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.