Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thank You

Every year, along with the list of guests and the makings for a grand dinner, we begin to take inventory of the things we are thankful for. The typical items come to mind: health, family, good friends, etc. This year, the question was posed to us in church. We were given a small sheet of paper to write a note of thanks to God and one by one, we were all to get up as families to put our notes in a large basket as our offering.

My sheet of paper was too small.

I sat for a moment in the quiet stillness pondering what I had to be thankful for. I have a daughter who doesn’t speak to me. Our family is selling our home because we can’t afford it. The stress of preparing our home for showing has caused quite a few days of serious arguments with my husband. I wasn’t trying to be ungrateful or cynical. I was just trying to clear my thoughts and get to the things I really wanted to give my Heavenly Father a big high five for. And then it hit me… as it always does, just a little late. I thought back to the really hard times.

That’s when my pen took over.

I thanked God for the years that I had to ride my bike through the rich parts of Newport to get to work. It was a little embarrassing, but then I stopped and looked around at the bay and the ocean and the early morning fog rising above the waters. I wouldn't have ever seen that driving in a car. I thanked God for the Christmas that was going to be a huge disappointment for my girls. It was “my” year and I was broke. The school nurse stopped me one morning with a grocery bag in her arms stuffed with wrapped gifts. Because my girls were in the free lunch program, we had been “adopted” by the school. I was embarrassed for a moment. Then I began to cry, as did the nurse. I thanked God for the months I had to sit in our family room, alone and immobile, while my ankle mended. I had to scootch down the stairs every morning on my butt and barely got around the rest of the day on crutches and in a wheelchair. I couldn’t carry my baby around in my arms, nor could I run and chase my two year old. When I got the green light to walk on my leg again, I did! I started running. I picked up surfing. I got back on the mountain with my bike. I had a completely new appreciation for the pain of aching muscles.

“Thank you for every miserable moment…”

For every lesson. For every time He showed up to walk with me. For every heartache that is to come. Thank you. Through dripping tears, I walked up to the front of the church, and like the old widow with her two insignificant coins, placed my small offering into the basket in praise to the Father that has never let me down. I realize that I don’t appreciate the crap as much as I should. I try to remind myself that it’s not what happens, but how we respond that matters. But I'm human and I forget. That morning, He reminded me. I had done my best, and with His help, I stood there… incredibly thankful.


Bella Vita said...

Hey lady...

Happy turkey day to you and your family!!!

Thank you for sharing your writing, it is always entertaining....you big softie you!

littlepurplecow said...

This is a really beautiful post.