26 November 2008

Thankful


I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart
Is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
That's an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!
~VeggieTales "The Thankful Song"


Well, The (First) Year of Living Thankfully has nearly drawn to a close and I can unequivocably say that it has been an adventure. This exercize of expressing gratefulness to God every single day for the big things and the little things has changed my heart. It has given me a new perspective and actually made me more thankful (What a thought!). It has stretched me when I've felt snarky, and cranky, and sorry for myself, and not the itty bittiest bit thankful. It has also made me dig deep when giving thanks started feeling perfunctory and tedious. Some days, I wrote a lot. Some days, just one word. Sometimes, my heart was bursting with profound thankfulness and happiness, and other times I grumbled out "Thank You, Lord, that today can only last for 24 hours." And that's the truth.

I'll spare you the entire list, all 331 days of it so far. Here's my Reader's Digest version:

1. GOD -- His forgiveness, propitiation (Christ Jesus atoned for my sins with His sacrifice on the Cross and gave me eternal life in Heaven in exchange for my wickedness.), grace for today, the privilege of interceding for others (like Lincoln, Abby, and Abe). That God never lets me get away with one single thing. Never. I am talking not. ever. He has me on His Short Leash List. For grace through suffering which draws me nearer to Him.

2. FAMILY -- My husband, Michael and for our children, Marg, Ricker, Jackie, Evangeline, Elianna Ray, and the precious ones the Lord lent me for a little while, Gwendolyn Grace (Happy birthday, Gwennie.) and Gabriella Joy. For our wonderful extended family: Poppy, Mother, Buddy, Becky, Johnny, Lincoln, Charlotte, and baby Penelope Rose on the way, Lisa, Mark, William, Wesley, Zuzu, Morgan, and Matthew, Papa, Grams, and Grandmother, and all our uncles, aunties, and cousins... for everything they have taught us, for giving us solid roots, for being such dear friends, and for loving us unconditionally.

3. CHURCH -- for both of our church families, Vineyard Newport and Vineyard Anaheim. For worship leaders, youth group, fellowship, friendship, exhortation, and the blessing of being part of the Body of Christ.

4. FRIENDS -- Old friends, new friends, OCEAN friends, for special ones like Karen, Emily, Suzi, Lori, Susan, Xinia the Fabulous Ms. X, Sandra, Amy, Liz, and Deb.

5. GREAT ESCAPES -- My slippers, a bubble bath, my new Bible, going to the spa for a massage or facial, babysitters, housekeepers, and Elizabeth. For going to the grocery store, or any errand, alone... Ahhhh, the wonder of being aloooooone! Days off, the beach and everything about the ocean. For take-out when the last thing I want to do is cook.

6. GREAT READS -- For my all-time favorite authors (Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Emily Bronte, W. Shakepeare, E. M. Forster, Henry James, George Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, James Herriott, Amy Tan, Pat Conroy, Robert Ludlum, C.S. Lewis, Brennan Manning, J.I. Packer, Randy Alcorn, Stott, Cloud, Yancey, Sproul, and Willard), for good brain rotting material (Catherine Coulter, Harlan Coben, and Sue Grafton) and for the one I really read (Danielle Steele... just kidding!).

7. GREAT TUNES -- Sting, U2, Prince, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Chris Cornell, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Patti LaBelle, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Steve Perry, Annie Lennox, Norah Jones, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Crystal Lewis, and Chris Lizotte.

8. FAVORITE SHOWS -- America's Funniest Home Videos (my fave), NCIS, 24, The Unit, CSI:NY, Monk, House, Heroes, Criminal Minds, Eli Stone, Numb3rs, and Alias (yep, I still love it).

9. FINE THINGS and "JUST FINE" THINGS -- China, crystal, sterling silver, fine linens, paper plates, plasticware, and paper napkins.

10. GOOD EATS -- Perrier, Diet Coke, frozen purple grapes, In-n-Out double doubles (animal style), sliced apples, mandarin oranges, blood oranges, The QW salad, whole wheat toast, non-fat milk, taco salad, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, and pretty much anything Mother makes.

