Monday, March 21, 2011

giving thanks

"...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

I remember well the first time this scripture really sprang from the page and was written all over my heart. And really, it kind of got all over me, and I wasn't sure why. Just weeks earlier Dad had died, and I just could not wrap my mind around "always giving thanks...for everything" in a season of why's and deep hurt and the intense missing. But the verse just keep after me.

Soon, I discovered I was pregnant with my Ella, and Miles was yet to turn one. After the calling to my mom, crying and in shock, and after some days, I realized that this is why the verse spun around in my head like it had. It began a work in my heart. It began the long process of teaching me to "always give thanks...for everything." {A process that continues today.} I quickly became thankful for my unexpected gift {being pregnant}, because of life growing inside, and life to look forward to. I saw, not unlike Job although with much less catastrophe, that He gives and takes away. And finally, finally, after a long time, learned to be thankful even for my dad's death. How? Thankful that his suffering ended by the most wonderful healing possible, healing at Home. Thankful that his striving could cease. Thankful to have had him in the first place. Thankful because God makes good come from bad and turns ashes into beauty and turns sorrow into joy. Yes, thanks be to God.

It's not easy, this "always giving thanks...for everything," and so I am reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts to find some encouragement in the trying. I was planning to read the entire book and then start writing my own list of gifts. Enter the sewing of the Easter dresses, the schooling, the decisions, the every day whatever and I have not finished the book. I'm determined to pick it up again, actually in just a few minutes, but I no longer want to wait to begin my list. I have no reason to wait to be thankful. If I learn to look for them, there are gifts all around, every day.

So as I keep reading, I'll start writing:

  1. Freckles reemerging on little cheeks and noses.
  2. The hard-working man, sitting at this moment working. He'll be up late tonight {again}. 
  3. Sunday afternoon nap with my baby girl, after watching her sleepy eyes finally give in.
  4. photo(11) 
  5. Blurry but sweet picture taken by Miles as Milla played with my hand and I talked to my mom.
  6. photo(10)
  7. Laughter with friends.
  8. Reading a book to Miles {and thinking of the thinks we can think if only we try}.

I'm linking up with others making lists, counting His gifts: