about a year ago i started practicing thankfulness when i finally had a moment to spend in quiet with God. before i would even start, i would begin practicing saying thank you. thank you for this or that. i found it sort of challenging if i’m going to be honest. forced and awkward almost. and then in time, my gratitude grew. and is still growing. gratitude is a practice that when set into motion becomes alive and breathing and life changing- i’m convinced. gratitude coincides with grief. my friend laurisa taught me this with her life. both exist in her life as she fights for joy while raising her beautiful daughter with TS. both joy and pain go hand in hand. and if we are going to live well we must learn to be thankful.
and i becoming thankful, i think.
i’m thankful for family. both blood and friend. i’m thankful for the intimacy in family. that when my mom was rushed to the hospital a few weeks ago with the most disturbing case of vertigo you have ever seen, my sisters and i could take turns visiting her and that we could lay with her in her hospital bed and hold her hand. and pray.
i’m thankful for community. for a healthy growing church community who are practicing the very things they believe in. i’m thankful that wisdom and discernment -the words of Jesus are found in my extended family that suround me.
and i pull from them. all around me. and i’m guided.
i’m thankful for friendship. laughter. and costly love. the costly love that drives you to sacrafice for others. the kind that requries practice and grace and time. and forgiveness.
and i’m thankful for adventure. and fun. and things unexpected. i’m thankful for humor and inappropriateness. and the breaking of rules when necessary and the grace to do it.
i’m thankful for wine. rosy cheeks. and for laughing. till it hurts. and your face becomes ugly and there are tears.
i’m thankful for my husband and his thinker brain. how he’s so positive. and how he anchors me and of course all of us.
i’m thankful for emri -her creativity. her love for our neighbors. her weird crafty gifts.
i’m thankful for samuel for his passion and playful spirit. his love for dancing. his silent tantrums.
i’m thankful for lucie kate. for her eyes and her coos. her rolls. and the abundance of it all.
i’m thankful for a neighborhood called ivanhoe in the urban core that reminds me that Jesus turns deserts into gardens.
i’m thankful for Jesus. for his favor that surrounds me like a thick shield. that he loves me and my fuzzy brain at times. that he is drawn to my flaws in a way that a doctor is drawn to sickness. drawn to it because he knows that he can mend. he’s not afraid of my anger, my greed, or my impatience or the disorder of my life. he’s not afraid of my weaknesses. for it is in them, that new things come to life. -is he not so creative? i love him for that.
i love that jesus has not only required my life, but he has given it to me. he has required also my rest. and life abundant.
today i’m thankful for jesus. that he is deeply concerned with us. that he has a visceral response to our pain and heart ache according to psalms 18 ,and he is passionate about restoration and abudant life. not only is he deeply concerned and compassionate, but he has the actual power to deliver and make right.
i’m thankful today that with every aching circumstance, it is not the end of the story.
he’s the shepherd of my soul. the one who has promised to lead me and guide me.
its who he is. his very character. and he’s mine.
and he heals. he restores. he forgives. he makes things new. he delivers. he provides.
i’m thankful for jesus in a way that can’t be measured by anything else. and as i type these words out i’m reminded. and do we not need to be reminded? let us keep remembering until our hearts drip with gratitude with the realization of what goodness there is. goodness worth counting and celebrating in the midst of it all.