Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Tough Thankful Thursday

Today is one of those thankful Thursdays where it's hard to find the words of thanks.  It's been a week that's been splattered with all kinds of emotions.  In those emotions, I've searched to find my way to what I know is truth.  I've struggled to see my way through the grief, the tears, the overwhelming lump in my chest, the sick feeling in my stomach, the helpless feeling of wanting to do something, wanting to take away the pain for my friends and family but knowing I couldn't.  It's been hard to find my way to the hope on the other side, to the promises that I know are true, the God that I know has never and will never change. 

You see when I started this journey of thankfulness to 1000 it all began because of a book I had read entitled One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (emphasis added mine).  You see "the right where you are part" is sometimes the hard part.  The living fully and giving thanks is easier on some days, during some seasons, but frankly, there are seasons, days, years when it's just downright HARD!!!!  It doesn't come easy; it doesn't make sense; it's hard to live at all much less FULLY!!!!  The author of the book (Ann Voskamp) proposes, and I agree because it is in line with scripture, that we live most fully when we give thanks, when we choose joy, when we find hope even in the midst of the most difficult, the messiest, the most uncomfortable.  BUT, when I'm staring that stuff in the face, it's often another story.  I have to really step back, breathe deep, and look UP!!!  I have to cry out to God and choose to say I don't understand God but I do choose to believe that you are God and you are good!!!  I don't understand God but I believe that you are faithful and that you can not be otherwise.  I don't understand what you're doing God but I know that you have a plan.  I don't understand God but I know that you are with us always, that you will never leave us or forsake us.  I don't understand God but I know that heaven is real and this is just a temporary home and one day in your presence is better than a thousand days elsewhere.  I don't understand God but I know that you are our Great Comforter!!!  I don't understand God but I know that you have sent us a great counselor who will continue to teach me ALL that I NEED to know!!!  (there are some things I just won't NEED to know).  I don't understand God but I am so thankful that you are God and that you are big enough for any question that I need to ask, that you aren't insulted that I ask why or how can this happen or what now and that even in my asking I'm exercising faith in the fact that you are the ANSWER!!!! 

So in the midst of this week, I'm going to choose to give thanks, not because it's easy or because it's the natural thing to do, but to honor my God and to honor the life of two great men who died too early whose smiles remind me that life really is to be lived FULLY and GRATEFULLY!!!!!

#184  I'm thankful for family and friends who gather to support, to grieve, to walk through unchartered waters, to CELEBRATE how one's life has touched the lives of so many others.

#185  I am thankful for the reminder that life is a gift.  It's fragile, frail, it's only given one breath at a time.  It should be cherished.  It should be lived fully and given away, not hoarded.  It should be used to touch each person who comes across our path.  I've seen this week just how much one's life can touch someone else's.

#186  I am thankful for God's sustaining grace.  I am thankful for grace that's just what we need in every situation.  God's grace is always what we need in every situation.  There's never, ever going to be a situation we can't get through because for people of faith, for kids of the king, he will ALWAYS have sustaining grace.  He'll have grace for the moment, for putting one foot in front of the other, moment by moment, day by day.

#187  I am thankful for salvation, sanctification, eternal hope in heaven.

#188  I am thankful that good-bye is not good-bye; it's really just see you soon, see you later!

#189  I am thankful that God's plans are perfect even when we can't see how.  That His grace and mercy is BIG ENOUGH for all of us.  I am thankful that whatever situation I can think up and say "what if  . . ."  I can just plug in "then God!"  and know it covers it!!!

#190  I am thankful for my cousin Andrea.  I am thankful that I know her testimony.  I am thankful that I have seen how God has worked in her past and I can rest assured that she is a woman of great faith, incredible courage, and unwavering resolve.  I am thankful that I know she will trust God even on the darkest days to carry her through what lies ahead.

#191  I am thankful for Bradley's life.  I am thankful for his smile and how even now as I think about it I smile (it was contagious).  I am thankful for his wit and humor.  I am thankful for how he would start laughing over something and not be able to stop.  I am thankful for a trip to Disney with him and Andrea and Anzleigh and the great fun we had!!!  I am thankful for his love for his family and how that just showed through in everything he did.  I am thankful for how he was always ready to go out to eat or on a trip.  I am thankful for his testimony in Christ and knowing He's with Jesus.

#192  I am thankful that NOTHING absolutely NOTHING catches my God by surprise.  It may floor me.  It may leave me dumbfounded.  It may shock me and leave me numb for days, but God is never caught off guard!

#193 I am thankful that even in my darkest days, God is the light!!!

#194  I am thankful for LOVE.  I am thankful for the love of a mom and a dad to their child, a brother and a sister, a brother for his brother, a wife for her husband, a child for their father, a father for his child, friends for each other, a community for a neighbor.  We are able to love because God first loved us.  I am thankful for LOVE. 

#195  I am thankful for my best friends.  I am thankful that they know me and love me anyway.  I am thankful that they celebrate life with me.  I am thankful that I get to celebrate life with them.  I am thankful that we enjoy good times with each other and help each other through the tough stuff.  I am thankful that we can tell each other the truth.  I am thankful that we laugh and cry together.  I am thankful that our kids love each other.  I am thankful that we know a lot about each other and don't judge and criticize each other.  I am thankful that we get to share the journey of life. 

#194  I am thankful for music.  I am thankful for the way it lifts my spirit and helps me find truth and joy. 

I leave you today with a song that was on my heart when I awoke this morning.  It gives me hope in these days. 


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