Morning Glories…interesting and beautiful flowers. They quickly spread, creep, and sometimes crowd out, blanket and smother other plants. They are invasive but their blooming habits are interesting to me. Just a few hours before sunset, the petals begin to curl in and they tighten up for the night. Early in the morning, as the temperature begins to rise with the sun, the flowers begin to unravel into full blossom.
Tonight was the first night of our Women’s Bible Study at church. Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts” is a study that will teach me to look at each individual moment or event in my day, in my month, in each year of my life as a blessing. Even the events that bring tears, pain, discomfort, confusion, and dismay are filled with blessing….if you learn to look for the blessings that lie within each moment.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. Ephesians 4:7
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
During the video segment, Ann was talking about those tough moments in life (and she has had many) that cause us to clench our fists instead of reaching with outstretched, open hands to receive the grace of God. Those morning glories kept coming to my mind. When the sun was going down, and was less visible, and the day was cooling- those flowers close up….with clenched fists. The sun never ceases to exist….they just cannot feel it’s warmth for the moment. Therefore, they retract within themselves and wait for morning. Wow. What a thought. What a visual this was for me. How many times have I curled up, with clenched fists or even a closed heart when I couldn’t feel the SON on my face. Maybe during a trying time when I couldn’t necessarily see His hand in the matter right away. Whew. As usual, God delivers. This study is going to teach me to keep my bloom open…even when I can’t feel the sun. The SON is always shining. I don’t have to wait until morning to open my hands and my heart to receive His grace. I am loving this study already.
The homework….One Thousand Blessings! We are each going to keep a journal of the blessings we see every day, moment by moment. I am seeking the Lord and He is showing himself in my daily life….but there are times that I “clench my hands” and don’t open up to see Him and receive the gifts He gives. Whether it’s a challenging day with my kids, or a gloomy day when the rain is holding down my smile- I have plenty to be joyful about. As for the spreading and invasive nature of the Morning Glory; I can only hope that by making note of blessings during the course of my day and sharing them…that my joy will become contagious and God’s love and grace will overflow. Contagious JOY!
I wasn’t going to blog about my blessings, but I think I just might. I will try to post them once a week and I encourage you to share some of your blessings with me! Then, please go to www.blessingsformom.com and see what Danielle is up to. You’ll be blessed by it.