Christine over at Glory to God blog, has a weekly ‘Thankful Thursday’ where she, and sometimes her children, list all the things they are thankful for. I think this is a lovely idea and something I would like to do with my family.
I first learned about the importance of being thankful when I went through Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step programme along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous but for all of life’s ‘hurts, habits and hang-ups’. It changed my life. I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for CR. Would I even still be alive? I don’t know. I was in the deepest, darkest pit and I just felt like I was sinking. However much I struggled the despair was like a swamp – the more I struggled the more it sucked me down. I prayed for God, if He cared about me, to rescue me. I wasn’t convinced that He did care about me at that point – I mean, I knew it all intellectually but I had been through so much that I wondered if God somehow desired me to suffer. My friends at CR stepped in – and stepped in abundantly. At the weekly Celebrate Recovery meetings we journeyed together, forging bonds that can never be severed. It was not only the healing nature of the programme which was so amazing, it was also the deepest, most profound fellowship one can ever experience. I am in awe at what God did through those meetings!
So, as I say, I first learned about thankfulness as part of Celebrate Recovery. I think at the time I was still so very sad that being thankful was a good thing to practice. It helped me begin to see a glimmer of hope. About a year after leaving CR I had the opportunity to listen to Ann Voskamp read her book ‘One Thousand Gifts’. I’m glad I had the audiobook as well as the book itself, as some of Ann’s language is both colloquial Canadian and poetic in nature, which I found hard to read. With Ann’s voice, and her intonations as she intended, the text was brought to life. Once again my life was changed. I have followed Ann’s blog since last year. It’s great – always challenging, but always genuine. Sometimes it’s a little too saccharin, but there is so much by way of Truth that the odd saccharinity (I invented a new word haha!) is insignificant. I have been trying to learn the discipline of thankfulness (to ‘cultivate the attitude of gratitude’ as my old CR friend used to say) ever since.
When you have lived so long on the receiving end of the lies and the barbs of the enemy, it can be a slow process. But I like Christine’s idea of Thankful Thursday, in which the whole family can participate. I think the King children could do with learning how to recognise the things in life with which they are blessed. I told my little Chip this morning about the idea and she was excited (it doesn’t take much with our Chip, bless her). I told her how thankful I was to have such a helpful little girl (she had brought me a cup of tea) and how thankful I was for her smile (this little child’s smile is like sunshine). The smile grew even broader and she leaned in to give me a hug.
“I’m thankful for my lovely Mummy!” She announced. Later when I took her to school we agreed how thankful we were for the bright sunlight and the clear blue skies.
“I’m thankful that Fluff is coming home today!” said Chip. I laughed and said I wondered how long that would last… Chip grinned and changed the subject, “Mummy, what is 692 divided by 2?”
So, here’s my list of things for which I am thankful:
My husband, Frank, who takes care of me on days like today when I need to rest.
Frank working from home, and how hard he works to take care of all of us. He’s my hero.
My three lovely children, who are all beginning to grow up.
My friends – I had a lovely chat with my best friend last night when she phoned, and I really enjoyed seeing Joy the other day, too.
Blue skies and spring time!
Being able to sit here with the French doors open and a blanket wrapped round me.
The miniature daffodils in the window box, heads bobbing in the breeze.
Blossom buds on the tree – not quite in bloom but soon will be.
Listening to audiobooks so even when I’m really tired I’m not bored.
Finally selling the in-laws’ house, which means we can all move on a step, emotionally and practically.
My dear mother-in-law who, despite her loss and the dementia, remains her sweet, sweet self.
My dear sister-in-law, whom I like to describe as ‘just like Frank, but even nicer’ 😉
Our new cleaning lady! With Frank’s hard work we can afford a cleaning lady and I no longer have to feel rubbish when I can’t do something because I know that I can ask her and she is glad of the work.
Being able to rest – despite the tiredness of days when I’ve overdone it (I tried moving some furniture yesterday – big mistake, but no use crying over spilt milk), the rest is as much a rest in spirit as it is physically, and I believe this is a God-gift.
‘I do not give to you as the world gives.’
(John 14:27 NRSVA)
New furniture – we were able to take several items of furniture from my in-laws’ old house, including dining chairs, a sofa bed, a table, a rattan chair and two bookcases. We are bursting at the seams with books and although we are slowly going through them and giving unwanted books to charity, a bookcase is much better than piles on the floor…
A new blender – our cheap-as-chips blender (which didn’t blend properly) broke, but two days later I found one in my in-laws’ old house that had hardly been used.
So many things I could write, but I’ll leave it there because I’m tired now. What about you? What are you thankful for?