I’m learning a heart full of thanksgiving often shares its space alongside an equal measure of reflection. And here’s something beautiful — giving thanks provides context for the kind of reflecting that honors our Heavenly Father. Without it, our thoughts may wander down paths of ungrateful self indulgence, especially during difficult times. Perhaps this is one of the reasons we’ve been instructed to give thanks in everything (I Thess. 5:18). You see, even a heavy heart can embrace and reflect on the goodness of God in the context of gratitude for who He is and all we know to be true about Him. In ease or in difficulty, His purposes are always for our heart’s protection and soul’s well-being, a beautiful expression of His character and love.
Around here, 2017 has been what could be described as a year filled with the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong — it’s like a breath of fresh air! When the last few have been marked by heaps of change we have not asked for, a rather “ordinary” year filled with simple things is truly welcomed.
Quoting Jane Austen: “In our home, there is a constant succession of small events”. 🙂 Celebrating birthdays, feting our anniversary, soaking up every bit of long weekends with the kids, watching the ones we love growing up or growing old beautifully, finding seeds we’d sown long ago suddenly blooming in places we had all but forgotten about, knowing the deep joy of abiding friendships, giving thanks for our daily bread; in short, understanding that His providence extends to every corner of our lives. These are the things that have shaped the landscape of this year.
As this season comes ’round again, we’ll find our familiar place at the table and scooch up close to the ones we love. The hands we hold might be shaky or have a few more age spots than before; they may be rough from the hard work of selflessly providing for others; they could be little hands, just learning all about generosity and trust; or perhaps they’ll be hands that cling more tightly to ours, deeply aware of how precious life is.
As I look around our table at these
faces, I’m reminded once again — all
that really matters is “safely gathered
in” and I know there’s nothing small,
nothing ordinary about that. He’s been
faithful. He’s been good. And now, He
invites us to count our blessings and
name them one by one.
Wishing you an abundant harvest of gratitude, joy, and childlike surprise as you recount all the ways He’s been faithful to you!