Thankful Tuesday Returns

It’s time for Thankful Tuesday to return since quite frankly, it’s been a tough weekend to be thankful. On the one hand, I’ve been able to enjoy some wonderful time with friends. On the other hand, I’m was still sorting through the confusion of some major decisions, found a dead rabbit in my yard that I had to clean up (prompting yet another round of “God, where is the husband who should be doing this?), was tormented by a constant litany of whys? and what ifs? regarding the past, and signed up again on eHarmony, leaving me sobbing on the couch instead of being hopeful when I realized that once upon a time the Saturday that just passed was put on my calendar as the potential day for a wedding — mine. Still the Bible says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18). And, I think the Bible does that for good reason. Being thankful directs me to God and trust in him instead of staggering around in the whys? and what ifs? that are leftovers of situations that I can’t change. The situations are done — over with. And, no matter how many times I wish I could hit the reset button, I can’t. I can, however, continue to look to God’s sovereignty and anticipate a revelation of how those circumstances providing the whys? and what ifs? can position me to serve him better and to shepherd me to greater awareness of areas that God wants us to develop. And, to be thankful always, requires that I dig deep beyond the circumstances of life to the anchors for my soul. It requires that I recognize as dear as my dreams are, they are not always the stuff of which the eternal is made. They are often chaff at best, eclipsing what is far better. And, so, Thankful Tuesday, even if littered with some of the chaff, is still a productive step into the discipline of thankfulness. Once again I’m indebted to 14,000 Things to Be Happy About for the seeds to grow this post.

In the past two weeks, I think my boss has given me no less than 30 email exclamation marks behind phrases like “this looks great” and “this is creative.”  Though my English-snob nature generally loathes the judicious use of exclamation marks, these ones made my soul happy. In this first summer in three where I’ve not been concentrating on a relationship, I’ve turned more attention towards work; I’ve carved out more moments for creative endeavors in that realm. And, I’ve found a creative side of my work that hasn’t been nurtured in some time, shaded as it was by administrative tasks.

A Chance to Sleep In
Hang Benjamin Franklin and his “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” philosophy. Though in my 30s I find less productive moments occur after midnight, I can get productivity out of the evening as it fades into night and thus feel justified in the joys of sleeping in. The dog feels justified as well. So, on many summer mornings, I’ll half wake-up to the alarm that I set with good intentions only to take advantage of the luxury of resetting the clock. In these moments when I’m awake, the dog will often move from his place of slumber at the bottom of the bed and throw himself down beside me, either rolling over for a belly rub or resting his head on my belly. Then, we both drift back to sleep with the air conditioner both cooling us and drowning out the noise of the waking world.

So, this Tuesday, I look for confidence in the tension between competence and restfulness, the dreams of this life and the realities of the eternal. It’s a hard won thankfulness to be sure.