Of course it's time to talk about thankfulness -- it's Thanksgiving time, right!?!
Until recently, I would have said that I was a thankful person. At least as thankful as the next guy! At different times through the year, especially around holidays, I'd list the things I was thankful for: life, health, salvation, family, friends, husband, kids, food......and so on, and so forth.
And then, this year, some things came into my life that didn't seem like good things, things I couldn't or wouldn't or shouldn't be thankul for.
I was searching for answers, for anything, really, to help me "feel" better than I did.
That's when God brought me to thankfulness - His idea of it, and not mine. Through several different avenues, He brought me to the fact that I wasn't truly thankful. Oh, I was happy with the good stuff, but I certainly wasn't willing to thank Him for the things that didn't seem to be good. I wasn't satisfied to choose thankfulness in the midst of the situations I didn't like or understand. And I wasn't satisfied to find the glory in the everyday, the sad, or the mundane.
I had a choice. I could choose thankfulness, or I could choose to wallow in the muck of my poor-me feelings.
I started journaling my thanks the beginning of August. I started thanking for the good, the bad, the ugly, the ordinary. And as my eyes were opened, I began to see the words of Elizabeth Barret Browing coming true in my own life....
Earth is crammed with Heaven, and every common bush afire with God; but
only he who sees takes off his shoes....
If my eyes are open, really open, I will find something to be thankful for everywhere I look.
This last stanza of the poem Gratefulnesse by George Herbert, a 17th century poet, sums it up best...
Not thankfull when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare dayes;
But such a heart whose pulse may be