Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beyond 30 Days

In November, I traditionally post 30 Days of Thanksgiving on Facebook. Each day, I proclaim something that I am thankful for... But shouldn’t thanksgiving go beyond 30 days? Beyond social media? 

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

His last supper… and Jesus gave thanks. Faced with the hardest of circumstances, Jesus still spoke the language of thanksgiving. Thankful, Jesus broke the bread. Broken, the bread was given. “Do this in remembrance of me.

I’m like the bread… broken. Less than perfect circumstances, less than a fairy tale past, less than righteous choices. But am I still thankful? It’s easy to be thankful on the mountaintop. It’s a harder language to speak in the valley of the shadow of death. But if I am not broken, how can Christ be given? If I am not thankful, even in my brokenness, especially in my brokenness, how can I know true joy? Because it is in the thanksgiving that contentment and joy are found… isn’t it? When I stop wishing for what I don’t have and take notice of all I do have. When I stop wishing for better circumstances and take notice of opportunities in my existing ones. When I stop wishing for the Jones’ blessings and take notice of the blessings given just to me, by an intimate God who searches and knows me.  It's in this place I discover I have all I need and find joy, unending joy.

And, what do I really deserve, anyway? A loving husband? Two healthy, beautiful children? The opportunity to stay home and serve my family in love? A Savior who lifted me out of the muck and mire? No. None of it did I earn or deserve. Yet, Jesus labored at Calvary, while I was yet His enemy and conquered the grave. Why? So I may have life and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) So you can have it too! Not abundance of things, abundance of thanks, abundance of joy. And so I am thankful. Everything beyond salvation is just gratitude upon gratitude because my Savior died to rescue me from death... life in abundance!

And so, I count the gifts, ever thankful, an accounting of the abundance. The month of thanksgiving comes to an end but I will count on… Wanna try it?

#275. Heavenly combinations – coffee and writing, children and nature, strawberries and chocolate, faith and trust, thanksgiving and joy.

#276. A string of handmade gifts and notes, left for me here and there, now and then.

#277. God’s ever-gentle way of removing scales from my eyes, one layer at a time.

#278. Opportunities to teach my children the language of thanksgiving.

#279. Quiet, productive hours.

#280. Mother-in-loves full of wisdom because generations repeat certain things.

#281. A little boy that climbs in bed in the morning to snuggle and whisper his dreams in my ear. He’s going to be a dentist... that rides a motorcycle.

#282. “Thinking of you” card spilling an unexpected message from the heart – a beautifully unexpected message.

#283. People coming and stuff going… the way it should be.

#284. A writing adventure destined to be less than perfect, but grace-filled companions accompanying me on the journey.

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