Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Got Thanks?

It’s that time of year again!!  I don’t know about you, but our week has been filled with finishing up all our school work so that we can move onto all things Thanksgiving.  Pilgrim and Indian costumes are being pulled out, Thanksgiving books are being dusted off and read, names like Squanto and William Bradford are being thrown around at the dinner table.  One new activity we did this year was to make our thankful tree (or our variation of one).  Take a look:

I particularly love it because I used our new laminator to laminate the leaves, so they can be wiped off and re-used next year.  Score!!

But as I reflect on the holiday coming up and all that it stands for, I am humbled by the lack of gratitude in my own heart this week.  Oh, it’s there alright on the outside.  As I’ve said, I’ve done my fair share of TALKING about being thankful this week with my kids, but does my heart reveal something different?  Was that a spirit of thankfulness welling up in my heart when my (almost) 2 year-old took marker to my couch?  Or when the kids were fighting…..AGAIN?  Or when I felt entitled to some “alone time”?? 

Then this…..Enter Matthew 5.  The Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  Nope, not me.
“Blessed are the meek.”  Not me again.
“Blessed are the pure in heart.”  Ouch.  That hurts.
“The peacemakers…..the merciful.......those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”  You get the idea. 

And there I am  left.  Again.  Realizing that that little ole Pharisee in me is having a field day.  Like so many things in life, it is a choice.  Do I CHOOSE to be thankful?  Even when things don’t go according to plan?  Even when my so-called “rights” are infringed upon? 
And so again I remind myself…..

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his mercies never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
~Lamentations 3:22-23
Or, in some cases, every waking moment of every single day.  And THAT is something to be thankful for. 
So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that HE sent His Son, His only Son, to die in my place.  Thankful that He came to this earth to wash away all sin, even the sins of the heart.  The ones nobody else sees but me. Why?  Because it was the only way a sinful man, like myself, could one day be in the presence of an Almighty God.  Thankful that it is nothing that we can DO on our own.  We cannot earn our way to Him. It is a free gift called grace.  And it is available each and every moment of the day.  Even when we don’t deserve it.  Even when we are ungrateful for that gift and turn away.  It’s still there.  Beckoning us to come.  To sit.  To bask in the wonder of a King who would step down from His throne in heaven to take my place. Our place.  Totally unwarranted grace.  All we must do is receive it.  And I’m thankful for that.
So today I've resolved to start my week of thankfulness (again), after already having started it again a couple times. J  Based on my leaves on the tree, can you guess how my week began?? J 

Thankful for new beginnings.  Thankful for His grace.  Thankful that He loves us so incredibly much.  Just plain old thankful today.  And that’s a good place to be.
Happy Thanksgiving!


1 comment:

  1. i love this thankful tree idea! and i've been thinking for awhile now that we just really need to get a is yet another reason! anyway hope you are having a great weekend and hope to see you mon!