Thursday, February 17, 2011

On Being Thankful

I love it when our children do silly things like this. I'm assuming that Morgan took this photo. This was a little diversion from the game of Ten Days In Africa that the children played while Craig and I were away over the weekend. By the way, I'm thankful for children who are trustworthy enough to leave at home together while we're away. We owe a lot of thanks to our two oldest daughters who are more than capable of running the home in our absence, and to our three younger children who lovingly and joyfully cooperate.

During a long-over-due Skype session with my far-off friend, Terri, this morning, she reminded me of the importance of being specific in prayer. Instead of simply saying, "Lord, I just thank you for ____, and I pray for _____ and lift up _____ to You for Your will to be done in ______'s life...", as far as we are able, we should approach the throne of grace with specific details on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Of course, our Sovereign God already knows these details, but He invites us to join with Him and gain His perspective in prayer, by the leading of His Spirit.

I'm so glad that Terri also reminded me in our nearly three-hour (!) conversation that we should not merely give thanks for "everything" we've been given. Scripture says, 

"... give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:18 (emphasis mine)

As she stated, we should be specific in giving thanks, listing the blessings that the Lord has freely and lovingly bestowed on us -- such as the sound of her small son's voice next to her while we were Skyping -- as the Lord brings them to our memory. This got me thinking about some of the little things that can often be overlooked, but for which I am deeply grateful.

For instance...

This just cracks me up. Here, the children are wrestling with Rhodes in an attempt to force him to wear one of Gabriela's scarves around his head. I'm thankful for their crazy antics.

I'm thankful for this dog who has stolen my heart, and who is such a good sport when the children take their boredom out on him.

I'm thankful for random special moments, like this one at a local grocery store, where the sweet ladies behind the chocolate counter not only gave us samples of chocolate, but also demonstrated how cotton candy is made.

I'm thankful that God didn't leave us all with just manna to eat (although food from Heaven would obviously be flawless & sufficient). We can enjoy so much variety in our meals, and we are provided with foods rich in the nutrients necessary to fuel the systems of our bodies.

I'm thankful for fun family activities, like puzzle building -- and that Craig even got in on it with us!

I'm thankful for little details like monogrammed teacups. I bought these when we lived in Alabama. The "T" mug was especially for Terri's visits to our house. Although she's now in Germany and I'm now in Pittsburgh, I keep it in a special place for future use, Lord willing.

And I'm thankful for Terri's friendship. I'm inspired by her industrious ways as she lovingly cares for her larger-than-average family and supports her faithful, dedicated husband. I love that she makes me laugh (a lot!) and that she challenges me to live obediently, according to God's Word. I thank the Lord for the wonderful memories that our families have made together, and for modern technology that helps us to stay in touch.

I'm also thankful that we are having a glorious day of sunshine, fresh air, and higher temperatures than we've had lately. 
What things are making you thankful?

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