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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Strange Thing about Giving Thanks

Hi Friends,

We'll be having 24 people here for Thanksgiving tomorrow, so I've been cleaning out a few areas.  Today I discovered a sheet of paper titled "2011 Thanks" that lists a bunch of things our family was thankful for in 2011 (we'll probably make a similar list this year).

Here's a small sampling of the things we were thankful for last year:

--Grandma Noma's recovery
--The kittens
--Getting Mugsy
--Bethany's room
--Ruby learning to trust Joelle
--A new school for the girls
--Bethany and Rusty's gymkhana improvement

As I read through the list, it struck me how very many of the things we were thankful for started with something hard, difficult, scary, or unpleasant.  For example:

--Grandma Noma's recovery started with her being very, very sick, having several surgeries, and a lot of concern when things seemed to be going from bad to worse.
--Getting the kittens started with a pregnant stray cat showing up on our doorstep
--Adopting Mugsy started with him being born in a feedlot, with he and his mother about to be shipped off for horse slaughter.
--Bethany's new room came about because we simply didn't have any more room to put kids and had to convert a loft area on top of the bathroom (!)
--Before Ruby learned to trust Joelle, she was bucking her off
--The girls went to a new school because the previous school decided not to have kindergarten anymore, so we had to figure something out for the twins
--When Bethany and Rusty first started gymkhana, Rusty was terrible at it.  He mostly refused to do the patterns and they often got last place.  It took a lot of time and work to get him running fast and well as he does now.

How strange that the things we were thankful for began with things we weren't happy about at all.  And I wonder if life is often like that.  I think about those things that seem like THE WORST THING EVER or EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what I want.  Maybe God is on the verge of transforming them, too, into things that I'll be giving thanks for next year.  Maybe next year, those things will top our list.

So, I think this year as I focus on thanksgiving, I'll take a new look at the things in my life that I feel the least thankful for.  I think I'll look at them in a new light.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll let myself be a little grateful for how God will work in those very things in the coming year.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!!