Reluctant Thanksgiving

IMG_4915This chair bids me sit in it. I have to pass it when arising from my bed in the morning. I have to pass it when getting clothes into and out of my dresser. I can see it as I come up the stairs and look down the hallway through the open door of my bedroom. It is my Thanksgiving chair. It is there to remind me over and over again throughout the day to sit a moment and just give thanks. Well, I am better at sitting there and giving thanks for the good, warm fuzzy things and situations in my life, but I have been challenged to go sit there when I receive bad news, have a headache, experience frustration, have eaten too much or think my husband should be more sensitive. This chair never moves. It is always ready to have me sit between its arms and receive my thank you’s. I am ready to do so when I am excited and happy and joyful. I am not ready to do so when I am angry and disappointed and sullen. I am learning to go no matter how I feel. The chair is helping me to change my attitude about thanksgiving. I am learning that giving thanks no matter what, changes me. A sullen, cranky, miserable, hopeless Dawn becomes an excited, cheerful, happy, hopeful Dawn in the chair through thanksgiving. The chair is not magic, but it sparks obedience to be thankful in all things. When I am obedient, Jesus can work miracles in me. It’s going to be an extra Merry Christmas this year and an especially Happy New Year. This year is going to be the year Emmanual, God with me. I am thankful

#926 for the re-elected President of the United States. God is working out His purposes on the earth.

#927 for poetry that says just what I want to say, so poetically.

#928 for a grandson who dressed fast (including matching his socks) when told he could talk to Mamie on the phone if he hurried.

#929 for sisters who made my birthday fabulous.

#930 for the experiences of the past year that readied me to care for countless others.

#931 for Truth so clear that others can see its fruit after 42 years of living it and want to have it, too.

#932 for my husband’s churches who give Him the motivation to keep fighting His pain.

#933 for my husband’s pain that makes Him so very sensitive to the needs of others.

#934 for my son and grand-daughter ready for their short-term mission in Haiti.

#935 for finally having medical coverage for #24.00 every two weeks instead of $500.00 per month.

#936 for not being able to get to the dentist for a month to get a broken tooth fixed and finding out the delay enabled my dental insurance to pay bill.

#937 for the insurance company rejecting payment for my husband’s $1000.00 per month prescription medication. (Paul says to be thankful in everything. We’ll see where this takes us!)

#938 for burning candles.

#939 for Christmas cards in the mail.

#940 for taking a shower with my little hospice dog and how the warm water soothed him.

#941 for how my mother and her husband make dozens and dozens of cookies and give them out for everyone to enjoy.

#942 for my mother’s husband going to a blood doctor on Friday to see why his blood doesn’t look normal. Terry loves the Lord and is taking Him with him.

#943 for books that connect my son to the Lord.

#944 that my daughter has a good boss.

#945 for days off from work to write down my list.

#946 for a grandson who made his Mamie a beaded bracelet and ring for her birthday.

#947 for rain (and snow).

#948 for the time of waiting for heaven to come down to earth in the form of a baby.

Emmanuel, God with us,

Dawn

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15 comments on “Reluctant Thanksgiving

  1. Dawn, I have prayed often for you, as I know how full your schedule is right now, as wellas your heart! I don’t know how you do it all and I often think you must have more hours in your day than I do!!! I love your chair! What a great thing to remind you to give thanks. And I love that you chose His Name, Emmanuel. A long ways back, when I was in the 6th grade, I had to memorize a large portion of John l. And as an adult, verse 14 comes back so often and strikes awe and quietness in my heart: “And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us, the glory as of the only begotten father, full of grace and truth.” There are so many things you could dwell on in this verse, but it does wrap up in beautiful package the name Emmanuel. To think of Him WITH me! Always, always, always!

    I love the thought of your little hospice doggie in the shower with you. Such a sweet thing!

    It was so good for me to stop by here today. Thank you for taking the time!

    • Dear Cora,

      When I see you have left a comment my heart soars. I thank you so much for being here and leaving your comments. I can tell you read each word for you mention so many things that my heart feels. It’s like you can read between the lines. I don’t remember when I first saw the thanksgiving chair, but when I did I thought, “Wow that is such a great idea.” A short time after that I saw where Susan got a thanksgiving chair and Carrie. Mine was a longer time in coming, but it is such a great ‘forcer’ to be what I am called to be..thankful and praising.

