval. Old habits die hard, but my heart and soul are ever-so-slowly getting the message. The more I taste of the "sweet freedom" you speak of, the more I want. LOVE that scripture. I'm going to print and post that one.

Hugs & blessings,
Tracy

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Julie, your words are so powerful. Isn't it funny that it takes a lot of work to be able to let ourselves truly surrender?

Wonderful Thankful Thursday, my friend. xxxooogretchen

Tänia said... Reply to comment

Great to have you join the TT! You have alot to be thankful for! Blessings to you!

Tänia of www.weirblessed.com/faithprints

genny said... Reply to comment

Oh such a pretty TT entry. Thanks for sharing dear. Happy TT!

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

oh girl.. if you haven't read the redemption series by Karen Kingsbury.. you are so in for a treat....

there are five books.. and they spin off into the firstborn series..

I read all ten books.. I'm so addicted.. I feel like they are family...

you have to read them...

Laura said... Reply to comment

Today I am thankful for you, my friend! God is so good, in all things He does. He has so gifted you with many blessings. One of which is the eyes to see them.
luv to you!

Nancie said... Reply to comment

Welcome to TT! I am so glad you join us. It is encouraging to read your sweet thankful post. Thank God for blessing you with a lovely family and it is wonderful to visit your blog and see their lovely photos. Thank God for His goodness to you in many ways. May you and family continue to know God's love and faithfulness in many wonderful ways daily. Take care and God bless!

Denise said... Reply to comment

Welcome to thankful thursday sweetie, so glad you joined us. I really enjoyed your thankful list.

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

I echo your heart. I too find my sweet spot resting not striving. So thankful for your freedom--and mine too. He is already pleased in us. His love completes us. Keep focusing on what matters most--God's relentless love.

Your freedom is contagious! Spread it around over and over again.

Love covers, love cleanses, love frees!

Thank you for sharing your heart. I'm thrilled to know my question made you jump in. Great first Thankful Thursday. I could read this post every week.

Shanda said... Reply to comment

I'm rejoicing with you in your thankfulness! You are a blessing!

shanda

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

The words you chose to describe the freedom Christ offers us...are absolutely beautiful! It's amazing basking in His love, isn't it?

Thank you for sharing your grateful heart.

Much love,
Amy

Shanda said... Reply to comment

I heard God through your prayer and the tears keep coming. My husband has "Waking the Dead" so I just read the Daily Prayer, too. I will use it everyday. Thank you Julie.
shanda

Becoming Me said... Reply to comment

Beautiful

Starr said... Reply to comment

Julie, Thank you so much for your encouraging words in the comment section of my blog.
Your post for Thankful Thursday reminds me that I have so very much to be thankful for even in the midst of facing stressful change in my life.
I appreciate you!
Love and blessings,
Starr

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

I see you are reading the book..

ain't it just grand...??

cuz Papa does love us... even when we don't feel loved....

hard concept in an unloveable world...

love to you my friend

hey... like the name of the book you are going to HELP me write

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Hi, Julie!

This is such a great list! I, myself, struggle with the performing and striving for love. He is working in me, helping me to let these things go. I even FINALLY said no to something at church that I should have said no to months ago. His love for me is not based on what I do, and His love for me is the love that matters...not what others may think of me. :)

Thank you for your beautiful heart for the Lord. Thank you for sharing the places He has brought you healing!

And thanks for letting me know about your drum! You are just too fun! :)

Jo Princess Warrior said... Reply to comment

I was that busy woman at church and God has called me away to homeschool my gorgeous sons. I have just set up my home school supplies storage area.

I am very excited to start my home school journey and am inspired by women like you!

Sharon said... Reply to comment

Hello,
I am new to your sight, and was just thrown on the floor by your post. I so relate to everything you said, I need this book as well. Surrender that word seems to be the biggest word to me.
I would love to come back and read more of your writings. Today I can say I am THANKFUL for finding your sight.
Have a blessed week
Sharon

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, my friend! Thank you for stopping by to see me! I imagine you are busy getting your kiddies ready for the new school year! It seems like this summer has flown. Sign of old age? Maybe...

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie, Often enough I find myself mirroring Martha of the Bible (doing instead of resting at his feet) Again God reminds me that it is in resting that we experience the peace, grace and joy He gives. Beautiful post. I love the counting of blessings at the end of your post. We all need to be thankful. Blessings.