Folks on Facebook hop into this thing during the month of November and give thanks throughout the month leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s fun. I’ve hopped on the bandwagon for a few years. I tried this year, with good intentions, but life got busy and I didn’t keep it up. Not because I wasn’t thankful for anything, I was simply just forgetting.
I can honestly say that the Novembers after Tullie was born and Eli passed away, to ask me to grateful for anything would have been trite. I seriously would have struggled to be grateful for the shoes on my feet at that time. Last year, though, I was determined to make it through each day of the month being grateful for something. Even if it was just the shoes on my feet.
The accident hadn’t even been two weeks old, and November started. November 1 I wrote my first thankfulness about friends and family coming from so far to be with us. As the month went on some days were really hard to find something to be grateful about and other times it seemed that Jesus’ grace was evident, like the day I lost the diamond from my engagement ring and Mike found it on the floor of the motorhome, or the day that Humansville had a dinner and auction to support our family. On the really hard days, I was thankful for shoes or lobster or clam chowder or pho or pretty sweaters. I felt like even if it was trite and silly, at least it was something.
It’s easy in grief to feel a lot of self pity. To feel like the world is against you. To feel like nothing is right with the world. In a lot of ways, all of the above is true. The world IS against us and NOTHING is right with it, however, we do still have things to be grateful for.
Psalms 118: 1 Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Gratefulness isn’t just for November, it’s for life. The Lord’s “steadfast love that endures forever” isn’t just for November, it’s for forever. It’s unending. It is such an amazing, incredible, full, overwhelmingly wonderful love that “steadfast” and “everlasting” aren’t good enough adjectives to describe it. It is a hesed love. A Hebrew word that is difficult to translate into the English language. A loyal love. A deeper and more committed love then what we understand here. If we have nothing to be thankful for, we can be thankful for that. No matter where we are in life.
I cannot claim a thankful heart all the time. My heart is full of anxiety, frustration, fear and self pity. I am quick to anger and I get frustrated with my kids quickly. I get irritated when asked to help with something I don’t want to do. I look at others and think that their lives look so much better then mine.
We need to choose thankfulness each day. Especially on the hard days. Especially on those days when it doesn’t seem like anything could go right. Especially on the days when everything is crashing in on us. There is always something to be grateful for. Always. Even if it is just cool new shoes.
Today, I am grateful for my husband, my children, Boston’s t-shirts made into a cozy quilt by a dear friend so that I can be warm on a cool night while I type, Gilmore Girls reboot in less than an hour and most importantly, the hesed love of a Father that I do not deserve and the grace to make it through the days ahead.
Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.