Give thanks

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Put your hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

1 Timothy 6.17 (my paraphrase)

The whole internet is alive with thanksgiving #100happydays #1000gifts #thanksgiving #thankyou

At first glance it looks like little more than glossy optimism: the tweets, the hashtags, the gratitude lists and blog posts. Like Pollyanna with her ‘glad game’, adopting a positive attitude in the face of adversity, trying to make everyone feel better despite the mess. And it would be optimism without God-in-the-mess, without Christ and the devastating mess of the cross it would all be a child’s game in a dangerous world. When God redeemed the mess he did it to hell and back and the price he paid was greater than the sum of every bad hair day you ever had and is enough to get you through the most unimaginable pain.

God gives us the gift and we give the thanks.

You can not live your whole life wishing it were different or always waiting for that one-day-maybe moment just around the corner. You only have ‘now’ and ‘now’ is good and ‘now’ has been given for your enjoyment and pleasure. So stare her in the eye; stop and meet her gaze. Consider her more intentionally and find the beauty in a little scrap of the day that was about to go un-noticed. Don’t squander your time in regret and discontent, with the dread of getting up each day for a job you do not like or counting the minutes until the kids are asleep in bed. Each moment is given for our good pleasure, gracious and kind in the cold hard reality of our real-time lives, rekindled with joy the moment we give thanks. 

Thanksgiving radically re-orders our relationship to heaven and digs the foundations of the place where God will rebuild our hope. One small word of thanks and the whole of heaven’s resource comes tumbling down on your head, invading your gloom and transforming your fears. When you can not change your circumstances, you change the way you see your circumstances, one word of thanks at a time. 

There is power in thanksgiving, the power to redeem and transform the toughest grief or the dreary grind of a humdrum day.

Thanksgiving invites miracles, like Jesus giving thanks and Lazarus walking out of his black tomb alive.

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Thank you for: little children counting creation days, pastry biscuits with rainbow sprinkles, sticky fingers, watching the marbles clatter down the marble run, a child’s concentration on a task, taking turns and saying ‘thank you’.

Thanks you for: afternoon naps, pools of yellow lamp light and reading in the evening, a pile of great books, the hum of the computer and the tapping on the key board, a family at peace and rested for the week ahead, an uncluttered evening, a glass of wine.

If you want to read my gratitudes you will have to sneak a look in my note book, the one with the Cath Kidston cover. Andy has been writing a gratitudes list on his blog, A Eucharist.  Most of my thanksgiving inspiration comes form Ann Voskamp’s wonderful blog, A Holy Experience and I can thoroughly recommend her NY Times best selling book, One Thousand Gifts.

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