There's just no possible way to put all of the grace-filled, God's-glory moments into the few hours that surround one meal on one particular day. This thankfulness that we're trying to learn ourselves as we pour out on our children, family, and friends; this grace-filled life we're trying to hastily explain in a few moments after the meal.
It isn't possible to play catch up for all of the other days of the year when we should have or could have been already experiencing a thanks-filled life. But it is possible to begin.
Sometimes, we get caught up in the daily rhythm of life, and all of the to-dos that we loose sight of what's really important, what's probably one of the most important things we need to be doing. Instead of devoting one day out of the entire year, we should devote the entire year to the concept of that one day.
It's Thanks-living. It's starting now, wherever you are in your life, however difficult or wonderful things are, it's a process that begins and never ends. Thanks-living is the way we are meant to live, giving thanks to God for every moment he gives us.
Thank You for these sweet memories, these amazing days filled with the joys of motherhood, of never-ending housework, of babies wanting me to hold them and kiss their boo boos.
Thank You for the hard times, when I have no other options except to rely fully on You, because I have no strength of my own. Thank you for being my strength and foundation in these moments.
Thank You for this life, for giving me each new day, because, let's be honest here, I'm not exactly the most deserving of the wonders you bless me with. Thank You for seeing in me what I couldn't possibly begin to see in myself.
Ann Voskamp tells us about Eucharisteo, a Greek word meaning thanksgiving, the root charis meaning grace,and chara which is Greek for joy.
It has to be practiced daily, sometimes moment by moment.
It needs to become part of how we live. It should be whispered on our every breath: thank You, thank You, thank You!
Keeping the house clean no longer feels like a chore when it's done with a thankful heart. It fills me up with joy, amazed with how God has brought us through the nearly seven years of marriage. How he has blessed us time and time again.
I fold the laundry, a never-ending job, but am thankful for the warmth on my hands as I fold and put away. Thankful for the machine that does all of the hard work for me. Thankful for all of the hand-me-downs. Thankful for each member of our family that wears each garment, uses each towel.
I pick up after my children, it's normally their job, but I decide to do it for them. As I pick up the toys of an overwhelming mess, I think about the mess of our lives. God takes the mess of our own lives, picks up every last piece and puts them together for us, rearranging the hurt and the stubborn, the sin and the sorrow, the vanity and the pride into a masterpiece worthy to praise Him forevermore. Picking up the toys, praying for my children, thanking God for the gift they are in my life, praying for them to see the world through thankful lenses.
The children hit each other, rough and tumble, fighting and disputing and it feels like it's directed at me. It feels like they're hitting me, yelling at me instead of each other. I wonder, God, what have I been teaching them? Why are they treating each other like this? Where do they see this, how is it possible for them to love each other so much and yet treat each other so cruelly?
I put each in time out, set the timers, look at the hurt in their eyes, as if I'm the bad guy. The seconds tick away soundless, their faces change. Eventually, their faces turn from anger to sullen, from sullen to ashamed. The timers go off, we talk, hug, apologize. Thank You for these teaching moments, of training my children, leading them towards You.
In every moment, every circumstance, thanks-living is thanksgiving. The grace we were given causes us to pause, to think, to be thankful. That is where we find the joy. The joy to keep on keeping on.
Living life to its fullest for God. One word sums it up, Eurcharisteo. Tattoo it on your heart friends, because it's how to be fully alive and fully aware of what God wants us to be.