One of my facebook friends had a status of writing one thing she is thankful for each day for a couple weeks up to Thanksgiving. I thought it was a nice idea so I did it too. It has been really fun getting to choose something each day to post. The trouble is, of course, there are way many too many things to list at just one per day. Still, it got my head to thinking that way, which is a very good thing for me. In fact, as time has gone by I have been thinking more and more each day about all that I am grateful for.
This is not a novel idea I know. I have heard for many years about how making a gratitude list can really help your attitude. The Bible constantly reminds us to give thanks, to our good. But, let's just face facts: I am a self-pity addict. Yuck. Not only that, I am negative and crabby. I am Whiney the Complainer. I see the flaws in everything, am critical to a fault. And if I'm not picking apart something outside of myself, then I become the victim of my own merciless fault-finding.
However, the Good Lord has seen fit to give me a cheerful husband, some honest friends, a good bit of Hope, and a sense of humor. And music--what a wonder, music. It can squeeze the anguish right out of me and bring me to tears of joy. What a gift from God is music!
Anyway, Thanksgiving. I didn't want to have Thanksgiving this year. I just haven't been feeling very peppy and I didn't really have the energy, mentally or physically, to deal with it--I thought. It's not how I picture Thanksgiving anyway. Not a big family gathering here; just my parents, my husband, my two younger sons, and me. I thought to myself, "well, I'll just try to lessen the stress...I'll buy stuff pre-made. Like, I'll buy pies and canned cranberries and prepared stuffing mix so I won't have much to do. Last year the food I made really wasn't very good anyway."
Well, I took my bad attitude to the store which won my business by having the most stuff I would need at the best prices, after coupons. Although I did have to waste about a half an hour in there getting my total up to the required amount to use said coupons (my idea of a part-time job.) Of course both the pies and the stuffing mix had high-fructose corn syrup (a.k.a. toxin) in them, so I decided to just make my own. However I did buy the canned cranberries containing said toxin because I had to stick at least a tiny bit to my original "de-stress" plan. At least I wouldn't have to make the cranberries. Plus my mom would be bringing the green vegetable, and I'd skip the corn--cornbread stuffing (with homemade cornbread) instead.
So today in my kitchen, dutifully preparing the cornbread and pies, I'm listening to Beethoven's violin concerto and thinking, "I just love this music; I am SO THANKFUL for music! Yes I need to remember that for tomorrow's post." And it came to me--I don't often think God is speaking directly to me--I don't hear an audible voice. But somewhere deep in my heart of hearts an idea was forming that was totally not my own.
This idea was, "I should be THANKFUL that I am having Thanksgiving here! That I have a home, that I have parents, and that they are coming! That I can honor them and serve them--that I can honor God and serve Him in this way! That I can make pies, that we have so much, that I have these two little boys, that I have my dear wonderful husband, that we will all be here to give thanks to God for all He has done for us! It is a PRIVILEGE. And I was just exactly like the Grinch who stole Christmas at that moment when his grinchy face gets that sweet smile, and his eyes tear up. When his heart changed. That's just how I felt.
This is how kind my Savior is. He shows me for sure that He is there, or rather, here. I know that God is God and I am not, for certain, because only He can change my stony heart into a heart of love and joy overflowing.