Thursday, November 20, 2014

{thankfulness} under-armour cold gear, cold hands and candles

{intentional thankfulness}

I love this time of year.
 Snow often appears literally overnight
blanketing everything with a peaceful white dusting
to welcome an expected and welcoming warm golden sunrise. 
The children are giddy with anticipation of snow activities.
Candles, fireplaces and little fairy lights become well used
to warm the evenings and light up dark corners
and the sounds of holiday music is heard throughout our home.
And outside gets all dressed up for winter, too.
We painted our whole kitchen in chalkboard
a few years ago and I use the walls quite often 
to write lists, verses to remember, thinking processes
or just funny things that the kids say.
This morning, the kids helped to make a list called
about winter.
The list is quite long I am happy to say.
Sledding, hot cocoa, our advent calendar, stockings, hunting,
hockey games, basketball, Christmas light drives,
snow, secret Santa, turkey with stuffing, 
Grandma's corn casserole (not mine. just grandma's)  
making deer and goose jerky with Dad, white lights,
candles, fireplace, baking, giving, Christmas music, 
family gatherings, pine trees, snow angels 
and building a snowman, hot cider, warm soup...

I realize that my attitude and outlook about the coming 
inevitable sub zero frigid temperatures
is as real as the choice that I have 
physically before me right now.
I am sitting in front of a window and can feel the warm sun 
on my face and at the same time my fingers are freezing.
We haven't turned on our furnace yet and there are areas in our home that are nice and cozy with a space heater.  
There are also areas that remind you to wear 
your slippers and long johns!
I recently read an article written by an adult 
reflecting upon memories from childhood about the heart
 of their mother when it would snow.
She would look out the window and smile.
This mother's attitude left quite a positive impression
on their, now adult, child.
"She smiles at the future..." Proverbs, The Bible

What a good thing to teach.
Smiling at the future.
Smiling in gratefulness out the window
 seeing with the eye what is, 
hoping in the heart for what is yet to be
Looking ahead, shunning worry and fear, 
while embracing hope, joy and peace.
There is a prerequisite I believe:
That mother had to have trust in something much bigger 
that could go much farther than her physical eye could take her.
Faith, not sight.

'"In everything, give thanks."
"Really?" I would ask.
"Everything?" I asked in my mind as I would read that verse.
That sounded crazy.
Often impossible.
Ah.  Must be supernatural.

We may never understand the depth of the rewards
of being grateful.
It releases something within us and around us
that promotes joy, peace, contentment...

And just ask my family.
They will tell you I often fail in this, but I'm trying

Several years ago I wanted to fast,
to give up something that can get in the way
of physical, emotional and spiritual health.
As I was praying about what to give up: food, coffee, media, etc.
I had a thought.
"How about grumbling? Complaining? Discontentment?
Oh, don't get me wrong, it's not that I have
 a nature bent towards negativity.
It's just that I had a house full of busyness with normal 
loads and loads of laundry, lots of messes, chores,
an unemployed and thus unhappy husband, bills,
a dying mother and uncertainty all around me.
"Give thanks."
And a wise friend stated 
"Give thanks in every situation...
not for...
but in."
It is a truth that is simply profound.
I may never fully understand it
but I believe it.

Oh, and we finally broke down and turned on our furnace.
It was 9* the other night.
I'm grateful for heat...

Thanks for reading.
Have a thankful day!


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