This last Sunday’s sermon was amazing, but I’ll get to that later. I wanted to take a moment to talk about Thanksgiving. Yes, this is a church blog, not some pilgrimage into the land of turkey and stuffing. However, in our daily lives we can incorporate God into all we are thankful for including the times of disparage. As Pastor Bill asked, “How can we be thankful when we are hurting, suffering, downtrodden?” Well, you’ll hear more about his answer in our next series. For now I’d like to share my own with each of you.
Allow me the moment to build an understanding of the fact that I am as human as they make them. My list of mistakes are about as long as the Empire State building is tall. My list of requests for forgiveness longer than Santa’s Naughty and Nice list. My story of survival fits within each of these pages. Through that there were times that I denounced God as my protector but never my savior. I stopped praying because it hurt to much to not get the answer I wanted. I shed a tear for each hurt, loss, and pain.
And then I grew up!
I find myself faced with another large bump in my life. Major changes. Major problems. Major worries and concerns. Only this time, I give thanks. I give that thanks to GOD for not leaving my side when the pain is so great I cannot bare to think about getting out of bed, or opening that next envelope from the mortgage company. I thank God for the people he has brought into my life that has helped keep me afloat as only one human to another can provide. I thank GOD for the ability to look at this challenge differently because I know that on the other side I’ll be wiser, stronger, and an overall better person. I will learn along the way and grow even more, if I allow thankfulness to absorb into my soul and not diminish my spirit.
And in recognition of this I started a wall that my children and I absolutely love. I encourage everyone to do this (but maybe keep the markers away from the 4 year old age range).
THE THANKFUL WALL…
Most parents, myself include, scold our children for writing on walls with permanent anything. That’s what paint is for. Recently, in the midst of the month of Thanksgiving, I made a huge change which seems to have gone over extremely well with the kids and their friends. On the wall adjacent to our kitchen and dining area we are now stopping to write down the things we are thankful for, fun pictures to illustrate, and share. It is not the cleanest of walls, but it is special, and every night when we sit down to eat we can all see what has been left there. When we are forced to move I’ll take a picture of that wall for our memory boxes and in the new house will start a fresh wall. It’s like a tattoo on our home. It tells a story and helps remind us that art can be found in many forms. Most importantly it reminds us all of the things we are thankful for even in times of trouble. So, grab a marker, find a common wall, and write. This will take you beyond the month of November and span all 12 months. Allow the hand of God to provide comfort on your hand as you struggle for the words when your spirit seems so dampened with struggle.
My Thanksgiving wish to you is for God’s peace to wash your soul and cleanse your heart.