Friday, November 13, 2015

Grace Rediscovered: Thanksgiving Joy

Grace Rediscovered: Thanksgiving Joy: My neighbor Mary crosses the street. I put down my leaf rake, and she gives me a great big bear hug.  She has been praying for me for the p...

Thanksgiving Joy

My neighbor Mary crosses the street. I put down my leaf rake, and she gives me a great big bear hug.  She has been praying for me for the past three years.

“How are you doing?   How are your check-ups?” she asks.

“Three years now-cancer free!” I say smiling from ear to ear.

We continue catching up when she just suddenly blurts out, “ Well aren’t you a happy thing!”

The words come out of nowhere and I can’t imagine why she said that precisely at that moment, but as we talk about Thanksgiving plans and catch up on our families, the words stick in my head.

Later when I’m folding laundry it really hits me.  I AM HAPPY!  No, really honestly happy!  Some days I feel like I could just burst and out of me would come pink and purple flowers, rainbows, peace signs and hearts.  Kidding of course but you get the picture.

I ‘m a little surprised myself.  In the past I have always felt a certain melancholy but lately joy is pushing up and obviously enough that Mary noticed. 

This thankfulness I’ve been practicing has fruit!  JOY!  I’m beaming now with the thought of it.  OK I admit it. I am a big Ann Voskamp fan and through her words I have been inspired to look at things differently.  I am learning how to be thankful in all things and see the beauty that is all around me if I just look with eyes wide opened. 

Yes I’ve been busy planting seeds and I didn’t even know it.  Seeds of thankfulness and now the fruit is coming – ready to share with others.

But it’s more than just the writing of thanks and this new perspective; it’s also the atmospheric conditions that are making them grow. (Did I just use that big word?) The practice of thankfulness has been leading me into His presence (Psalm 100:4) and in His presence is fullness of Joy! (Psalm 16:11) It is His presence that brings the swelling fullness that just flows over.

You were just having a good day you might say, and I might agree, except now I know every day is a good day. Each day that I live on this earth is a gift from God to see and experience His beauty.  A day to crawl up in His lap and experience His goodness, to bask in His glorious presence and let the seeds grow!

Each day in every situation we get to choose to grumble or to give thanks. 
What kind of seeds will you plant?

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! 
Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; 
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16: 11(ESV)

“God is happiest of all.  Joy is God’s life.”1

1Ann Voskamp pg. 86 One Thousand Gifts Devotional