Monday, October 20, 2014

Greed vs. Gratitude

I'm reading a book, along with my staff team by C.J. Mahaney, Humility. And I was very convicted while reading in chapter 5 and came across this sentence.... "An ungrateful person is a proud person." YIKES! I can be SO ungrateful and am disgusted when I think of myself as prideful (although that is the reality). 

Rather than pout about how sinful of a person I am (don't worry--I did spend time confessing and praying through it), I decided to take some proactive steps towards heart change. Last year, during the months of October and November, I was intentional in seeking to love others well and seek to have a posture of thankfulness and prayer. And while November is the obvious month to purposefully concentrate on all that we are thankful for, I didn't want to wait, I needed to start now.

So at the start of October, I began what I am calling a Gratitude Focus (very creative, I know). Each day I choose and thank God for something different--a person, a circumstance, something I have, etc. This has only just begun to peel back the ugly layer of entitlement and greed within my heart. It's much easier for me to find something that "God has yet to provide me with" but that's just the moments of lusting after something, am I trusting God to meet my daily needs? am I focusing on the blessings which He so abundantly pours out on me each day? No. I am focused on what I want and then begin to doubt God and His desire or even ability to provide.

But the truth is this: "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" 
- Matthew 7:11

I'd assume I am not crazy or alone, and that you can how will you choose an attitude of gratitude over greed? God does indeed give us good gifts, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy them because you're so focused on what you don't have.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life Lately

Obviously, 2014 hasn't so much been a banner year for me and blogging! But, I'm planning to take strides to pick it back up--with intentionality.

Since my last entry back in March (yikes!), MUCH has happened!! Some quick highlights...

My mother-in-law made a trip to visit us in NJ! We had a blast showing her around Rutgers, Princeton & NYC. 

My not-so-baby brother graduated from Florida State University! It was such a joy to be able to celebrate him in Tallahassee. [He's now planning to move overseas for a 10 month job teaching English as a second language. His courage inspires me.]

My best friend and her Mom had a long girls weekend in NYC. They were sweet enough to let me join them one day for some adventures around the city! I loved being able to see them both =)

Tyler and I took a weekend getaway to New York-- visited America's oldest winery and enjoyed the weekend at the lovely Thayer Hotel on West Point's campus. We absolutely loved the quality time, delicious food, and change of scenery. 

Thanks to a generous gift card from my grandfather for Christmas, Tyler and I enjoyed a matinee showing of The Lion King and dinner in NYC. It was an absolutely incredible show!!

We spent most of the month of June overseas with an Athletes in Action track and field tour. Our journey began in the Canary Islands, continued on the mainland of Spain, and ended with an overnight layover in Switzerland (pictured below). It was a fun and unique experience that was made a little more challenging for me because....

Just before leaving for Spain, we found out that we are expecting!!! And just last week, we found out Baby Stowell is a little girl =) We are so thankful to God that our family is growing!

That's it folks, a quick flashback over the last six months. Now that you're all caught up... I look forward to sharing about more going on...more often =)