I AM

I’m sitting in my writing room. I just finished a session of edits on my very first novel. I hope to have this baby ready to send to a publisher soon but I know I must go through the laborious task of editing. In order to say that I have given it my best shot, I must indeed know that I put forth my best effort and so that means that I must peruse through the pages again and again, checking and re-checking the timeline, the characters, the places, the plot, the climax, the subplots, and so on and so forth.

In the background, I am playing a CD of Jewel singing lullabies. It occurred to me that we are all uniquely gifted and while I can carry a tune, I didn’t get the gift to sing for a living. Oh how I wish I could sing like Jewel and in my car, I think I can sing like her. In my car, I can sing like Reba, Faith, and Loretta but outside the boundary of my car I go right on back to being me; non-singer wannabe. However, I do have gifts that others might envy me for. Perhaps if Reba, or Jewel or any of the other ladies knew me they might wish they could be me. I might even go so far as to say that if you, my reader, knew me then you might be a little envious also. Let me count the ways…
I am created in greatness…Genesis 1:27
I am chosen…John 15:19
I am a princess heir to a royal throne…1 Peter 2:9
I am more than a conqueror…Romans 8
I am loved…John 3:16
I am bought and paid for…John 3:16
I am on purpose…Jeremiah 29:11
I am fearfully and wonderfully made…Psalm 139:14

Now that I have established who I am, allow me to count the gifts I have been given…
I am creative.
I am a writer.
I am musically inclined.
I am compassionate.
I am a leader.
I am intelligent.
I am brave.

Now let me count my blessings…
I am healthy.
I have a safe and clean home.
I have food in plenty.
I am clothed.
My mental capacity is adequate for continued learning and contribution.
I have my senses; thankful that I can see, hear, smell, taste and touch His creation.
My worries are few today.
My family is well.
I have a job where the work is meaningful and the pay is generous.
I have friends who I adore and who adore me.
I can walk. I can use my limbs as they were designed.
My lids blink without prompting in order to protect and moisturize my eyeballs…Oh what a creator!
My lungs fill to capacity and then empty again in order to give life breathe to this body…Oh what a creator!
My heart pumps blood through every vein and artery and then back again in a short span of time…Oh what a creator!
My fingers move. My toes move at my command.

See where this is going??? I could go on and on. I’ve had a continual attitude of praise and thanksgiving today and I wanted to share it with you. Have you counted your blessings and gifts lately? Let me challenge you to work on your list. Gratitude changes your attitude. Attitude determines your altitude. I am soaring high so come on up and soar with me. Much love!

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Blessed Assurance

I awoke this morning before the sun with the hymn Blessed Assurance on my lips. Before my feet hit the floor and before I even thought of rolling out from under the blankets, I was singing the words: “Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine, Oh what a foretaste of glory divine, Heir of salvation purchase of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood”. As I stumbled to the bathroom to change into my exercise clothes with eyes still sleepy I continued: “This is my story, This is my song, Praising my savior, all the day long.”

Once I got in front of the television to begin my workout, I was wide awake with a joyous smile. So many times I have started my day with intentions to praise God FIRST but my intentions get beat in the race with waking my mind and body. This day, I didn’t even have to think about praising God. His praises were already on my lips before I even thought of getting out of bed. How sweet is that?!

I have no idea why it was this song that I sang. Again, I was somewhere between a restful sleep and a realization that it was approaching morning when the alarm clock trumpeted. Out popped the words Blessed Assurance and then I was up to start another routine day but one that began with prayers of thanksgiving. As I did pushups and crunches, I couldn’t get the praise and worship out of my head.

Later I retreated to my study room and began my bible study with a prayer asking the Lord to reveal His Blessed Assurance to me. I was searching to understand why these words were on my heart and my mouth. Had I dreamed them in the night? Was there some kind of holy peace He was sending my way with these words because I will admit that Blessed Assurance is not my first choice for praise and worship songs. When I want to get into a praise attitude, I’m thinking about Aretha Franklin singing O Happy Day. You know the one…Oh happy day, When Jesus washed my sins away. Or I’m thinking of Jeremy Camp singing Beautiful One. They lyrics go like this…Beautiful one I love, Beautiful one I adore, Beautiful one my soul must sing. These songs ignite the fire of worship in me and I just want to sing and lift my hands to heaven in thanksgiving. While Blessed Assurance is a beautiful song and one that has been tucked into the pages of our Baptist hymnal for many years, it is not one that I generally go to for a worshiping frame of mind. So why was I immersed in Blessed Assurance today??? This was the question I posed to my Lord.

With the softness of His whisper, the Lord spoke to me in my quiet time and simply laid this thought on my heart: “Leanne, no matter what happens today, tomorrow, and beyond, have Blessed Assurance that I am yours and you are mine.” With that, I wrapped up my bible study and jumped in the shower to wash off the old me and put on the new me. Today I am walking a little lighter and little taller in my step because I have Blessed Assurance that no matter what comes my way, I am His and with Him, all things are possible. In the words of Psalms 34:1; I will praise the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. Blessed Assurance…Jesus is mine!