It’s Tuesday and yes, you guessed it, it’s another post with reference to ‘Tuesday Group’. Today we were thinking about being thankful. It’s the season of harvest, autumn beginning, the nights drawing in, and gloomy mornings. Today we shared things we were thankful for and thanked God for them, aware of how easy it is to forget to do this. Being me I obviously had a bit of an existential crisis about being thankful and wrote a long over-analytical piece about being thankful. Being a reader of this blog means you are lucky enough to get to see it.
Why is it so hard to shout out loud what I am thankful for? What makes me stop and falter as I think about things? I know the list is there. I know there are many many many things I am thankful for. So why do I stop and why am I so hesitant to write them down?
I fear thankfulness because it doesn’t come with caveats. With buts or with if onlys. Thankfulness is present and joyful. I fear this means thankfulness is just an illusion, my glass half empty personality worries that I’ll be an annoying happy person if I go around shouting my thanks. I fear people will be undone by what I’m thankful for because they don’t have it or can’t see it. I think too much.
I struggle to believe that thankfulness doesn’t mean I’m hiding the pain in life, it doesn’t mean I can’t cry out in hurt and ask for help.
The hardest part of being thankful is the letting go. Thankfulness calls me to leave my self pitying corner of the room and come and dance.
Thankfulness leaves no room for complaint or bitterness.
Thankfulness leaves no room for hardness of heart, for my demand for everything to be fair.
Thankfulness leaves no room for moaning or grumbling.
Thankfulness shuts the door to the room of I want more, I deserve more, I need more.
Thankfulness is tricky in its ways.
Thankfulness can lead me to contentment, to joy, to hope and to a wide eyed wonder in the now.
Thankfulness can help me get up each morning after sleepless nights and do it all over again.
Thankfulness can help me in the hard times to hope in the good that might be there.
Thankfulness teaches me that not everything in the world is hopeless and a reason for despair.
Thankfulness can teach me gratitude.
Thankfulness can set me free.
Most of all thankfulness leads me to the one I am thankful to.
If I would only let it.
So here goes. Here is my wonderfully incomplete list. Life can be hard, brilliant or mostly in between but here is some of what I am thankful for in the midst of that.
I am thankful for
Day following night.
The warm body that wraps around mine when I come back from night feeds and whispers ‘well done’ in my ears.
Crazy small boy giggles.
Friends to sigh with, drink tea with, share this life with.
A small head that nuzzles into my shoulder.
Being loved in my moody fickle weirdness by my Father, Friend and Lord.
Cups of tea.
Crisp cold sunny mornings.
Duvets and cosy beds.
Mist kissing the tops of mountains.
Those who’ve known and loved me through the worst.
Forgiveness, new starts and clean slates.
A God who delights to do me good and stands with me in the watches of the night.
A husband who seeks my best, loves me well, makes me laugh and keeps on wiping away my tears.
The soft palms that stroke/hit my face as my boy feeds from me.
My family and the love poured out on me from them.
Lives that have shown me grace.
Music that soothes my soul.
The many gifts that enabled us to live where we do with the stuff we have.
Big fat crashing waves.
Big glasses of red wine and crackling fires.
Hands to hold in the darkness.
A light that goes deeper than the darkness.
Mercies that are new each morning.
Someone to be thankful to.