“Life’s not fair!”
“God answers everybody else’s prayers…just not mine.”
“I can never catch a break.”
Have any of these thoughts ever crossed your mind? Be honest. If you’re like most of us, you’ve done at least a few laps in pools of negativism.
Yes, Teddy Roosevelt was right: “comparison is the thief of joy.” Our tendency is to compare ourselves with those who appear to be better off or have the “stuff” or relationships we long for. And we can quickly sink into focusing on what we don’t have instead of what we do have.
The month of November and the accompanying message of “giving thanks” reorients us toward gratitude. That’s great for one month, but what about the other eleven? How do we maintain that grateful spirit instead of returning to having tea with “poor me?”
Try creating some “Ebenezer stones.”
(Thank you, Sandi Silvious, for your beautiful work. Friends, if you want to see calligraphy par excellence, check out www.sandisilvious.com)
No, this has nothing to do with The Christmas Carol and Ebenezer Scrooge.
You’re “warmer” if you’re remembering a verse from the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” But what does it mean to “raise my Ebenezer?”
The answer is found in the Old Testament, in 1 Samuel 7:12. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘thus far the LORD has helped us.’”
Creating Ebenezer stones provides a powerful visual reminder of God’s faithfulness in your life.
Why is it so important to remember God’s faithfulness?
When you remember, you are grateful.
When you remember, you are hopeful.
When you remember, you gain courage.
I’m a visual and tactile person, so the actual act of creating Ebenezer stones was very meaningful to me…both during the creation process and on days when I’ve been discouraged or fearful about the future.
Currently, I have two containers filled with Ebenezer stones: one for life in general, and one specifically for the calling of Leave Nothing Unsaid. And I’ve just started a third container for a new area of thankfulness.
On each stone, I’ve written a word or a phrase to remember something big or small that I now see as a blessing. It might be a person’s name. It might be an event. It might even be a life circumstance. (Certain events or situations didn’t feel like “blessings” at the time they happened, but perspective has come as the days and years have passed.)
Taking the time to remember and then to record specific details in a tangible way is incredibly powerful.
Looking at jars filled with stones, knowing that each stone represents some way that God has helped me, is like taking an RX of encouragement.
And actually pouring out the jar of stones, and looking at each stone, one by one, as I place them back into the jar, provides tactile comfort and reminds me to thank God for each one of the blessings.
What an antidote for self-pity, grumbling and fear.
What a way to have hope for the days ahead.
Here’s how to get started:
Then, start writing and remembering. Like me, you’ll probably have to buy more stones and find larger containers. A recent fondling of stones showed me just that. There are a lot of important blessings that still need to be recorded.
Please give it a try. Create some Ebenezer stones of your own.
And whether or not you live in Colorado, you will experience tremendous benefits from “getting stoned.” With Ebenezer stones.
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