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Monday, February 28, 2011

When "Thank You" Feels Weird

1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

I said goodbye to two very good friends today as they start a new journey in a new city, with new people and a marvelous mystery waiting to unfold, but before they left I was given an important message. A message that contained a reminder that God commands our appreciation.

So what happens at those times in your life when thanking God seems down right awkward? When you are fairly certain a "Thank you God, for taking my 33 year old husband and leaving me down here with two tiny kids" seems and feels a little more than insincere. I'm glad this was the message today, because it reminded me that even in the darkest valley praise and thanks should not only be freely given, but are much deserved. So today, I will give thanks to God for all the blessings he has so generously given to me, and just for this moment I will set aside that which he has taken.

I am deeply grateful for two healthy and beautiful children to love and adore. I am grateful that Isaac is an easy going baby, who doesn't hold a candle to his sister in the crying department. I am thankful for Evelyn's smile. Her daily reminders that she "can never stop loving daddy" with nothing short of a full toothed grin is enough to make anyone praise God for his gift of a child's heart.

I am thankful for my family. My mother and father who have continuously and repeatedly had to pour over me patience and kindness for years - sometimes I wonder if they'll ever get a break from my ever present needs (and I pray that someday they will). I'm thankful for a mother who is gentle with me, yet truthful. Thankful that my children will have a father figure in their lives because of my dad, who is so available and wonderful to them. My sister who has shown my parents up a time or two in regards to patience with me, and who in recent days has been a rock for me to rest on. My brothers, who though are far away, I know are loving me and worrying about my well being.

I am thankful for LifePrint Church, and every person that steps into it. I do not know where I would be without my church family. They have pulled together in a Spirit driven way over this last month for me in such a way it convinces me that when Jesus spoke of the church this is what he meant. Coming together, loving each other, sharing gifts, sacrificing, pouring out all we have, and praising Him each step of the way -- now that is a church I want to belong to! To every single last LifePrinter. . . thanks:)

I praise God for friendships. Friendships often get neglected as we age. We marry, have children, and get busy living life. Those dear people that we lived with, partied with, went to school with, some how get put last on the list. It is these friends, both who have been there all along or who stepped up just at the right time, that have covered me with love and support over this last month that I am grateful for. They are a reminder that those moments were as dear to them as they were to me, and that friendships last a lifetime.

I am thankful for a work environment that is allowing me to grieve on my own time. A work family who has continuously shown nothing but grace towards me, when having to add to their own work loads in order to cover for me. They all mean more to me then they could ever know.

I am so grateful for all of the provisions God had in store for me in this dark time. He is continuing to provide me with the financial support the kids and I are in need of. He is teaching me humility, because well dearly needed, it can be hard to accept at times. I am grateful for the lesson in humility as well. So for any of you out there who have given to us in any way; with money, time, service, food, gifts, and even comforting words, I have seen the glory of God shining through each one of those acts -- so thank you to each one of you!

I am thankful for loving and wonderful inlaws, as they are some of the only people that can give me a window into Matt. With their loud chatter, sassy humor, and lifelong memories of Matt they give me comfort some simply aren't capable of.

I am thankful God is allowing me to write without fear. It has given me a sense of purpose at a time when my purpose here can seem fuzzy. And I'm hopeful that He will use it for good. I am thankful for strength and energy when there is none. And if God reveals himself to us through our conscience (which is telling me to hang on for dear life), Christ (who is holding my hand well I do just that), and creation. . .It is creation I am abundently thankful for. I find peace during this time when I am able to gaze at the stars, see the sunset, or watch the snow fall with no end in sight. These few quiet moments is when I see that it is a good God we serve. I'm so very thankful that sort of beauty is one of the ways in which he chooses to reveal Himself to us, and even more grateful to be called one of His.

So Glenn and Amy. . .I hope you are reading this. I hope you made it to KS safe. I am grateful for who you are, your message today, for all you have done for LifePrint,and all you have done for me. I know that you will shine the glory of God in your next journey, because it is truly a gift He has given you. You are missed already!!

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