Hello friends! I hope this post finds you all well. I want to share with you my newest project, completed just this morning. But first, a story…the background behind this new addition to my family room.
I awoke Sunday morning to the smell of sewer gas in our main floor bathroom. I’d love to say that I calmly thought through the situation, but that would be a lie. I freaked out. Not only because of the sewer gas smell, although it was quite bad, but because I was not sure I could handle one more home repair. Everyone (including myself) talks about “seasons” of life. Well, our “season” lately has been the season of everything-is-breaking-and-costing-so-much-more-money-than-we-have. I really felt like I was holding it all together okay, until Sunday. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
We’ve been waiting to hear back from a banker about some details in regard to fixing all that needs to be fixed around here. I have been anxiously checking emails, voicemail, and even the mailbox for any sign of an update from the banker. Sitting in church Sunday morning, God convicted my heart that while I have been searching for news from a banker, I have completely ignored His Word to me. I know that God’s Word speaks to the struggles that we face, and I know that He promises He’ll never give us more than we can handle. But for whatever reason, I realized I had not been holding tight to those truths.
In his message on Sunday, our pastor talked about gratefulness. He told the story of an older woman he knew…she worked at a coffee shop and had to drag large bags of garbage across the parking lot to the dumpster. One day, while dragging several large garbage bags, she chose to not complain about the job…instead she smiled at our pastor and remarked how very thankful she was for garbage men. After all, she said, we’d be in a world of hurt if they didn’t come and drag away all this garbage! To some of you, that may seem silly or trite…but it resonated within me. Several years ago, God did a work on my heart to teach me to be more grateful. And for a season, I was…our whole family became more grateful. And every Friday morning, when Tanner would wheel the garbage can to the curb, he would come inside to kiss me goodbye and say, “I’m really thankful this morning for garbage men.” I realized Sunday morning how far I’d drifted from living a life of thankfulness. How long had it been since I had thanked God for something? It seemed like more often than not lately, I was only asking Him for something…all the while, ignoring the blessings that surround me.
It was Tanner’s idea Sunday afternoon to post a “Thankfulness” board somewhere in our house. Something to visually remind us to give thanks to the Lord for all He has done, for indeed He has done much for us. And if you know me at all, you know that I love any reason to be crafty…so I dug through the pile of decorations in the basement, and made a Thankful Wall in our family room. The verse God has used in my heart over and over the past few days is John 1:16…”For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Grace upon grace…it’s all grace. Everything that happens, whether I deem it good or bad…it all occurs because there is a God in Heaven who loves me more than I could ever comprehend, and He allows things to transpire because His is good, faithful, and just. All the time. And for that I am truly grateful.
The idea behind this Thankful Wall is that anyone can write down anything for which they are thankful. Big or small…doesn’t matter. It’s a way of reminding us that there is always something to be thankful for, and that “while we may not always feel joy, God asks us to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving.” (Ann Voskamp)
The wonderful author Ann Voskamp also wrote in her best-selling book, One Thousand Gifts, “The joy of small things makes life large.” I forgot how much I love that quote!! And I’m reminded how deeply I want to instill this into my heart as well as my children’s hearts. And so as we fill this window with many small acts of thankfulness, it is my prayer and hope that from it will rise people who view life in a very big way.
And so I hope that you’ll join me in this journey of thanksgiving. You certainly don’t have to hang old windows on your wall and scribble notes of thanks on it…only weird people do that, right?! ;-) Whether you post them for all to see, scribble them privately in a journal, or secretly draw them across your heart…it doesn’t matter. All that matters, I’m slowly learning, is that we slow down and take the time to notice the work God is doing around us, and that we give Him all the thanks and glory that He deserves. Join me?
Blessings to you today!