From C.H. Spurgeon:
If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified . Let us daily praise God for common mercies —common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless [...] Let us praise God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat [...] But beloved, the sweetest and loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love . God's redeeming act towards his chosen are forever the themes of their praise.
Mercies are common because God is so good.
com - mon, adjective
- occurring, found, or done often; prevalent. Synonyms: usual, regular, frequent, recurrent, everyday
A friend and I were talking over coffee about God's provision the other day. Do I believe that God will provide for His children? Yes, usually. Even in the moments when I doubt that, I know in my head and my heart that he will always provide. But, do I believe that He will provide well? And no matter what physical or emotional provisions he offers, can I rest assured that Jesus is all I need? Yes. God's mercies are prevalent, recurrent, frequent, everyday. Not once do we see evidence that His mercies are mediocre attempts at provision, even when they are not what we expect.
I see these mercies in the little things.
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time:
Family visiting us in Austin (and more family visiting in a few weeks! We're spoiled. :)
Beautiful fall-like weather here in Austin, and beautiful parks close to home:
Hot cocoa and tea in the afternoon, and wool socks all the time:
Camping out on the floor with a cozy quilt, one of our favorite (visiting) puppies, knitting, and marathon watching of The Office:
Pulling out the bin of Christmas decorations to add some cheer to our home:
& our first Christmas tree! (last year we borrowed one)
And I see common mercies in the biggest thing: His redeeming love for us.
Because He has redeemed us through His sacrifice, it doesn't really matter if we have all those nice comforts of home—the tea, the holiday meals, the quilts, the decorated homes. They are lovely and meant to be enjoyed, and He deserves our glory, because He is the giver of those good things. But what has eternal significance is that we have a Beloved Savior who demonstrates love that is great in both magnitude and frequency. I pray my heart this Christmastime would be overflowing with praise for the steadfastness and the goodness of God.
Psalm 107.8 O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.
What common mercies are you noticing in your life these days?
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
2021: A year in review
Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.