Windows of Heaven

Blog – 11-22-17

I love the quote that started my morning reading today from Jesus Calling, “A thankful attitude opens windows of heaven.” What a beautiful image that is. When we look up, when we are filled with gratitude, we get glimpses of the glory of eternity. Momentary snapshots of what our eternal home will look like. A tiny, yet life-changing realization of the joy that is to come.

We all know that the more grateful we are, the more things we naturally find to be grateful for. We don’t even have to think about it because blessings are everywhere. When we notice the everyday miracles and take time to acknowledge something good, it’s like walking up a beautiful staircase that takes us closer and closer to heaven. Every step taken in gratitude gets us closer to those glimpses of glory.

Gratitude gives you a glimpse into the windows of heaven!

On the other side of things, the more negative we are, the more things we naturally find to be negative about. We don’t even have to try to find things to complain about because they are all around us. That’s when cease going up and we start walking down that same staircase, this time into despair and gloom.

Truth is, the staircase doesn’t change. Which direction we choose to go changes everything for us.

A thankful mindset is hard to maintain, though, as all of you know. It’s difficult to keep finding the positives. We must be intentional about choosing gratitude when the world seems to bombard us with so many negatives.

I’ve had a pretty exciting couple of weeks, as you know. Dreams I’ve dreamt for years have come true, lots of things are falling into place; but reality is life is still happening. These new incredible opportunities also carry a huge work load, plus I have my Christmas show coming up, which is always stressful. Add to that the normal stress of the holidays and a big stack of bills I haven’t been able to get to and my gratitude can start slipping away.

It’s easy to start going down the staircase again.

So how do we keep a grateful attitude no matter what is going on around us? Habakkuk 3:17-19 tells us exactly how to do just that:

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
and the strawberries don
’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
and the cattle barns empty,
I
’m singing joyful praise to God.
I
’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
    I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
I feel like I
’m king of the mountain!
(The Message)

Bottom line, it doesn’t matter a bit what’s going on around us. We can and should CHOOSE gratitude no matter what. Do a cartwheel of joy and tell me you don’t feel a little better about your life! Have some fun, already. Choose to believe that God has it, He will prevail in whatever your situation is. The true measure of faith is being grateful in spite of our circumstances, not because of our circumstances.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I know most of us won’t experience the Norman Rockwell photograph we all dream about. There will be family members missing. There will be strained relationships. There will be kids acting out and misbehaving. There will be turkeys and stuffing that are dry and overcooked. There will be life…and that’s okay. Be intentional about walking up that staircase anyway.

Grateful for grace.

Grateful for God’s love.

Grateful for the breath you are breathing right now.

Grateful for the mixed up, flawed, dysfunctional people you get to share the day with.

And remember, the higher you get on that staircase, the better your view will be into the windows of heaven!

Choose to walk up the stairs!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Hugs and love,

Jill

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