I was reading familiar words the other day...
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by annointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings,
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23, NLT
Reading, I noticed something new in the familiar... the progression of gratitude. David begins acknowledging that he has all he needs... then he continues, expressing some of the many ways he saw God gently shepherding him. By the end of the psalm, David no longer has only the needed... his cup spills over with blessings. Like David, the more I take the time to stop and see, count and recount, praise and say thank you, I see I have so much above and beyond what I need, so much has been poured into my cup that it is brimming over love, lavished by the only Good Shepherd.
#325 getting up early in the morning to make bread, listening to the call to prayer as I knead the dough and having that time to pray for my friends and neighbors who need to know Him
#326 cool mornings to bake
#327 amazing skies, clouds painted on brilliant blue, that takes the breath away
#328 quiet meditations on the Good Shepherd
#328 sweet little baby hands caressing my face just to say "I need you, Mama..."
#329 borrowed sifters, measuring cups and spoons
#330 a friend who sacrifices so often to love my family
#331 far away friends who remember to pray... and tell me that they are
#332 remembering that stuff is only stuff, and that termites were the Lord's tool to remind me
#333 access to a good library, even on the backside of the desert
#334 a long, blonde-haired tween with her ball-cap
#335 new challenges
#336 flute melodies
#337 "How Great Thou Art" at just the right time
#338 a smile and open door when I walked down the steps as I dropped by unannounced
#339 new colleagues and a new position
#340 new things to learn
#341 listening to excited voices chat with Grandma and Grandpa via Yahoo Messenger
#342 yummy nems and rice... after not having had them for over a year
#343 my almost 3rd grader who almost always has time for her baby sis
#344 4 dozen + guinea fowl eggs given as a welcome home gift
#345 prayer lists that come from our church, allowing us the privilege or praying for those who pray for us
#346 willing ears... or as the case may be sometimes, willing fingers... to chat and to listen... via the computer
#347 a few who are faithfully strong for me when I'm feeling weak
#348 parents able to go and help grandparents when they need help
#349 opportunities to redeem the time by dying to self, moment by moment
#350 my best friend... he's willing to get grimy and dirty... sometimes just so I don't have to