Thanksgiving is not natural in the best of times

Eucharisteo is thanksgiving. The twist is that Jesus gave thanks for everything. Even the situation that eventually crushed Him, brandished Him, humiliated Him, Jesus taught us to give thanks for “On the same night that He was betrayed the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks for it. Then He broke it in pieces” (I Cor. 11:23-24). Jesus taught a ritual at the Last Supper wherein His disciples would remember His blood (the wine) and His crucified body (the bread). His last instructions before facing the hammer and the nails were to give thanks for the torture that was about to happen because through it we could be saved. He saw beyond the pain itself and looked to what the pain could do: bring joy. Hebrews 12:1c, 2 puts it this way:

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us  2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

On Monday I listed my thanksgivings for the hard things in my life. None of them are nearly as difficult as crucifixion, but, nonetheless, they are mine. I’ve had some days to think about giving thanks for each of these so here are some preliminaries:

#431 lice at work.

I got to see several of my colleagues go beyond the call of duty in this case. I have a heightened respect for each one of them.  The patient, who was cared for extraordinarily, left with a good feeling about our hospital unit. She realized that whatever happened, we’d be there for her.

#432 dishonesty at work.

In the face of evil, one is forced to make choices. You find out who lives by principal and who just “goes along”. It is also a good teaching ground for the young to teach them ethics in caring.

#433 varicose veins that making standing difficult.

Struggling day by day to keep up, I have an empathy for those struggling with a chronic condition. This is an expansion of my boundaries and a new knowing that deepens my compassion for others.

#434 forgetfulness that makes multi-tasking difficult.

This is another struggle that heightens my awareness of and compassion for those who struggle with mental deficiencies, mental illnesses and psychic phenomena.

#435 my dog that is confused attacking my youngest dog.

I have often said it is good that I have a spouse the same age as I am. He can understand what I am going through. It’s a plus being old with an older pet, too. I am not so quick to judge. I overlook a lot more than I would have as a younger pet owner. I am more alert to his needs and try to stay ahead of them. He knows he can count on me to help him when he gets afraid. It’s a return on the investment he made in me when he was a young pup. He stuck with me through thick and thin and now I feel blessed to be able to do the same for him.

#436 that my lovely frozen pond melted before my skates could touch it.

I was not able to skate, but my grand-daughter and grandson had great fun crunching the ice under their boots, kinda like popping package stuffing which they LOVE to do. I bet ice crunching was a bigger hit than ice skating would have been to them. Who knew?

#437 a 72% on the Civil Service “test” for a new job (not a high score).

My ‘career’ is in the hands of the Lord. If I am still in the hospital it’s because He wants me there. I trust Him.

#438 my family physician has given up his practice and now my husband and I have no doctor.

The saddest part of this is that Doogie was more than our doctor, he was our friend, and as much as we want him to be our doctor, we want him to take care of himself and his family more. He had to get out from under his present employer to do that. God bless Him. Please pray with me for a doctor for my family or we may have to start going to our vet.

#439 a manager at work got away with gross mismanagement.

This kind of behavior and the cover-up of it afterwards by her superiors cannot go on forever. I have lived long enough to see the Lord work in such situations. I believe the Lord will raise His standard at the appointed time. I am praying the serenity prayer daily. I was also made aware of a beautiful song from The Story CD. I post it here for your edification. Click on the title Born for This (Esther) to hear it.

Born for This (Esther) Mandisa

#440 colleagues of mine have unjustified poor evaluations in their personnel files.

These nurses’  poor evaluations must stand to maintain administration’s cover up of their manager’s gross improprieties. Those of us who work together know who works hard and well and who “goofs off.” We will stand up for one another if the need arises. Until then, we continue to work hard and well. We are not working for the manager, we are working for mothers, babies and their families.

#441 after contemplating Christmas, I now must contemplate Calvary.

I began this post with how Jesus viewed the cross and how he wants me to remember Him in communion. I will celebrate with thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading this very long post.

I love you for it,



11 comments on “Thanksgiving is not natural in the best of times

  1. Dawn, your song says it well…
    so…may you step in the gap that needs to be filled… He goes with you preparing the way!

    I am with you in celebrating with Thanksgiving!
    I will pray for those ouchie varicose veins !

  2. Dear Susan,

    I feel the momentum building. Those who want to stand are finding one another and are bracing for the time when we must say, no, no way, not this time. I think Esther was like me. She was not a rebelrouser. She was just a girl who was in a situation. II think that is true in most instances. I think of your daughter and how she is “just doing it!”

    Ah, I am too tired right now. I think I will sleep on all this,
    Much love,

  3. Very thoughtful, lovely post. I want to read it several times. I never thought of how Christ was thanking the Father for the terrible time He was going to go through when He gave thanks for that broken bread and poured wine. Praying for you in your present tough time. I am seeing God deepening and strengthening you (though you may not see it at this point). May He continue to do so — and to give you needed rest!

  4. Dear Sylvia,

    The discovery of thankfulness before the cross was a pivotal point in Ann Voscamp’s journey of faith into thanksgiving as the key to living life abundantly. The thoughts I presented here were directly from her book 1000 Gifts. It is a revolutionary work reviving the premise that in everything we are to give thanks.

    I smiled when you prayed that I get rest. I pray the same for you, my dear sister in Christ. How’s it going?


  5. The link to the song ministered greatly to me. Thank you for sharing. It even led me to other songs from that album, which spoke directly to my heart. (And I think your new blog design is BEAUTIFUL, as are you!)

  6. Dear Cristal,

    The same thing happened to me when I went to Mary’s song from the album at another blogger’s request. I must have sat there for an hour listening to song after song. How did I miss this great production with some of the proceeds going to World Vision? That is the blessing of the interconnectedness we have in blogging. I want to get all my kids copies of The Story for Valentine’s Day. I just have to find out if they listen by CD or MP3 or whatever. Nothing is as easy as it seems, ha!

    You bless me with your encouraging words. Have a lovely day,

  7. let’s see, from your thank you list my favorites – well, I heart your muttlies – so that one – and the hard thank you’s – your job stuff – you know I’ve prayed – it’s good you have allies – but be careful what you say in this space – evil people troll the Internet looking for ammunition sometimes – don’t give them any – still – I’m in your corner, although that doesn’t count for much, but our God is there to – and that counts for substantially more I suspect 🙂 God bless you Dawn.

    • Thank you for the good advice, Craig, and I guess for clarification I should say my colleagues’ bad evaluations from the mismanagement manager didn’t come from our present manager, but having such things in one’s file are difficult to shake if you need to go elsewhere.

      I sat with the little dog on my lap much of the afternoon until he decided to get down. He seemed to relax a bit in the familiar lap. He ate food today, too. He usually eats well one day out of 3. Today was the day. I’m always thankful when he eats because I know he’ll go on. If he ever doesn’t eat on day 3, I think that may be it.

  8. Dear Dawn . . . first of all I have to say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new look. Woohoo!! Look’s so clean, classy and professional. Good job
    I love how you have found “gold” in each of the hard things you are giving thanks for. I have been praying for your legs, your precious pups and your job situation.

    I had my last physio session today and have been referred to an aquatics program for hip and knee replacement patients. I will investigate whether that will work out for me.

    Hugs to you, dear lady.

  9. I think I am a rebelrouser. But… the plow needs a sharp blade to open the pathway, doesn’t it? I have upset people with my blade. (I prefer to call myself a change agent. It feels better than rebelrouser:-)

    I cherish you and your thinking out loud (in print) and I learn so very much from your musings. Thank you for allowing me access, dear one. Know that with every post, I marvel at your insight.

    Looking for thankfulness in everything….

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