hello lovely Friends and Family!
Speaking of gratitude, we are so thankful for all of your love and support toward our team in our time here in Scotland this summer. As I (Katie) may have said before, the trip so far has been filled with many highs and lows for all of us, as could be expected of any cross-cultural experience. God has been teaching me, for a while now, about being grateful in all situations. Jerred did a devotional for our team this morning and shared a passage from Ephesians that resulted in a really great discussion.
Part of the passage that struck me regarding gratitude, was in verse 20. "...Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." I think this idea of giving of thanks in everything is quite counter-cultural. We are taught that it is normal to complain and vent when things are rough or frustrating and we console one another when things don't go according to our plans. While these things aren't terrible, I have felt more and more convicted of my bad attitude in these circumstances- especially since coming back to Scotland. And I think that a better reaction would be to point ourselves and one another back toward Jesus and His omniscient perspective over all things.
Over and over again, God has been gently reminding me that He is with me in all things and that everything can be used to glorify Him. That I need to thank Him not only for the many blessings, reunions with wonderful people here, happy times, laughter, but also for the rough days, the times when I don't get to do what I want to, for when it's pouring down rain and I want to sit outside, and for the times it's roasting outside and the sun is shining and the rain is what I would prefer. There have been so many times that I can remember when I wasn't looking forward to a particular activity or volunteer duty, and God's presence was so apparent and surprised me in such unexpected and amazing ways. As well as times when I had so much hopeful expectation in specific things or people, and I felt let down.
My intentional practice is now to try and remember to seek God and thank Him for and in whatever circumstance I find myself. For the tears and the laughter, for the ups and the downs, for the expected and the unexpected. And most of all just to expect Him. For He will never let us down and He will never leave us or forsake us.
Thank You Jesus for Your faithfulness to us.
and thank you all for reading and for your love and support.
You will never know how truly blessed we are to have you with us.
love, Katie. xoxo