(If you’re new to this series, check out this post to catch up).
Scripture reading for the day:
Colossians 3:12-17 (from the New Living Translation)
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
Wow. What a rich reminder, not only to be thankful, but of all the reasons Christians have to be thankful. We’ve been chosen to be loved. We’ve been forgiven. That realization makes far too little impact on my daily life.
I know it might be customary or expected to work from largest blessings to smallest. But I wanna shake things up a bit, so we don’t get days on end of “I’m thankful for God and family and friends” right at the beginning. I am thankful for all of the above, and plan to post on them. But I’m also thankful for:
1) Dancing. One of my favorite things to do when I’m stressed is to blare some Shakira and Co. and see if my hips are still truth-tellers. (Every time I do, I get a little nervous that I’m on a Truman Show knock-off, because I cannot think of anything more humiliating than having that broadcast to the world). I only dance in front of select people, and they consider themselves the accursed of the earth. Despite my dearth of dance talent, however, I am thankful for the opportunity to live la vida loca every once in awhile.
2) That which was lost is now found! I’ll delve into the spiritual significance of this in a later post, but for now, I refer to a situation in which I found myself today. One of my friends, Julia, communicates solely by smoke signals, Pony Express, and the USPS. I’ve owed her a letter since May. I started one in mid-June. I lost it. I finished one in late June. I lost it. I wrote, addressed and stamped one this morning. I lost it.
Or so I thought! Shortly after I had sent Jules a Facebook message bemoaning my ever-increasing letter debt to her, I found the letter I’d written this morning. I know this sounds trivial, but I could have fallen upon its neck and kissed it with joy. Letter writing is quite a task for me.
3) A change in attitude. This past year and this summer in particular have been difficult for me. I’ve really gone pretty far down the path of grumpy-pussdom. It was amazing and a little humiliating for me to see how completely different my life has looked for the past few hours as I’ve managed with almost no effort to find things to be grateful for all around me. Thus, I am thankful that I was motivated to pick up that book today, and to actually apply it to my life. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
4) I’m thankful that so many of my friends (13 or something absurd like that!) are having kids right now. I know that sounds like a really weird thing for which to be thankful, but I’m excited to be ‘Aunt Lauren’ to chubby-thighed babies. . .and excited not to have to deal with it when they take off their diapers, poop, and use it to finger-paint their siblings.
5) My landlords. The other night, I was at a 4th of July party and mentioned that I had gone to a peach festival the day before with my landlords. One of the guys looked at me with a confused expression and said, “You went to a festival with your landlords?” His landlady is apparently not quite as welcoming and friendly. My landlords (landlord and lady? Landfamily?) are among the most generous people I have ever met. They care about us deeply, give to us freely, consider us family (I went to their Thanksgiving with them!) and are truly the hands and feet of Christ to us. I am so spoiled by them.
Ok, you’re up! What are you thankful for today?