Much ado continues about thankfulness, gratitude and contentment. Pastors preach it, writers ring its praises, and those in the process of rebirth and regeneration live the message in vibrant color. Despite these multitudes of voices, how quickly we veer into discontent and discouragement, whether jolted by out -of -the- ordinary developments or feeling hoodwinked by the boredom of routine. I need all these reminders, just like my potted flowers need daily watering to keep from wilting and dying.
I've just finished reading the book of Leviticus. Not my favorite book of the Bible, but even in the details of rituals and ceremonies God reveals his character and longing for a holy people to call his own. In this Biblical textbook, All You Need to Know About Sacrifices, are specific instructions for making Thank Offerings. Our creator knows our need to express thankfulness. And how much we have received to give thanks for! Starting with the gift of life. I'm sure we'd have many common blessings on our thankful-for lists were we to share. Here are specific ones I'm reflecting on today.
A Sunday morning of sunshine and warmth enjoyed on my front porch with a cup of rich, strong coffee warming my hand. Any direction I turn, my eye beholds the beauty of a variety of blooming plants. Birds move gracefully and serenade my ears with their sonnets and calls. My husband joins me in this restful place to pray together for the children we love, a gift times five. Later we join friends at church to offer thanks together to the God who has given us salvation from sin through the death of his son and welcomes us into his presence as beloved children.
I've started with the heavy weights on my list, but I have many small, maybe not -important -to -you things, too. Makeup to hide some flaws, and the magnifying mirror my eyes depend on for applying it. Hair products to keep my do looking good. The bike that is parked in the garage, standing ready for my next pedaling jaunt. A faithful friend who calls from a store to tell me where I can get a good deal on a red pair of sandals she knew I was looking for. My Netflix subscription and a free evening to stream some good entertainment.
And I can't forget the community of bloggers who keep me accountable to write. Or the creativity of others who inspire me to try making something new. Oh, and the opportunity to volunteer time to help someone. There are a stack of books in the bedroom promising me new insights and stories to enter and enjoy. In a few hours I'll enjoy a favorite snack of Sunday popcorn, the kernels heated in oil over the stove in an old kettle just for this purpose, patiently stirred to popping perfection by one of the best ever popcorn chefs-my husband.
Could you get carried away with counting blessings, too? It could be an endless list as we appreciate what we have and how we were made. No matter what circumstances we're encountering, an attitude of gratitude is always appropriate.
I'm thankful for you, reader. May you feel refreshed and stirred up to thankfulness just by visiting here today.