Our blog cruise topic this week is “on being thankful”. Oh boy….do I have a LOT to be thankful for this year. But before I start, I want to give some more thought on what this idea of thankfulness means. So, I looked up the word gratitude on dictionary.com. and their definition is “the quality or feeling of being thankful or grateful”. Next, I searched for synonyms for gratitude, some of the results were: acknowledgment, appreciativeness, grace, praise and thanksgiving.
When searching the Blue Letter Bible website for thankfulness, I found the use of “thankful” in the context of Colossians 3:15 to mean “mindful of favors, grateful, thankful, pleasing, agreeable, acceptable to others”.
In Colossians 3:16, the word “gratitude” means “what is due to grace, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, benefit, bounty”.
So, when I think of being thankful in these terms, I decided to come up with my own definition of gratitude: “an attitude of gratefulness for the many blessings God has given me as one who lives within the power of his divine grace”. And this year the blessings have been numerous. For starters, we began this year with serious concerns that my husband had a deadly heart condition. For months I lived in limbo, trying to hold onto hope when the doctors kept giving us more and more bad news. And yet, God showed his divine power, when finally, after a visit to see an expert at the Mayo clinic (which we probably be paying for monthly for the next 5 years!) we found out he was misdiagnosed! I cannot even describe the feeling of overwhelming gratitude that consumed my heart when I got that phone call. In the face of incredible odds, the Lord came through yet again.
And then there was starting our homeschool year. I had been saving money monthly to buy curriculum for quite some time, and I thought we would be set for this year. Well, due to my hubby’s medical issues and few other life things that came up (2 cars breaking down within weeks of each other… a huge electric bill due to a faulty AC) all the money disappeared. I started the year wondering how on earth I was going to teach my children. And then, through blessings I received from homeschool friends who let me borrow entire curriculums for a year, and the stuff I received as a member of the TOS crew, ALL of our needs were met!!
Finally, the homeowners decided to renew our lease for another year this month. This may seem small, but to me, it is a HUGE blessing. One of the problems with renting a house is that you never know what the next year is going to bring. I HATE moving…with a passion. The whole process stresses me out. Not to mention, we are still working on recovering from our financial setbacks and do not have the money for deposits and first and last months rent right now. So to know that we have another year in this house, which we really like, is a huge blessing!
Of course, life is far from rosy. We still have numerous day to day struggles and challenges to overcome. But when I look back at how far the Lord has brought us, how can I possibly worry about what is to come? I KNOW he has every situation firmly in hand.
Even though the road ahead may be paved with challenges, I am thankful for where I am at right now, and I trust that God is with me in every challenge I face. Granted, His solution to a problem may not be the one I envisioned in my head, but I have to trust that HE is Lord, and therefore, HE knows best.
I believe that God’s plans for me are good. Again, He knows what I need and I believe that the future He has planned for me will lead me into the abundant life He promises in His word. Now, God’s definition of abundance does not necessarily match the definition of the world we live in. Today many people define abundance by the amount of money in their bank account, how big their house is, or how much “stuff” they own. To me, abundance means the blessing of having a healthy family that gets to be together every day, having a safe place to live, food on the table, and a life that includes love, joy, and laughter. The blessing of salvation is far beyond anything I deserve, and to have all of these things on top of that is enough to make me want to shout with joy. So today, I am thankful for this messy, imperfect life of mine. I am thankful for the challenges that teach me to be more dependent on the Lord and show me that I can always count on Him. I am thankful for grace, mercy, and love. And this family that I wake up to every morning.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!
To see what other members of the crew have to say on this topic, click here: