Events can happen so fast that my giving thanks goes out the window. I am challenged by the idea to give thanks in all things. There is a new song out that mentions maybe the hard times are how God is making a way for me to grow. So especially in the harder times I need to give thanks. I want to live with my hands open and receive whatever God gives -- and give thanks.
As Ann Voskamp ends a chapter she says, "our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. To see through to God." He wants the glory in all of our life. She ask questions like "how do I live ready? How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die?" Her answer, "Without this Jesus, no, no one can be ready."
Today, I want to tell others about Him. I want to put myself with the ones who need a word from the Lord. I must get out there, put myself in places for God to use me. This author is also asking me in my giving thanks for everything to pay attention to what I do have. She mentions she is a farmer's wife, a mother of six, she realizes she has the stars that rise each night in her sky, she will embrace her children who the Lord has created, she knows that there is One who created the snow that she sees out her window. Living fully is fully taking in all that you have. We look past so many gifts of the day. Another one of her quotes is, "as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible."
How many people do you know that are looking for JOY?? Are you?? Euchariteo is the answer, giving thanks. This weekend we were at a wedding and the preacher told the couple (and all of us) it is hard to be critical when you are appreciative. Giving thanks can turn our lives around!! I had never really thought about the first sin being ingratitude. Adam and Eve being discontent with what God had given. Am I living this today? Has it crept in slowly?
Voskamp brings up the question from Jesus -- "Where are the other nine?" Do you remember the story? Luke 17:17-19. "Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" "Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to His grace."
Starting out may be hard because we have never tried to give thanks for all things. Voskamp suggest writing them down, putting a name to each blessing, as Adam names each animal in the beginning. She starts out... (1) morning shadows across the old floors; (2) jam piled high on the toast; (3) cry of bluejay from high in the spruce; (16) leafy life scent of the florist shop; (17) the creak of her old knees; (18) wind flying cold wild in hair. Do you get the idea? It is a complete change in your thoughts unless you are naturally a thankful person and have recognized these blessing in your life all along.
There is so much for me to learn on this subject. I could think of it all day long. The author challenges me, "if living eucharisteo is the key to unlocking the mystery of life, this I want. To learn how to be grateful and happy, whether hands full or hands empty. That is a secret worth spending a life on learning."