The Christmas music began to play downstairs at 6:50am, and I turned over beneath the down comforter and wished it away…a bah-humbug moment for sure. This was my day “off”, free from homeschool responsibilities and hospital work. A family day with no imminent plans.
I could hear the lyrics as they declared,
“It’s the most wonderful time, of the year…”
and I tossed and turned wishing them away, becoming more irritated with each dancing note. Was it really necessary to wake so early?
I could hear the pitter patter feet of the kids as they excitedly scurried about; this, marking the beginning of the Holiday season. And I could hear them as they began to help my husband unpack the Christmas decorations and put up the tree, all the while trying to bury myself further into the covers wishing my awake-ness away.
And my scroogish heart struggled, grumbled, and pined.
Why was I being so ugly…?
Ugh. Failure first thing. It’s never good to start the day this way.
I reached to my bedside table for my Bible and my journal, recognizing my need for Him in the middle of my bad attitude, the need to turn to Him who is giver of all things, even this…needing my mind transformed by the power His Word brings. And before I even opened it, the Holy Spirit conviction came. And I have to be honest, it was annoying to be so strongly convicted…to be so wrong. Confronted with my heart’s ugliness.
And it’s amazing how when His words are hidden in our hearts He brings them to mind at just the right time. His Word never returning void…sharper than a two-edged sword…useful for teaching, reproof, and training…to correct and discipline my grumbly heart’s attitude.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
ALWAYS….even in this.
Talking to Him in every moment.
In every moment sharing with Him and surrendering to Him a teachable heart…a surrendering that never ceases.
Giving thanks in all circumstances.
ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. Every.Single.One. Every.Single.Time.
No wondering what He wants me to do.
No waiting to discover His will.
No pondering what it may be.
And it is this, that is His will for me, just this:
A heart that always rejoices, that always abides and that always gives thanks, to Him who always gives what is best for me.
And under the fluffy covers, I turned in my journal to my ongoing list of One Thousand Gifts. This list that has transformed my mind and heart in so many self-focused moments. And I began to list the gifts…
#1089 Warm cozy covers #1090 A house to live in, sheltered from the cold #1091 A commitment-free family day #1092 Beautiful Christmas music #1093 A stereo to play it on #1094 Children who are healthy, vibrant, and full of excitement #1095 A husband I am passionate for #1096 Who buys decorations himself and puts them up alone #1097 Who rises early each day with so much initiative and determination #1098 My very own Bible that I can freely read #1099 God’s Word hidden in my heart, that never returns void #1100 The practice of counting gifts that continues to change me #1101 The Holy Spirit given as a promise, residing in my heart, and moving me to obey
And as the ink began to flow, listing the thanks—practicing this Eucharisteo, the joy began to come. And once again, I was changed. Transformed by thanks.
May this week be blessed with much giving of thanks in your home, and even beyond this week of celebration, may giving thanks become a way of life for us all, transforming even our most ordinary moments into joy.
Is it a struggle for you to give thanks?
How has gratitude transformed you?