And the Soul Felt It's Worth

Sitting in church this last Sunday we were singing the usual and expected Christmas carols. Having grown up in church I must admit that the majority of these beautiful classics I know well... most by heart even. However this last Sunday something struck me as we were singing Oh Holy Night. I confess though I know the words to this song, like so many other carols, I don’t KNOW the words like I ought.

Long lay the world
In sin and error pining 
til he appeared 
and the soul felt it’s worth.

This verse fell on my spirit like a rock. The idea of the hopelessness of the world’s sinful state before this Child, and the absolute reversal of humanity’s future fortunes with His arrival. Up to this point, the history of the world since the fall of Man had done nothing if not long for and desire... sin... destruction... its own doom. The world ached for it. As the carol laments, it pined for it.

And yet- He appeared! And the soul felt it’s worth!

What a line- that last piece. The soul of the world finally feeling it’s worth. Meditate on the meaning of these words- like Mary, heavy with expectation and promise, the soul of humanity which had known nothing but sin and error, death and decay- now beheld a glimpse of the promise of forever. The promised Messiah- come to give meaning, worth, and resolution to the aching world. That divine inspiration, supernaturally valued spirit, and treasured eternal spark within mankind was suddenly ignited into fire with this baby. What a marvelous thing!

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today dear ones take a minute to thank God for the hope that came with His Son. Christ came to give your soul worth- better yet, to give you meaning, to tell you that you matter, and to have you know that you are worth it. Jesus was born and was killed so that you may know how much you are loved and treasured. No matter what you’ve done. No matter who you are.

May this season awaken your soul to its worth under heaven and in eternity. Live as such dear ones! Walk as such! Love and be loved as such!

Living Intentionally Fearlessly Truthfully!
LIFT! and walk in your worth today!
~Bethany

(Oh Holy Night - lyrics Placide Cappeau ‘Minuit, Chretiens’ - music Adolphe Adam c. 1847)

The Power of Perpetual Thanksgiving

I was honored to write this as an article for a dear friend, Amber Blackburn, who hosts The World Sees Normal blog. Please enjoy!  

It is always an interesting thing to me when November rolls around and I start seeing the inevitable “no-shave November”, National Adoption month,  and Lung Cancer Awareness month memes all over my social media. Did you also happen to know that November holds the illustrious marker as Adopt a Senior Pet Awareness Month, National Pepper Month, and (definitely not in order of importance…) Sweet Potato Awareness month? Who knew?

Among all these awareness titles, most often I come across the proverbial “30 days of thanks” in honor of Thanksgiving; and while I am thankful (pun intended) that this is a ‘thing’, I am also sad that it’s a thing seemingly only when we have a holiday to celebrate it. Because the truth of the matter is, thanksgiving is much more potent when we celebrate it every month, every day, even yes… hourly. In fact, I would argue that thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most important things we can do to keep ourselves happy and healthy- emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically!

Thanksgiving (not the holiday) is not something to celebrate just once a year- it is a mindset… no, better yet… a HEARTset that we should celebrate and exercise all the time.

Study after study, from the medical world down to spiritual gurus, holy books, and psychiatrists alike show that an attitude of thanks is hugely beneficial to one’s health. As a Jesus-lovin’ Christian I wholeheartedly agree!

It is easy to give thanks when life is good and pleasant. Things are going well. The proverbial “Attitude of Gratitude” is easy when the going is smooth. But what about when the goin’ gets tough?

The truly tough get to celebrating thanksgiving.

There is NEVER nothing to be thankful for… never. Often some of the most harrowing stories of martyrs or trials and tribulations have the brightest examples of people choosing thanksgiving over desperation or worry.

Yes, we have a choice. We can choose fear, anxiety, worry, frustration, sadness, etc over so very many things. Bills are coming due, a child is having trouble in school, our personal life is fraught with turmoil, our bodies are not cooperating or working the way we’d like. Yes… all these things are real. They are here, they affect us greatly. And yet, there is always something to be grateful for. Always.

One of my favorite Bible verses right now is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I love that God’s WILL for me is to simply rejoice and give thanks in ALL circumstances. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I want to challenge you to take a minute and take a look around. Are you in a low place or a high point? Make note of it.

Now take this verse to heart. In ALL circumstances choose an attitude of thanksgiving… seek out and find reasons to be thankful. Look for opportunities, however small, to show and tell and express thanks. It may be as simple as being able to take a breath without pain, or being alive for the day, listening to birds outside, or watching the snow fall- after all, not many of us are winning the lottery everyday! But I promise you’ll be surprised at how much your heart is lightened by the change in perspective with the attitude alteration. There is power in the habit of perpetual thanksgiving! I encourage you to get into the habit today and everyday!