Please welcome Amber Schamel to Faith in Writing. She has written a guest post for the Gratitude Fridays Feature: Golden Book of Blessings.
I find it is so easy to get caught up and lost in the hectic world today. And as I get so busy and focused on what needs to be done, I often lose sight of the many blessings that God has attributed to me. But little did I realize that failing to count our blessings can be more dangerous than I might have thought.
With my type of personality, I can easily criticize and see the challenges in people and situations. This can be a good thing, but I’m often guilty of letting it go too far and becoming a negative person. It’s easy for me to take offense to people, criticize them, and be hurt by their actions. But I was convicted one evening in a church service when the preacher made a great point. Bitterness, discouragement and negativity is dangerous and can ruin your joy and your life. But the antidote is gratitude.
So many times we see in the Psalms examples of King David feeling down or discouraged, but the Psalm doesn’t end that way. Instead, it ends by him recounting the many times that God has been faithful. By bringing to remembrance the many good things that God had done for him. By the end of the Psalm, the attitude is lifted, praise is coming from his mouth, and he has ‘encouraged himself in the Lord.’
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: ~Ps. 103:2 (KJV)
As an exercise to help me focus on the many blessings the Lord has given me, instead of my struggles, I started a sketch book. It is a metallic, gold color with blank pages. Each morning, I will think of one blessing that I am grateful for. Even if it’s something small like a cup of coffee, or warm water for a shower. I am a HORRID artist, but I will write out words and simple sketches each day to record those blessings. Then I can go back and think of all the good things the Lord has done. It has been a wonderful way to keep my focus where it needs to be.
Have you ever kept a gratefulness journal? What techniques do you use to keep a grateful heart?
Solve by Christmas Blurb
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
“Amber Schamel’s engaging prose weaves together not one, but two edge-of-your-seat threads in this historical mystery. With the hero racing against time to solve the two cases readers will be kept guessing as they attempt to crack the case. “ ~ Laura V. Hilton author of Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)
Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.