Tuesday, November 3, 2015
November is the month a lot of people daily write on facebook about things they are thankful for. I like the tradition, but I wonder about the other days of the year. And what about the daily stuff? I mean, we obviously are thankful for spouses, children, parents, special extended family, and our friends. This list alone can give me thirty days. But really, all of them are a given to be thankful for. Besides, we tend to give thanks to God for them on their birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Plus, I am thankful for them 24-7. When I think of thankfulness, I think of those days when everything goes wrong. For some people that is every Monday. For me, it can be when I have had five straight days of living in pain from my rheumatoid arthritis. Yes, the facebook tradition is wonderful, but I want more.
Giving thanks can be a tough act. Luckily for me, I am surrounded by a lot of faith filled people who help show me the way. A few years ago, a dear friend and I sat and chatted over coffee. I don't even remember what we were talking about. Our mornings consisted of talking about children, faith, and our struggles in life. Well, one day she mentioned an author by the name of Ann Voskamp who wrote the book "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are." As is my friend's personality, she went above and beyond. She leant me her copy, which if I remember correctly was signed by the author.
The premise of the book is to give God thanks throughout the day. The author challenged me to write down events during the day that I was thankful for when they happened. I failed the challenge. After doing housework, interacting with my kids and husband, and trying to figure out a scene in my latest writing project, I found myself going to bed with maybe two items on my list. So, I changed the challenge.
I started listing off my items of daily thanks on my fingers as I drifted off to sleep. Here would be an example of my last 24 hours. I thanked God for…
Finger one, waking me up. With two tough autoimmune diseases, this is big.
Finger two, coffee. The diseases can zap me of all energy. I live on caffeine.
Finger three, for the strength of character for Madelle at the orthodontist. She did not sleep at all last night because of her new meds.
Finger four, the money to pay for the extra work done at the orthodontist.
Finger five, safe travels. The roads were wet and slippery while running around in town.
Finger six, 2790 words written. That is a very good day.
Finger seven, my husband's suggestion for one of my characters. God timed it perfect because I was writing that scene.
Finger eight, my new walking boots. It can now snow and I will have good traction.
Finger nine, an easy time with giving Leo a bath. He tends to be difficult but we used a new technique. It went much, much better.
Finger ten, for a quick, fun conversation with my dad.
If I am not too tired at night, I do add two more things to be thankful for because I do feel guilty about always being thankful for waking up and coffee. Also, if I am extra tired and fall asleep on number five, I let the angels take over for me. There are days that I struggle after the first couple items, those Mondays in life when the day is just crummy. But I find I talk to God about the day. We have a great conversation as I discuss my life. I share with him the troubles I am having and he always guides me towards the good stuff that happened.
I still encourage people to do the November challenge. In our negative world, seeing thankfulness displayed is a bonus. As for me, I will continue to count them off on my fingers everyday of the year. I challenge all of you to give it a try.