My sun porch

My sun porch

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thanksgiving isn't just in November!

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." -- Psalm 51:12

What a perfect verse for me this morning! I've had enough sadness, disappointment, fear, worry--I've had enough!

In the past few days I have been inspired to be thankful for EVERYTHING instead of longing for things I can't have. I'm reading a book about a woman who was dared to make a list of 1,000 things she loves. It changed her life and taught her to be thankful for EVERYTHING, the good AND bad. In all situations, she looked for things to be thankful. She began with a little journal in her purse that she carried with her everywhere, and every time she saw, experienced or thought of someething about her life that she loved, she wrote it down. At first it was just the dare that kept her going..."I WILL finish this list!" But then, it became a habit, and something that kept her going. And then...something horrible happened, her young son was seriously injured. This hit her hard because even though her son was going to be ok, it made her think about how hard it is to be thankful for the really hard and horrible situations. How are we to be THANKFUL to God when our children are hurt? How are we to be thankful when we lose our jobs or have a loved one die, or when a tornado comes and destroys a town, or a hurricane floods an entire island???? How can we be thankful to God when we are hurting or see others hurting???

I believe staying connected to God...ESPECIALLY during those times when we are hurting is the key. Praying that prayer from the verse above, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Asking God to restore your joy, relying on GOD to restore your joy, knowing that when you ask for it, God will give you a willing spirit to accept that joy, and his salvation in this will sustain you in the hard times. FULLY RELYING ON GOD...not on your own efforts...that is what sets us free!

So, past few days I have been trying to think of all the things in each day that I love, that I am thankful for. I am not writing these things down in a journal yet, but I am taking a moment to thank God when one of those things comes to my mind. For example,

* A cool breeze on a hot day, especially a breeze that smells of honeysuckle!
* Laughter from a small child.
* Seeing a dad and child reading together on the floor of the library, surrounded by stuffed animals.
* A beautiful song that touches my heart and makes me cry.
* A powerful prayer said aloud by a friend.
* Enjoying my breakfast on my sunporch.
* A hug from my daughter after an argument.
* The laughter that bubbles up after a co-workers bad joke.
* An email from a friend.
* Scoring a big word in Words with Friends against a friend who always beats me! ;-)
* The tinkle of windchimes early in the morning
* The moment when I know that I can't solve my financial problems myself and ask for help.

I could go on and on...And, when the hard things hit, I pray that I can find the good in the bad...isn't that the definition of HOPE...finding the good in the bad? And ask God to help me to find JOY in everything!

What do you love? What are you thankful for? Make a list. Look for those things everywhere and in everything. You will be amazed at how much joy it brings you and how that joy will sustain you through the hard times.


  1. Linda, I visited joplin mo yesterday. My boss took us to the park that extreme home makeover built for the city. As I touched the monument that had the names of the 160 people that died that day a year ago by just a few days. I felt profound sadness. Then as we walked the park we came on another monument they had made. It was concrete pedestals that imbeded in the top were pieces of debris that they had recovered....a top to a car cigarette lighter, a fork, a key, pieces of broken glass, a door jam possibly from a childs bedroom as I ran my hand over them the 160 and thousands of lives forever became very real. If I had been by myself I would probably have run to my car sobbing. Instead, I shed a few tears as my soul cried out to God....why why tragic...why. in the background was the hospital that is still standing because they have to tear its concrete structure down slowly instead of blowing it up because it sits on a mine shaft. But it looks like a parking garage. Then he drove us through the neighborhoods. We saw the new houses extreme makeover built. Gorgeous, looked slighty odd. A small street of beauty dropped amount devestation. Where a tornado went through and flattens a house while one next door is left. Why? My soul is crying out why? Just shows your life can change in a second.....and so can your perspective...... We go to what used to be a neighborhood. No picking and choosing here...just flat land that has been cleared of debris. Just some concrete foundations, chimneys, driveways. My soul wept bitterly now except it was saying oh My God, Why not more, thank u for your mercy it is a miracle of you that thousands were not killed that day.thank u Jesus!

  2. Thanks for this posting! I have never experienced such devestation except for what I have seen on TV. But as I look on those scenes, the same questions and cries fill my heart as well. It doesn't make sense to us...WHY WHY WHY? But in those moments of questioning and confustion and...fear...I am glad that I have the hope in my heart that allows me to thank God in the middle of my fear. This life would be unbearable if not for that hope and the peace it brings to my heart.