Thursday, February 10, 2011
Living a Life of Thanks
I've been in turmoil lately over reading Ann's book, One Thousand Gifts. It's totally thought provoking. It's not a book you can speed read through and call it done. No. It's a book to be pondered and chewed on. It takes time. However, that being said, I have finished it. I couldn't stop myself. Whenever I had a moment I would read and be filled. Her words gave me a lot to think about in my own life. We all have moments that shape our lives and define who we are. Typically, those times tend to be life altering and usually not too pleasant. I'm sure we can all think of a time in our lives where this has been the case. Ann points out that if we are not experiencing joy it is because we are not giving thanks. And not just giving thanks for the good things, but also for the seemingly negative things as well. "Give thanks in all things." This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where it hits close to home. This is when it gets real. It's easy to give thanks when life is smoothly sailing and there are lots of happy times. But what are we doing when times get rough and when we aren't happy with our situations? When we are exhausted and feel like we're worn out on life and all it is handing out at the moment. What then? Are we giving thanks? Ahh... this is where I have been lately. Just not knowing how to give thanks in all things. It's hard. Hard when the kids are crawling like bugs all over me and all I want to do is scream. Hard when I'm so tired and all I want to do is sleep and the baby wakes up again, or one of the older ones gets out of bed for the umpteenth time. Hard when the dishes keep piling up and the food gets burnt when you're trying to handle all three "little" needs at once. How do you give thanks at these times? And how do you keep a thankful and joyful attitude when you're faced with situations that you find less than ideal and they make you sad rather than happy? Yes, I am struggling. I want to be happy. I want to find joy in the small and insignificant. And yet, it's hard. It's even hard to just surrender the self to be free to BE joyful. It seems like it's my right to be negative at times, and yet its not. We're commanded to be joyful and content in every situation. Is it a tough line to follow? At times, yes it really is. It's hard when you're tired. It's really hard when life is going against your grain and it's uncomfortable. I think perseverance is the key to finding true happiness and giving thanks makes it real and tangible/applicable to our lives. It takes time for one to change and to become what God wants us to be. I am trying to digest it all and live it. I am praying for strength and GRACE. And eyes to see the gifts that God has laid before me.