This is my favorite holiday ever....no gifts, no hustle and bustle - just gathering with family to enjoy a good meal and reflect on all we have to be thankful for. It's the best. So here is what I have been reflecting on these last few days.
"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 This same verse in the New Living Translation reads this way, "Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
Now I know if you have followed my blog for any length of time you are aware that I do not live up to God's will for my life every minute of every day. That is why this blog is entitled "moment by moment" because each moment of every day and in every circumstance I have to make the choice as to how I am going to react to the situation around me. Here recently I have failed many, many times and I can blame it on any number of things. I can rationalize my behaviors away to the point that I come out of the situation looking pretty justified for my reaction, but when it comes right down to it - if I'm not joyful, if I'm not praying, if I'm not thankful, I'm missing out on God's will for my life.
So what does this have to do with thanksgiving? I think this verse really teaches me the "how-to" of giving thanks. God has a plan for me...I need to continue to pray to Him for strength and guidance so that I can follow that plan...I need to choose joy and thank God for every road He leads me down - cause there is a lesson in that road, no matter how difficult it becomes.
Therefore here is shortened list of my thanks for today....
1. I have a husband that is dependable, helpful, level-headed and even-keeled. He completes my knee-jerk, impulsive, flighty self tremendously!
2. I have 3 wonderful boys that drive me crazy. They drive me crazy because they constantly hammer me out of my natural bend. Everyday they help me to discover more about my selfish self and give me a better glimpse into who I really am when the doors are closed....and sometimes I really don't like who I see....but would I have ever realized it if they were not in my life and showed me that mirror? They slowly help to shape me into a different kind of person and I like that. I resist at times, many times. But slowly, slowly, slowly I see how very strong they are helping me to become....you see it's happening because I am so very weak - but in my weakness, He is so very strong.
3. I have a beautiful baby girl that helps to soften our house full of boys. She is already teaching this brood of men how to be a kinder, gentler wild eyed crazy man...and they all love her for it.
4. I have so much family right here in town that will do most anything to help and assist and sometimes downright spoil any one of us.
5. I have a brother and sister-in-law just a couple of hours drive down the road that are able to come and spend these great holidays and special days with us.
6. I have an awesome church family to laugh with, to live along side of, and to grow closer to.
7. I have a job that gives me a creative outlet in want with the flexibility to pick it up and put it down at just about any time that is convenient for me and my family which I desperately need.
8. I have the internet and this blog that connects me to so many people that I love to hear from - whether they are old friends that I have become reacquainted with, brand new friends that I have never met in person, or the same friends with which this blog has become my easy way in which I can keep them in the know - I love it!!
And for the most part every one of these are a constant blessing....and even when these blessings become difficult and yes even a trial - I am learning how to be joyful, how to continually pray for guidance on how to deal with them, and how to give thanks no matter the circumstance, all because God has made it His will for me through His Son.
So I'm giving thanks and no I am not a naive, everything's hunky dory, wearing my rose-colored glasses kind of gal. I realize that there are many times in life that our circumstances make it very difficult to look to God and say, "thanks." But God knows that too and He even said that sometimes praising Him would be a sacrifice. So if you're in the middle of a life full of junk and obstacles, know that there are answers and maybe trying to find that joy will be a great first step.