Thanksgiving... Giving Thanks. Thankful for the things I have been given. I am the sponsor of a club at my school called the Kindness and Compassion Club. We do exactly what it says... promote Kindness and Compassion throughout our school, city, state, and world. It goes along with Rachel's Challenge, which was started by the family of one of the students killed in the Columbine Shooting, Rachel Scott. It is a really great program and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time pouring into these kids and challenging them to be not only kind when people are watching, but also when they are alone. I have had the opportunity to love on and encourage them. I speak Gospel truth and use my time there to shine brightly and let Jesus speak through me. It is really awesome and I love it.
Coming back from that bunny trail, I talked to my KC Club about what it means to be thankful. We talked about how we are a people who are constantly dissatisfied with our lives. We always want more, more, more. We rarely stop to thank the Lord for what we have been given and what He has provided for us. I had them make posters about the things they were thankful for, and then I had them make announcements every day saying what they were thankful for. I thought in doing this, that the entire school could get the mindset that we are very blessed. The second week I thought it would be good for the students to hear what the teachers were thankful for. I thought it would humanize them to the kids and let them see that we are just like they are.
It literally shocked me how hard it was for people to tell me what they were thankful for. I would ask them "what is something you are thankful for that you would like to share with the school?" And you would have thought I asked them "which of your children do you love the least?" haha Ok that may be a bit dramatic, but it was sad. I thought, "gosh, I have so many things in my life I am so blessed by that it is hard for me to chose just ONE thing to have said." I think we have developed this mindset that if things aren't going exactly the way we want them to that life is hard or bad. That if we are having to cut back a little financially or if our life plans/goals are not coming at the pace we'd like them to (guilty) that things are tough and we are 'just getting by'.
Maybe it is because I have seen what true poverty, sickness, sadness and hurt looks like. Maybe it is because I have felt a tummy grumbling so fiercely while holding a precious baby boy that I have a clear vision of what the meaning "I'm STARVING" feels like. Perhaps it is because I have seen the look on a child's face when I told them 'I love you' and realized that was the first time they have ever been told that, that I know what loneliness overcome by joy looks like. But I also see what restoration in Jesus looks like. He has allowed me to see "good news for the poor" and "freedom for captives" (Isaiah 61:1).
::Lord... let me not get so overwhelmed with this temporal life I have. Let my eyes be constantly fixed on You and Your goodness. Let me not only be reminded of all the blessings You have poured out on my life during this time of the month but year round. Allow me to be a light in my school, my church, my group of friends, my family, my neighbors and those I come into contact with. Let my THANKFULNESS be attractive to those I encounter and that it is contagious.::
What I am THANKFUL for :
-My Beloved. I am thankful that He loved me so much that despite already knowing my disgusting sin and choices that He chose to die for me. That He endured pain and hate and suffering so I wouldn't have to. That He still constantly pursues me and loves me despite my mistakes. And that He is my advocate and fights for me when I am helpless and broken.
-My Family. I have an amazing father who loves me well and provides me for. He seeks to uplift me and points me to Jesus in every situation. I have a mother that is caring and wants the best for me. I have two sisters who have become my close friends. We used to fight a lot but by the grace of God, He is maturing our hearts and spirits and allowing us to truly enjoy and look forward to each other's company!
-My Friends. I have two different groups. First group... I have friends of old (who are still my friends but we don't get to see each other as often). These are my E's, who I have written about on here. They are the women who I met my freshman year of college and who were apart of some big points in my life. They were and will always be there for me and I am so blessed by them! Second group, is my current group of friends/community. These are the men and women that I live life with. They are the ones that I can count on to come hang when I am bored, join me in a random late night movie, listen to me when I am sad or angry or lonely, pray for me and know the things I am going through, get heated when I am hurt by someone and promise to be there for me and protect me when I am scared. They know my heart and tend to it well. They are the ones who encourage and care for me. I am so blessed by the group of people I have in my life right now. The Lord has really poured out His grace on me in this area.
-My School. I love my job. This year has been kind of overwhelming, but so good. In my times of craziness... which happen almost daily... it reminds me that I am so weak and cannot do it on my own. It points me to Jesus and has me pour out my junk at His feet and rest in His will. I have a job that I can love on people well and help shape the lives of our future. I am intentional with my words and actions and see every opportunity as a chance to share Jesus.
-My Church. Gosh-- I don't even know what to say. My church is amazing. It doesn't sugar coat things which I appreciate so much. It makes me uncomfortable and convicted every single Sunday. It is brings the Gospel and shows us how to sift things that are not of the Lord out of our lives. It has made me understand and fall more in love with Jesus more. It has allowed me to see Him as not only a Pursuer, a Father, and Protector, a Romancer, a Satisfier, a Confidant, a Teacher, a Motivator, a Comforter, a Heartbreak Healer.... but as a Friend, a Care Taker, a Shepherd, a Savior, the Creator, the Maker, Life Sustainer, My Redeemer, Lord and King, Beginning and the End.
I am thankful for my life and the purpose I have here on this Earth. Use me Father... wake me up from my stagnate life and allow me to be used for Your glory!