So, I'm taking the opportunity to publicly do what often feels like a begrudging task--just being honest. I know thankfulness increases joy and lessens frustration. Gratitude garnishes peace and restores perspective...and yet, I'm often reluctant to just sit and thank.
Because there's so much still to do... Because there's so much to change, improve, accomplish...
Because gratitude feels final in some ways, like I'm letting God off the hook to answer what I desperately want (healing, answers to questions, wisdom for parenting, direction, etc.). "After all, don't get any ideas that I'm too content here, God. I still need you to see to these things on my list...and the sooner the better." Seriously. Just being honest about my ugly sometimes. And yes, I realize how outrageously absurd this attitude is. It's rebellious, disrespectful, entitled, and self-absorbed. It diminishes what the Lord has done and continues to do and instead channels my inner complainer by whining, "What now?" Am I really telling Him, "It's never enough?" REally? Is He even LORD at that point?
If He never "blessed" me again. If He took everything and left me nothing but my eternal security, would I have anything to say but "bless Your Holy Name"?
The most challenging aspect of our relationship lately hasn't been the various speed-bumps I've hit the last two months: it's been His seeming silence. I say "seeming" because it appears that He isn't talking to me, but perhaps I just don't have my ears tuned to hear. And yet, even if He was taking me through a desert season of quiet, would I be faithful to trust Him in that silence? Do I deserve the Almighty God to regularly converse with me whenever I scream? Do I demand He talk/answer when I expect?
So, today--despite the many frustrations--I am turning towards the blessings of His allowances and benefits.
... a warm home on a rainy day...
....the opportunity to work from home and focus uninterrupted (thanks to Grandmom every Monday afternoon).
...the patience to teach my children to read. Landon read his own "congratulation" card and finished up his reading book this past week. Two down, one to go!
...the creativity that generates from my three very different children.
...upcoming birthday celebrations--life.
...online Christmas shopping.
...working washing machine and dryer.
I'm thankful for...
encouraging friends at small group.
challenging words from my pastor.
evidence of God at work.
hope for the future.