Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giving Thanks before Thanksgiving Day

I love to hold good books printed on paper and bound with a hard cover. But recently I've been worried about my eyes because words look fuzzier than usual. I put in a call today for an eye exam.
     I love to smile and to eat, so I make regular teeth cleaning appointments with our dentist whose office has the latest editions, by the way, of National Geographic. I had my teeth cleaned yesterday and Dr. G and I talked a bit afterward...about the human digestive system shown in living color on one of NatGeo's pages. He could name most of what we saw, including fiber, which looked like a long strip of wood. 
     This is the season to start bundling up before going outside, and when I go outside I love the crisp feel of the weather. 
     There's a meeting I need to attend next Monday, and I look forward to being with a lively group discussing lots of related history, archaeology, and theology. 
     All of these matters listed above are only a few parts of the life of this woman in North America, and they embed deep thankfulness for:

  • the opportunity to learn to read and write as a child and to go to school; ,
  • enough food to eat and healthy teeth with which to eat; 
  • a phone, a nearby library, several bookstores to choose from; 
  • prescription glasses that help my weak eyes see 20/20 and am able to have those prescriptions filled every time my eyes change a bit; 
  • a working digestive system and a dentist that finds such matters interesting in magazines; 
  • jackets and coats, boots and gloves to put on when I am cold;
  • Vocal chords that allow speaking and singing;
  • And many more blessings of living.
I get excited when I think about these things. They are good and so important, and I am thankful for so many good gifts, for my husband, our family, for neighbors and friends. I am thankful that God hears my prayers for each person on my list and added names, even if I don't know the people behind them. I don't have their answers, but I can lift their names to God. And I am thankful for a quote I read recently, about hope strengthening the heart.  

     Hope helps me bear grief, for it reminds me of the living hope that God gives the world through His Son and the messages of His life, suffering unto death, and resurrection. Hope reminds me that loved ones who have died have eternal life, because they trusted God, through Jesus. They put their lives and hopes entirely into His hands. I remember their hard times and maybe I think about that too much, for they have moved on. All is well and will forever be well with them; that's where they are now, and we will be together again one day in the liveliest of times.   
     I am eternally thankful for the salvation I now have by faith, due to Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection.  
     I am thankful that God loves when we have little love or faith, kindness or forgiveness. He loves us when we lack for many things, and I have come to realize that many others receive so much through people who love God. They depend on people to show them God's love and later they go out to share it, too. 
     What a thrill to have moments to think about these things. "What is the story you tell yourself about your life, Luv?" asked a fictional female British detective, sitting across from a self-pitying, unforgiving suspect. He was guilty of theft, but of more, too. He was guilty of thanklessness and the inability to let go of wrongs done to him in the past. He was guilty of wallowing in himself so he could avoid living, when his kind of character could live differently.
     In real life, we tend to tell ourselves all kinds of stories about our lives, but we wake up when we realize that the best stories are wrapped in whatever it is we can give thanks for in a world where millions never learn to read or write, to see a doctor when they are very sick, to have their toothaches taken care of, to eat enough every day, even to be sure of water every day. Among them are many thankful hearts, there to bring relief as volunteers or neighbors. I have also heard eye-witness accounts of how so many that are poor give and give and give to others. I am humbled by this. It connects us to others when we look outward and upward. Look up and live, someone said.
     Happy Thanksgiving can happen every day. Happy Thanksgiving holiday this year. 

Thanksgiving Quotes

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