11. PLACES I LOVE -- Santa Barbara, Kapalua, Carmel, Newport Beach, and Palm Springs.

12. MISC. -- For long walks, long talks, long kisses, holding hands, kind strangers, neighbors who wave, for all the people who love my kids, and that Not-Nice People are few and far between! For Tylenol PM and a glass of zin after a long day.

And, last but not least, this is one of my favorite entries, truth be told:

13. STUFF THAT MAKES MY WORLD SMELL BETTER Thank You, Jesus for wet wipes, carpet cleaner, Fantastic, stain remover, paper towels, Goo-B-Gone, deodorant and foot powder. For all the things that take the Wooftie! out. And cologne, thank You for cologne! Thank You so very much, dear God, for smelly candles and room spray (We call it "Smelly Good"... as in, "What on earth died in here?! Someone please go get another spray can of Smelly Good for the Scotty potty!").

"O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
~Walter Rauschenbusch




And, for your listening pleasure, the amazing Yolanda Adams. (I think I may have posted this before.) When I get to Heaven, I'm going to sing like this...



"You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
You are my God, and I will exalt You."
Psalm 118:28

13 comments:

Teabo Chica said...

Ah Lauire I am thankful for you my California friend in the blog world who always makes me smile and laugh when I open her blog :)! Thanks for sharing.

Julie said...

What about the Shamwow?? (:
Happy Thanksgiving!!

JourneytoFamily said...

That is the CUTEST little turkey I have ever seen! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

The Redman's said...

You are a true blessing, my friend. I'm thankful for your beautiful heart.

Happy Thanksgiving, to our favorite SoCal family!!

xoxo

Lori said...

Oh, Happy Thanksgiving Laurie! This was a beautiful and inspiring post (surprise)! You always get me all teared up...

I too was expecting a little "shamwow" somewhere in the list... I'm a tad upset about not seeing it! Did I ever mention that Vince is a cousin of mine in real life, and he's a really nice guy too. I didn't want to tell you before and make you feel badly!!

Anyway - I hope you all have a wonderful day and I'm so thankful to know someone as special as YOU!

xoxo Lor
ps... kidding on the vince thing! Gottcha! :) Get the shamwow outta here!!! :)

Hauswife said...

I can't believe I forgot ShamWOW! And, Lor, you are the best. I knew you were ShamWOWing me about Vince... As IF! Xoxo

The Boyce Family said...

How exciting for us to get a comment from you on our blog! We feel like we were just contacted by a celebrity! We have been following your blog for several months now as we've been praying about and now moving forward with an Ethiopan adoption through AGCI. Love reading your posts, your perspective and insight. Happy Thanksgiving!

Melissa said...

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and I love your list! It's amazing how many, many things we have to be thankful when we're intently looking for them.
And your turkey has pretty shoes.

Kristi J said...

Happy Turkey Day to you too!! I'm so excited about meeting Emily on Monday..did you hear she's heading to my house on Monday here in TN?? She was my first blogger friend..I know you guys are friends...just too cool!!! I can't wait to meet sweet Abe especially...My favorite was your sweet baby in the turkey hat!! I loved it...have a great holiday weekend, kristi

Hauswife said...

Kristi, that is so FUN! Give Em, and especially precious Abe a big kiss from his Auntie Laurie!

FHL said...

Wonderful list!!! And I agree...Praise God for smelly good!! :o)

My son loathes the Thankful Veggie Tale song. Probably because it's a choice tune when he starts complaining ;o) Although, some days it would probably do me well to have a similar back-ground singer following me around :o)

Sending Smiles,
M~

be_a_Mary said...

LOVE YOU!! love your list--your gratitude and intentional way of living life. I'm thankful for you!

tish said...

i am thankful for YOU!!! i truly, truly am....you are a wonderful of a REAL godly woman!