>> Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends! Hope your day is sufficiently full of family, friends, fun, food, and football ~ and all the good times and great memories that come with!!
Again, I've struggled with feeling thankful this week and so the term "practicing" gratitude is quite fitting. That whole "facing the future with joy" thing has been a struggle lately. I'll be honest, it really hasn't been happening at all. Fear, worry, and/or self-pity would be more accurate. It's difficult to focus on small, everyday blessings with something big and scary in the way.
But like anything else really worth having, growing a heart of gratitude takes time and requires effort. There are always going to be times when we don't feel like there's anything to be thankful for.
- I enjoyed a fun evening with just my youngest while The Man was gone for the weekend to help his sister and brother-in-law on their cattle farm and Mack was at a friend's sleepover party. AJ and I went out for supper, then made popcorn and cuddled on the couch to watch Elf on TV.
- The church we've been attending this fall has an abundance of talented musicians. I just love all the music and people that are incorporated into each Sunday morning service.
- Though we are still relatively new to the aforementioned church, the people have been exceptionally warm and friendly and are doing a great job of making us feel welcomed and wanted, which is a direct answer to prayer.
- Lazy days bother me more than they used to. I think I'm finally becoming more purposeful and self-disciplined!!
- My legs, back, and arms are strong enough to carry 3-4 armloads of firewood down into the basement every morning.
- I have the ability to read well and access to limitless reading materials on my bookshelves and online.
- My programmable coffeemaker ensures I have a hot cup of coffee (or three!) waiting for me the moment I wake up.
- I have warm, snuggly, fleece sheets and a soft bed.
- I love my job.
This month's page of my Revive Our Hearts calendar quotes, "No circumstances are so dire that they can't produce hymns of joy and thanks on the lips of those who know their God." And I can't help but think of the stories I know of song-writers from by-gone days and some of the awful circumstances that spawned so many of our beautiful, best-loved hymns. Truly, these men and women literally put Paul's instructions to the Colossians into practice:
And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Regardless of circumstances, God is still good. His ultimate plan is for me to see His glory through and despite those circumstances, and so I will see it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... maybe not till eternity. But I will see it.
And I will continue to practice counting my many blessings along the way.