Monday, November 23, 2009

Let There Be Turkey

There are other blogs out there in South Carolina land focusing their attention all week to a certain football game happening on Saturday, but I thought I might be a little more "on the nose" and focus this week on being thankful.

Paul said to "give thanks in all circumstances," which means we need to be thankful for the tough stuff as well as the good stuff. Check back later this week for some of my reflections on the "good" stuff I'm thankful for. Today, let me throw a bit of the not-so-obvious out there:

1. I'm thankful for the current recession. No, I'm not thankful that people don't have jobs and I have a great deal of compassion for the many families who are in difficult circumstances. However, I think most of us needed a reality check on what we consider needs and what we consider wants. Yea, we can't go out to dinner as often, but I know I haven't gone without any meals, good ones at that. Sure, Christmas will be more conservative this year, but, well, it should be. If you're like me you have boxes of "stuff" sitting in attics and closets. I have an embarrassingly big clothes closet and jewelry that won't fit in the beautiful wooden jewelry box Clark made for me two years ago. I'll not continue on this tangent, but please take time to check out the Advent Conspiracy. And just a reminder, if your family (not just you personally), but if your family has an income higher than $40,000/yr you are wealthier than almost 99% of people on the planet.

2. I'm thankful that some things in my life have not gone well lately. Have you noticed how we can get so busy that we get lazy with the relationships in our life that matter most? For me, that amounts to not taking the time to share with others how I'm really feeling and what I'm thinking. And then, somethings happens and WHAMO, the world explodes. In my life, it often takes God's 2x4 approach to force me to deal with things and not simply brush them aside. And so, I'm thankful for the tough stuff that has forced me to look in the mirror and be honest with myself and, ultimately honest with God and others.

3. I'm thankful for my dog who hasn't stopped barking and demanding attention since we brought Jacob home from the hospital. Most nights, I want to wring Auburn's neck, but then God uses him as a basic reminder that life isn't all about me and I need to expend my energy caring for others. Often people aren't as vocal and so it's easy to sweep them aside and focus on me, myself and I. My dog, on the other hand, won't stand for it. Should he bark incessantly? No. But is he really wrong for speaking up about his need to be noticed? No.

4. I'm thankful I lost brain cells when I became a mom. I used to fancy myself extremely reliable, self-sufficient and 100% capable of handling everything on my own w/o writing a single reminder note. Not anymore (any mom's or dad's want to add an amen?). Jacob has added a dimension to my life that keeps me from remembering everything I hear and getting everything done right in the moment. I've learned some hard lessons since February and I've let some people down, forgetting details and not following through on what I said I would do. It's been humbling, but oh so good to truly realize I'm only part of the body and not the whole enchilada.

I could go on. What are the not-so-obvious things in your life you need to be thankful for?

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