Gratitude Expressed

You’ve likely heard that gratitude changes everything. It may not change the circumstances around you, but it most certainly changes how you perceive and respond to them. 

So lift up your hands and thank God for His marvelous kindness and for all His miracles of mercy for those He loves.

Gratitude Expressed | Beneath The Fig Tree

Chapter 1- meeting and dating
Chapter 2- marrying and having a baby 
Chapter 3- leaving the army, moving back to Texas, and raising our kiddo
Chapter 4- empty nest 
Chapter 4ish- What we affectionately call our current season of life

 

For now, let’s back up to Chapter 4.

I can see now, how that time in our life was a set-up for a season of gratitude. And I’d like to say it was a wonderful time filled with happy moments. Honestly, it was one of the most challenging ever.

I think that’s how it works, though.
Don’t you?

 

Sometimes, it takes experiencing hard things to truly recognize and appreciate the goodness and kindness of God.

 

Chapter 4

July 2013
Dakota, our only child, was 18 and left to join the army. I took it harder than I’d expected. But Brandon and I had homeschooled him for much of his education and we had a close relationship. Though he was growing up and had friends he spent time with, he actually enjoys hanging out with us. Usually playing dominoes or monopoly and laughing a lot. So, I was really going to miss him

March 2014
Brandon- a paramedic- had a seizure while he was at work. He’d had no history of seizures, so his partner took him to the hospital. 

Seven days in the hospital.
An inoperable brain tumor
Treatment: a biopsy, six months of radiation, a year of chemo. 

Though he’s much better now, the biopsies left him with some cognitive impairment that rendered him unable to return to work

Did I mention we’d put our house was on the market just a few months before the seizure?
Yup, and a storm damaged our roof. So, I was making frequent trips onto our pitched roof to add new tarps till it looked like a patchwork quilt.

We soon decided to take it off the market and delay a move we’d dreamed of for several years. Somehow, the thought of showing the house while he battled chemo didn’t seem like a fun idea. *yes, I’m being a bit sarcastic.

 

It wasn’t all bad. Truly.
But it was a lot.

 

November 2018
I was offered a full-time position working as the Director of Tourism for the neighboring town we’d longed to move to. Taking the job would mean stepping away from a ministry I’d served for seven years and it would mean laying down Beneath The Fig Tree. 

It wasn’t an easy decision, but after much prayer, we both felt like it was our next right step.

We spent the next two years preparing our house to sell so we could finally move to Mineral Wells. The house was under contract in less than 24-hours for considerably more than we’d expected. This was right before the big real estate boom.

September 2020
As we hauled out the last load from the house the evening before we closed, Brandon’s mom passed away. We later found out that my dad passed away the night before that.

Those seven roller-coaster years left us weary but also excited for our new life in Mineral Wells. It seemed, however, that new life wasn’t as anxious to meet us. We looked for a new home for nine long months. The home we found was everything we wanted but not at all what we expected. We purchased an RV to become park hosts at our state park.

Earlier in the year, I turned 44. I know that isn’t a “milestone” year, but it was certainly a pivotal one for me.

This was the year God taught me to live from a place of gratitude.

In the midst of it all, I was still very aware of His presence. And, as has been true of our relationship for many years, He was very creative in how He spoke to me. Life with Him is like a never ending treasure hunt and I love it that way.

Early in the year, even before I turned 44, I kept seeing 4s. I finally decided to research the biblical meaning of the number and what I found captivated me.

Did you know that in all the Bible, there is only one verse that is repeated word-for-word, four times?

Psalm 107, verses 8, 15, 21, and 31 all say the exact same thing,

“So lift up your hands and thank God for His marvelous kindness and for all His miracles of mercy for those He loves.”

As soon as I read the verse, I knew that God was inviting me to pursue a life of gratitude.

Now, when I see 4:44 on the clock, I raise my heart (and hands if it’s appropriate) and thank Him for whatever comes to mind. Now, gratitude is my natural starting point. Not 100% of the time. But most of the time.

These days, it’s not unusual for me to tear up at random moments. The tears carry my overwhelming thankfulness for the God who loves me and is so very kind to me.

You’ve likely heard that gratitude changes everything. It may not change the circumstances around you, but it most certainly changes how you perceive and respond to them.

I recently heard about a study that showed when you express your gratitude in some way, it doubles the joy you receive from the thing you for which you feel thankful

This month, we’re centering our Scripture Cultivations on Gratitude Expressed

Alongside our awesome Scripture Cultivations list, I’ve whipped up a couple of gratitude exercises for you to dive into. Totally your call whether you want to try them. They’re just another fun way to connect with God through His Word, adding a bit of active engagement to your spiritual journey.

Gratitunities Week- 5 days of actively looking for people you can thank

Gratitude List– 30 days of writing down at least one thing you are thankful for

You have lots of options! Start by printing off the Scripture Cultivations Plan for free.

Prefer listening? Tune in to our podcast episodes.

If visuals are your thing, catch us on YouTube for insightful videos.

And for some community vibes, grab a cuppa and hop over to the FIGS Community Facebook Group.

What are Scripture Cultivations?

If you’re new to the Figs Community, you may be wondering why I call them Scripture Cultivations  instead of a Scripture Writing Plan or Scripture Reading Plan. Hop on over to this page to find out more.

Rose

Rose Jordan BeneathTheFigTree

hey there!

I’m Rose and I’m so glad you’re here. Like, really a lot! 
I can’t wait to share loads of inspiration, tools and ideas to help you cultivate the kind of meaningful relationship with God you’ve always longed for but didn’t know how to make happen.
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