Confession: The last two years I've been one of those snarly cynical people on Facebook who see people jumping on the "30 days of thanks" bandwagon and have thought it was totally dumb.
Why only be thankful one month out of the year? I'm not doing that, because I am always thankful,
my prideful, know-it-all heart would say. I swore I would never
participate as I would rather go against the crowd when things trend
like that on Facebook anyway. I'm such a rebel.
this year, I felt like my heart needed to ponder gratitude on a more
deeper level. It's been a rocky few months - okay, it's been a rocky
several months really. I've been hurting, I've been angry, I've been
busy, I've been struggling, I've been overwhelmed. Where is the giving
of thanks in that?
Jacob. Work. Laundry. My home.
Parenting. Youth Group. Hosting my family for Thanksgiving.
Marriage. Friendships and feeling like I am failing at every one of
them. Finances. Struggles with food. Insomnia. Issues with
contempt. Old hurts. Feelings of rejection. And failure. And
hopelessness. And self-loathing. Needless to say, all of this - my
full plate, my full heart, my full stomach - led to a somewhat massive
melt-down. But afterward, I made a list of some ways I could care for
myself. I reached out to some friends. I made an appointment to see my
counselor. I had a long talk with Todd. I sought out some
accountability. I had it out with God one sleepless night.
course, my meltdown hit shortly after I decided to commit to this whole
30 days of thanks bit though - talk about a humbling experience. Lest I
sit in shame for quitting in the middle of it, I have forged through.
And ya'll - some days have just been downright hard because I don't feel
very thankful for anything. But a moment, a brief ray of sunshine will
happen in my day, and I take notice.
Instagramming my thanksgiving journey. Taking a picture a day, looking
for moments in my regular every day to be thankful for rather than just
making a list. Again, my own rebellious way of doing it and not being
like everyone else. Because I'm Jenn.
This is probably my favorite so far. The exploded potato in my oven.
I've been thinking about this
potato and it's mess and how it feels hard to give thanks for what's
gone awry and needs tending to. How it never feels easy to give thanks
for the hard, for the painful, and challenging. I do wonder though what
might happen if I thanked God for those things - what might happen to
my heart, to my relationship with Him, to my marriage, my friendships if
I could thank Him for the hard things in those very moments.
maybe more natural to sit around our Thanksgiving tables and thank God
for our blessings. For our homes and jobs and families and health and
our good and wonderful abundant things. And I am deeply grateful for
the life I have and the many abundant blessings that surround me. I
wonder though what it might be like to give thanks to God for the hard
places. For my pain and struggles and unmet longings.
This Thanksgiving, this is the place where He has asked me to meet Him. To bring Him the hard and to give thanks.
tomorrow, I will bake my pies and clean my house and prepare to host my
family for a day of food and laughter and singing and memory-making.
And my hope is that my heart stays in this place of remembering and
thanking Him for the things I really don't want to thank Him for.