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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Schlabach

Relaunching with Gratitude

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Relaunch. What is the definition of Relaunch?

Relaunch is a verb and it means to reintroduce or restart something…maybe renew as well. Relaunching happens for many humans on the first day of a new year. A new year always brings with it new goals, new dreams, and a new start…it brings hope for change in our lives…more dedication…more courage to be who we were created to be. We are almost two months in I wonder how you’re doing with those new goals, pursuits and dreams that you have…I don’t do an exceptional job at always relaunching in the new year like I should or want to.

There’s one part though of my relaunch in 2022 that I want to talk about. My relationship with Jesus needed a relaunch because I want to go deeper and be more like Him every single day and trust Him without expectation and lean into Him and let Him lead instead of me leading myself… I know I miss so many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus…why you may wonder … many times it is because I’m too focused on my own journey, and I become self focused and lose the vision of eternity…life happens and busyness takes over. The waves of life overwhelm me because I lose sight of the lighthouse on the shore. Last year I lost sight of what life was really about…my lenses became dimmed and dusty by the dirt and grime of everyday life… this year I’m relaunching with a clearer focus…clean lenses…I have my eyes on the lighthouse which is Jesus…I’m keeping my vision clear through practicing gratitude not just for a 1 minute of gratitude but for at least 5 minutes of processing and thinking about what the Lord has done.

As a staff here at the ministry we have staff meeting every morning and Wednesday mornings we take turns to share something that’s on our hearts and on a Wednesday morning not too long ago it was my turn…I had lost my voice due to a cold and couldn’t speak very well…instead we played some worship music and practiced gratitude for 10 minutes…my list started with things and turned into a list of people and friends and family who have such a huge impact in my life. It gave me a clearer view of my life and how I need every single one of those people in my life right now and I saw how God strategically placed them in my life for this season of my life. I started noticing that the more I practiced gratitude, the more tears came and I started allowing myself space and grace to walk through the failures and the hard moments… peace flooded my soul knowing that God is everything my heart wants and needs…He is Jireh…He is Enough. When I give myself time to practice gratitude…I am able to accept myself with the weaknesses and failures and I accept others with open arms where ever they’re at in their lives. Peace floods into my soul and I know that it’s what my heart was really created for…to love regardless of what has happened in the past…to extend the grace God gave so generously to me and pass it on to others. It’s in that space that even more gratitude flows out from.

God works all things for our good and so many times I would show up with expectations and wanted life to go as I expected… I’m so grateful God knew what I really needed to walk through so in return I can be who I was created to be and bring to the world what He wants me to bring. So this year of 2022 is before us wide and open and I’m so grateful I serve a God who knows all things, and He knows all the people who will be in my life and all the moments that will make up every single day of this year. Instead of expectation of how I think God should do this I am coming with expectancy that says— “God I know you are more creative than I am, and I know that you have always been good. I know you will accomplish your purposes through me and for me, and I trust you in the process and the outcome.”

Faith is activated as you step out and the path is illuminated as He sees fit. The place where our expectancy creates a fertile foundation, and our surrender and willingness to live in the vulnerable gives way for the birthing of the miraculous—of the Kingdom in and through us.

What if we stayed in the place of expectancy as vulnerable as that may be? What if we could trust Him enough to not always need to know what’s ahead this year? What if we lived lives willing to be interrupted, surprised, willing to be rerouted, and look foolish, willing to be fully laid down? I need reminded that He is God and we are not. Beloved, the One whose ways and thoughts are higher than our ways is also the One whose goodness and grace is always running over. We can rest in the fact that His timeline isn’t our timeline but it is His timeline and His timeline is eternal and His vision sees much further than ours can. He's the God of waiting, and blind corners and plot twists and page turners and I know that in the end our dependency and full affection is what He's after. He wants our heart not our perfection and He wants our life not our expectations. Release your reasonings and your rights and let the expectancy of something more to come take over. He knows what He's doing and He promises you are gonna be amazed.

"Behold I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." // Isaiah 43:19

"Praise forever Jehovah-God, the God of Israel! He is the one and only God of wonders, surpassing every expectation." // Psalms 72:18

"The eyes of the Lord are upon even the weakest worshippers who love Him - those who wait in hope and expectancy for the strong, steady love of God." // Psalms 33:18

Fear of the future is common but courage gets the final word...take time to practice gratitude today and see the rivers of grace that will unleash in your soul. "Rise up, take courage and do it." //Ezra 10:4

Relaunching with gratitude,

Joanna Schlabach

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