A January Thanksgiving

It came no surprise to me that I needed a drastic perspective shift yesterday. After all, I had written a ra-ra-shish-koom-ba post  and no doubt The Enemy saw it… and wanted to derail it.

But great news. He didn’t win.

Here’s the very general back story: I posted “Your Personal Cheerleader” talking about how awesome God was, how we all need a pick me up sometimes etc. Well, between army stuff, normal life stuff, army stuff (oh wait, did I already mention that?), hormones, and general marriage stuff, I myself needed a pick-me-up. Things were wearing on me. Oh, and it’s prayer week at Christ Community, which is great– except God is (fortunately) using some of that time to create revelations in my heart, which makes my emotions vulnerable. (He know’s what he is doing… but its never easy.)Needless to say: I was in a pretty rotten mood yesterday. SIGH. I despise being in a funk. It stinks.

The mopey-grumbly feeling didn’t show up til about noon yesterday. Due to some brief miscommunication with my beloved and/or the army, my optimistic cheerleader apparently decided to hibernate. Fantastic.

For the next couple of hours, I grumbled to myself around the house, slamming cabinet doors, stomp, stomp, stomping, ignoring the whispers from God about what He was trying to reinforce in me about patience, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, being slow to anger etc. Yeah, all those super-sweet subjects.

I made it to about 2:30pm. I had already done one workout at the gym totaling 10 miles (2 on the elliptical, 8 on the bike… it is my low impact day) I sat down to blog… and nada. Zippo. I couldn’t get inspired to write anything positive.

Suddenly, as I was staring at the computer screen, fighting back tears for the second (or was it third?) time that day, I had a revelation… A feeling of thanksgiving swelled over me. I was sick of moping, and I knew that if I sat here, letting things stew and boil before I could discuss them with my beloved when I see him next (which wasn’t going to be until the next evening) things would not go well. I would be a mess.

I slammed my computer shut and told (yelled towards?) Baby Dog Justus, “Screw this. We are going for a walk. And I WILL be thankful for today and smile if kills me!” (Can you say “Screw” on a Christian blog? Hope so. Cuz I just did.)

I slapped on my tennis shoes, grabbed my purse, keys, pen and pencil. Our normal walk around the neighborhood wouldn’t suffice. I needed some nature. With God. Where I could give thanks.

We stormed out of the house. (Sidenote: Is it really storming out of the house if no one is there to see it? Kind of like if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it still make a sound?) Justus and I hopped in the car, and off we went.

I drove for a few minutes across post to a little pond nature-y trail area. We took off.

We had thanksgiving in January. As I walked, I was intentional to breathe deeply and keep my eyes open to the gifts God had placed in my life. (That was what the pen and pencil was for.)

Three miles later, I had captured the following Thanksgiving gifts for my 1000 gifts list. (Based on the book by Ann Voskamp.)  Not all of these things actually happened, but I was reminded of them on our walk. My mind drifted to thoughts of God instead of thoughts of annoyance and this world.

347. Reading by the water
348. Warm wind blowing through my hair
349. Gazebos
350. January days that are warm enough to wear shorts
351. Puppy “smiles” that show white teeth and pink tongue
352. Seeing fish swim in a pond
353. The distant sound of rifle/gunshots at a range on post (I’m an army spouse. Don’t judge me for this one. I think it is really sexy cool.)
354. Wet musty cool dirt smell
355. Ivy winding up a tree
356. The sound of a tractor
357. Eating fresh honeycomb
358. Hollow trees
359. Magnolia blossoms as big as your face
360. Leaves covering a path
361. My bucket list
362. Butterflies
363. Big backyards
364. Patio furniture
365. War memorials
366. Soldiers working crossing guard duty
367. The Infantryman’s Creed
368. Being up high looking down
369. Laying on your back outside looking up
370. Random conversations with an awkward middle school boy on a bike about your “weird dog”

By the time Ladybug (our red Pontiac Vibe) was back in view, I felt great. Honestly, I felt like a new woman. My perspective shifted from incredibly ticked to incredibly thankful. I went from “poor, poor, pitiful me” to “blessed, thankful, God loves me.” We don’t have to wait til next November to be thankful. Start today. Right where you are. Even in the midst of a pending storm.

I didn’t have to have turkey, gravy and pumpkin pie to have my Thanksgiving in January. I just needed Jesus. And I don’t know about you… but I am STUFFED.

Enjoying His Gifts,

“Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!” –Hebrews 12:28-29 (MSG)

Categories: army, frustration, God, patience, spiritual food, thanks | Leave a comment

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