      Ah, to have John 1 in my memory. Such great Scripture, especially the verse you quoted. The Word became flesh. You are so good with words. This verse must certainly have so much meaning for you. I am thinking a lot about birth lately as my life has been devoted to they childbearing family up till now. A young woman in church on Sunday showed me a picture of her day-old niece and I marveled at her hair and wide open eyes and tiny two lips. It never grows old with me–the fact that a whole individual can grow inside a woman and simply emerge and be. Jesus chose that journey to be with us. I thank Him, again.

  2. Emmanual… the “God with me” year…. I could go with that Dawn. After all the grace He bestowed this past year I am ready for believing Emmanuel, God with us.
    Yay for #935 # 936 and that you are so close to 1000! Your thanksgiving chair will be worn smooth! will be praying for your # 937

    • You know, Susan, I am reading a book right now entitled Neighbors and Wise Men and I just read the end of one of the early chapters this morning where the author writes how he was raised in a world of haves and have-nots. He goes on to say that his world was not about how some are rich and some are poor; or some are black and some are white; but rather how some know God and some do not. He became uncomfortable with that as a young adult as he began to find great wisdom in places like a Porland, Oregon Pub where supposedly God was not (at least not God as he knew Him). When I say Emmanuel that means God with us, but who are the ‘us’? I am being faced with having to be very discerning about who ‘us’ is. In some ways, I have larger-than-life blinders on and discredit people based on their worldview. Perhaps this year will be a year of enlarging before refining. Hmmmm, pondering…

  3. Ah, a thanksgiving chair! What a good thing! I ought to turn one into that! (There’s one in my upstairs hallway I pass a lot, most days…) I think I remember seeing a video about one. Is that where you got the idea?
    Sorry for the sad things and sullen-makers. God bless your intentional gratitude attitude! Prayers for you. I love reading your list of thanks. #936 is the kind of thing I’ve been seeing God do here, there, and the next place. I especially like your boldness in #937, and hope it turns out to be another!
    Peace and blessings to you.

  4. One thing I am discovering, Sylvia, is that I don’t worry nearly so much. Thanksgiving is a turning over of the outcomes to God. I still strive to follow His way and be obedient, but when the outcome is not what I expected, I don’t get as frustrated. I figure this is for a reason. The recent presidential election could have thrown me over the edge, but I believe He is in control and that makes all the difference. I have a friend who told me yesterday that her parents were paying for a cruise for her, her children, her brother and his family so they could have this wonderful family time before the folks are too old to do it. She then proceeded to tell me her brother is a quadraplegic and got that way driving drunk. She says the cruise is going to be quite a challenge. I told her I would pray and I told her to expect her brother to be different. I told her God can change his heart, not us. I was preaching to me. I have to let things in God’s hands. We all do. I am learning.

  5. Your chair is beautiful and so are you. Each time you sit there and name the people and things and circumstances that you are thankful for you are making a deposit that will bear interest at a good rate. I envision your grandchildren being drawn to Mamie’s thanksgiving chair and being enveloped by the spirit of gratitude that has seeped into the spindles and seat, even the very grain of the wood. A truly anointed piece of furniture. Hugs, my friend.

    • It is so very interesting to me that you would use the words of an accountant to describe what is happening here. I LOVE it. I had just been presented papers at work to sign up for a retirement plan. I thought about how the American dollar is not worth anything and how the whole economy is on the edge of collapse and I remember our own Ann telling us how we should invest in relationships. And so, when you talked about my chair bearing interest I said, “Hallelujah! It truly is the only thing that does in this world.” Thank you so very much, Andrea Dawn! Your words were precious jewels to me today.

  6. Your chair reminds me of the corner of my couch. I have had so many good memories sitting here- as well as some of the darkest moments of my life. All while looking at the mountain outside- it kept changing. So have I. God is good, even if I can’t always see it. The chair, and my corner of the couch, will be there:)

    • Oh, my. My friend Danelle has a red couch she sits in in the same way. We all have our places it seems. I had to intentionally make a place for thanksgiving because I had not been thankful. It was a new dimension for me and so it demanded a new place. It is fast becoming one of my best places, not a favorite place yet, but a best place. He is teaching me.

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