Monday, August 2, 2010

Thankfully August

November is usually a month of thankfulness and reflection. We celebrate a whole day of Thanksgiving as we gorge out of food...and than on little sleep go out the rest of the holiday weekend snatching up deals.

August is a time of complaining (heat) and a rush of activities (school starting, summer ending). I wanted to take this opportunity to pass along some thankful thoughts during the dead heat of Summer.

--I am thankful for an incredible family. I have a husband who works hard to keep our roof over our head and food on the table while not working so hard that he is an absentee father or husband. In fact, he is the most active dad and husband. I have 2 kids who have their squabbles from time to time, but, for the most part, get along together with only the most slightest of issues.

--I am thankful for my house. I dream of a bigger house with all the luxuries I see on tv...I dream of stainless steel appliances, large game room, jetted tub in the master suite, double ovens, a seperate closed in office and a media room for my husband to enjoy. I can tend to complain a lot that I do not have this. Thanks to a very good friend who has had to live in Africa for the past few years and has shared her daily experiences of life in a poor country/poorer city, I have perspective on my living. My house is is kids rooms are spacious, though they prefer to hang out with us in the living room than their own rooms.....which I am thankful for, too.

--I am thankful for my church with a Pastor and a People who has a heart for the area we live in as well as the world. I am thankful that our church is not in some elusive competition with other churches to be the number one, but, instead, desires a time where all churches will realize that we are all one church in God's eyes and we need to work together to do His will. I am thankful for my small group that meets each Sunday morning with wonderful teachers that give me enlightenment. I am thankful for a Thursday morning small group of women who come together to study the word (usually facillitated by Beth Moore) and share their lifes hopes, dreams and struggles...knowing that the ladies are praying for one another (VITAL in this time we live in)!!

--I am thankful for Summer. Winter is hard on me and my me headaches that last for weeks or months. I am thankful that my muscles can relax in the heat of the day and not clench in the bitter cold. I am thankful, too, that my house has central A/C (I did not grow up with central air, but when I moved out and into my college dorm, you can BET I cranked that thing year was so fascinating).

--I am thankful for my car...lemon that it is. I have complained and complained about my Kia and the trouble it has caused (new issue, blinker lights are not that the electrical is acting up...not the bulbs are out....another trip to the service center is in our future). I dream of buying a new car...maybe a Honda CRV (hope to buy a car at the end of the year). But, I have seen where so many people live in their cars...some with their children. I also know that a car is a precious commodity to some who cannot buy a car....or those third world countries where women have to carry their baskets on their heads to and from wherever they go.

--I am thankful for indoor plumbing, electricity, a room for each kid, gas to cook by and warm up by. It is appalling how many people live without even the most basic of things we take for granted.

--I am thankful for my country. So many people are up in arms about where this country is going...and I cannot argue with them (mostly because I do not keep up with politics or any news). But we live in the best country in the world!! I am thankful to be an American.

--I am, most of all, thankful that I am a recipient of the greatest of gifts one could ever hope for...eternal life. One day, this life will be a blip on my screen as I sit at the feet of Jesus Christ and ask him my questions (Why mosquitoes? What is up with Reverend Jesse Jackson...just kidding)? It never ceases to amaze me what HE gave up to come here to save MY life. I hope to honor Him while I rest on this earth...hoping he may come again before my kids get older and the temptations grow stronger and more appealing.

There are so many things to be thankful for. I think we would all benefit from participating in a mission trip...even if it were not church see what we have and what the rest of the world has. So, when we feel a pity party coming on and we start in on the "Woe is me" stuff, think of this":

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:7

I could go on with the many things that I am so very thankful for (my animals, my daughter's grades, my son's enthusiasm and imagination...). I just think we need to put our lives in perspective before we open our mouths and begin to whine about this heat or what have you (and am I EVER talking to myself here), think about your blessings. I bet the list can be very long if you just spend some time thinking about what you have to be thankful for.

And now, I am MOST thankful for my bed, which calls my name, and my pillow, all soft and broken in....and those sheep which are waiting for me to count.