Friday, November 28, 2014
Still Giving Thanks!
This morning as I reflect back on our Thanksgiving celebration I am brought to my knees in gratitude. We did enjoy a good meal, and a few family moments of laughter and sharing. This was the first Holiday that didn't feel so strained. The first one I didn't have tears in the preparation and I am giving God that glory! There was peace in our home and in our hearts. There wasn't any disputes, angry words, or harsh comments.
I am also so humbled to realize how much my heart has changed, and is changing as I think about what past "the day afters" were like. I was one of the many out shopping at 2, 3, and 4 am. (Really it got earlier and earlier every year but now.. it seems to be starting on Thanksgiving Day.) It was always a girls day, and I did get the majority of our Christmas shopping done. But inside... I was feeling fearful, prideful, and extremely greedy! Greed is ugly. Pride is ugly. Fear is ugly. When you put them all together, it is downright disgraceful. My husband and I are raising teenagers now, and to know that my actions are being watched and in subtle ways modeled is enough to stop me in my tracks, repent, and ask God to lead me to be more wise in these life changing decisions. Up until the last few weeks I forgot how every decision is a life changing one ~ whether it changes mine or someone else's.
This morning, I slept in. This morning, I am thankful as I sit here in the quiet of the moment and realize just how blessed I am. I am being taught things that the world will go against and to me that is beautiful, not lonely. Because the way the world is going right now I don't want to be a part of it. I want the simple life. There is no simplicity in chasing sales at 2, 3, and 4 o'clock in the morning. There is no simplicity in worrying how one will buy gifts and or even have enough left over for groceries. There is no simplicity in getting frustrated because you are worried there isn't' enough under the tree. Where is the Thankfulness that is experienced on Thanksgiving the day after?
I want our children to rest in the peace that comes from living a life of gratitude. I want our children to reap the benefits from learning to fully trust God with everything! I can tell you this ~ as much as I say I trust God ~ He is completely and wholly testing me in this in every area of my life where I once put trust in other people/things.
Putting God first in your everyday life doesn't seem so hard ~ and it looks easy if your watching someone do it from the outside looking in but let me tell you. It isn't. Do you know why? The world makes living in the world look easy and tempting. And it is, yet it is also so void, dark, lonely and cruel. There is hopelessness, fear, pain, and ugliness. But .... fighting with all you have to put trust in God and live your life trusting HIM alone is peaceful, loving, joyful, and there is always a surprise waiting for you! There is an amazing sense of security that can't come from anything one does or gets from the world.
As a woman who is 41, I feel like a child yet it is the best feeling EVER! Do you know why? The world will fail you! Relationships WILL at some point fail you. But God ... oh my goodness, God Almighty will NEVER fail you! THIS is what I want our children to know. Not that mom and dad worry whether they will like the gifts we have chosen. Not what is for dinner. Not even about their relationships with friends... I want them to trust in GOD alone and above the husband and I. Why? We may fail our children, but God will NEVER fail them!
As I sit here, I am just in awe! I am sitting still in my pj's, and completely at peace with that. I am sitting looking at the beautiful Autumn decorations that are soon to be replaced with lights, Christmas trees, and things that bring joy to the room. And I am content. God is good!
The next time you see a flood of "black friday commercials" ( or big "get them now before they are gone" commercials) for the umpteenth time today (this month).... and your home to see them and not in the hustle ~ know that I too am looking at them shaking my head and muttering a prayer of praise and thanks for I know that God is good and this world and it's greed is sure to catch up to someone who may stumble upon this post and realize that HE is what truly matters no matter what day of the year it is. I am done running/shopping/spending in the rat race. Are you?