So... I'm mainly posting because I am sick of looking at the "Blanc ou Gris" post. It was a dramatic era in my life that I am well over, so it's time to move on.
Anyway, about this time of month in November, I get asked this question a lot, "What are you thankful for?"
My mind immediately points me to the one and only factor that is responsible for blessing me with the 4 main things I am thankful for the most: God.
They all start with the letter "F." I don't know how that worked out, but it just did. I wish they had all started with the letter "T" since it is Thanksgiving and I'm a T, and, well... anyway.
I love my friends. I am SO blessed with so many great friendships! When I look at how many relationships God has put into my life over the years... some of them going WAY back, and others having blossomed in the past couple of years or so... it astounds me. He has seemed to bring the right people in at the right time in my life, and I am very thankful for it!
What can I say? My family is very close. I cherish the bond we all share, and it is something that is easy to take for granted when it has always been this way. I also appreciate the love and support that they have never ceased to show me, and the direction they always provide. I am especially thankful for my caring mother who, as the "baby" of the family herself, understands my perspective and will do most anything to spoil me. :-D
How amazing it is that I was brought up in a family who loves the Lord! I couldn't have asked for a better heritage... I have been taught about Jesus ever since I can remember, and He came to live in my heart when I was 12. I actually recollect "asking Jesus into my heart" at my friend's house at about the age of 8- even the community I grew up in is very faith-based. Not everyone gets the privilege to have the knowledge of Jesus and the Bible and His teachings surround them in such an entirety. I am thankful for this opportunity of faith and my church of love in my life.
What would a "thankful" post be, written by me, anyway, without the mention of FOOD? Anyone who knows me knows my deep appreciation of this topic, and that eating is a hobby of mine. *Big smile* My family was all going around the table when we celebrated Thanksgiving (early on Sunday), saying what we were thankful about, and when it got to me, everyone had to make fun of me for about 5 minutes before I began... I'm known for any of the following: a great capability to prepare a structured, drawn-out speech, a tendency to have prepared a power point presentation with pictures and music of the things that I am thankful for, or the ability to write a story or narrative directed towards the holiday.
Now, let me just clear this up: I've only actually fulfilled option B at any point in my life, the power point with music and pictures at Christmas one year, and it was for my mom on a special occasion (and yes, I made the whole family watch it). Nonetheless, my family still teases me for being the one typical of putting on some sort of theatrical preformance to fulfill this requirement of stating the things I'm most thankful for.
So, upon completing this task of mentioning only 3 of my thankful-fors, which is Family, Friends, and Faith, my dad contributed the "food" option in which I immediately structured in to the speech. I mean, seriously. Why didn't I think of that before? *tsk tsk tsk*
Anyway... on a more serious note, there are a lot of blessings in life to be thankful for. However, on Tuesday night at boy's club, Kyle had a very good point to make to the 20 little boys seated around the room, their hyper energy trying to be contained as they listened. He asked, "We are thankful for the good things in life. Do you think that we should also be thankful for the bad things, too?"
All the boys shouted, "NOOOO!"
"Well, let's see what the Bible has to say about that." He opened up and read a verse that basically says...
We should learn to be thankful and content no matter what our circumstances.
As I stood there, I knew the obvious answer when Kyle asked it, even though the boys', and often our human-like natural tendency is to say, "No, DON'T be thankful when bad things happen!"
We may know this simple truth, but how often do we apply it when the situation actually arises in our life?
Do we rejoice when things are going GREAT? YES! Good, we should. But do we apply that same enthusiasm and thankfulness when situations aren't panning out as we thought they would? Check the focus. If it's not 100% on Christ, it's easy to become ungrateful, and of course we will, because we are too wrapped up in our desires and what we think ought to happen. Is our desire what Christ desires?
Philippians 4:11 & 12 (NIV), "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty..."
Christ loves us, and wants what is best for us. He disciplines those He loves, and He will allow us to go through tough times in order to strengthen us and teach us. That's the bottom line! If we keep this as our prespective... then how much more thankful we will become, through the sunny days AND the rainy ones!
I love you all, and may you all have a blessed Thanksgiving in Him!