"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily." -Gerald Good
I am sitting in my living room surrounded by the scent of fall candles lifting up fragrances of pumpkin spice and everything nice and feeling truly grateful for the rest this time offers my body. My week was full and crackling like a fire with too much wood in the box, so these precious hours feel like a surprise gift and a swaddling of my soul. Oh how thankful I am.
A thought surfaces now that makes me pause: It is easy and obvious to be thankful for mornings like this with its' soft rhythm of calm and a full cup of coffee bringing its' familiar-friend flavor to my life. But how often do I remember to offer up thanks when life feels emptied out? When the coffee pot is empty, and life is frenzied. Are there not still many, many things to give thanks for even when my surroundings do not look or feel like the inside of a photo shoot in Better Homes and Gardens? Which, let's be real, is MOST of the time.
God's word tells me clearly to:
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:16-18 NIV)
So, let me get this straight Lord...You expect me to send You a thoughtful thank you card for everything?? Even the daily traffic jams and sometimes cranky teenagers and for the clumps of cat hair on my freshly washed sheets and those gross, nasty stink bugs on my windowsills? EVERYTHING?
He looks me directly in the eyes and then my grumbling heart and gently and calmly answers, "Yes.
Before I begin to lay out my logical case for how truly impossible that is, He lifts me up and places me above the complaints that I sometimes enjoy a little too much and shows me my life from His point of view:
I am told in this beautiful exchange that the time I was sitting in traffic just a couple of days ago was for the reason of having that extra sweet conversation with my son that does not often want to chat much these days with his dad or I. "Oh, yes, that was a nice time." I reply.
Then, He showed me the night my daughter was less than gracious with her comments and how she was later apologetic for how she acted, and that she was overwhelmed at school and work and just needed grace. "You are right Lord, I told Him. "She was just needing some extra patience and love and it was super sweet how she asked for forgiveness later."
And the cat hair - oh the cat hair - I was reminded how much joy that fluffy creature brings each of us and a little shedding of her hair was a small price to pay for such love and all of the snuggles she offers up so generously. "So true Lord. I cannot argue with that." I humbly stated.
As for the stink bugs, well, He is still trying to convince me of this one. But what I got out of this time of stopping and listening to God was to trust that all things, yes, even the oddly shaped and scented, crawly things, are of His perfect design and since I am unbelievably thankful to Him for my salvation and eternal life, perhaps I should stay thank-full for all the rest.
His Grace truly is sufficient. (2 Corinth. 12:9)
Lord, please help me to daily bring You the offerings of deep appreciation You deserve in each and every little and big thing. Thank You for the moments of the miraculous and of the mundane and help me see Your purpose in every single one.
All make my life's cup full and for this I give You thanks. Amen.
Question: What are you going to stay thank-full in this week even when everything is not "perfect"?