Monday, March 14, 2011

Gains and Losses: Giving Thanks

Counting the gifts and in the process discovering that everything that comes to me comes directly from the Father's hands.

There have been moments when I've questioned that. Everything? Directly? Even the new cell phone (for which I am so grateful)? Well yes - even that. He was the one who gifted someone with the ability to dream up something so innovative. He provided the way for the dream to take form. He supplied the resources for me to be able to purchase it.

They are sometimes like tangled balls of yarn, these gifts. I work at the knots and twists, stretching out the strands and find they all lead straight back to the Father's hands. Hands that open wide to draw me in, and I run to Him. I embrace the gifts.

But what of those things that don't seem like gifts at all? Those things that bring pain and sorrow and loss. Is it possible that these too pass through the hands of a loving God? I take up these balls of yarn and with trembling hands work at the mess that has brought me to the depths of despair. The thread plays out, and I find myself standing before those outstretched hands.

I am faced with a choice. Will I embrace these as gifts too? Will I believe that He is good and loving? Will I trust that His word is true and that He will somehow weave these threads into something beautiful? Or will I turn and walk away, refusing to acknowledge that He is trustworthy?

I have been in that place. I have had a season of walking away. I have learned that there is, for me, no other place to go. I have turned around, stepped into that embrace and found that He is love. He has taken the gifts I scorned and turned them into priceless treasure. They have not changed in outward appearance, but they have given birth to something in my heart that could only come from His hands.

He gives good gifts - always, and I embrace them:

77- delicate flowers on the Crown of Thorns plant - a reminder that there are different kinds of
78- Leonard - a timid, gentle dog who likes nothing better than to just be with the family

79 - deer, deer everywhere!

80-sparkling lake set between rolling hills
81-the wind whipping up white caps

82- wild plum trees blooming - brilliant splash of purple

83-a crisp, clear sunny day - the humidity all blown away
84- Lisa home safely from Paris
85- Mom and Dad back to their Sunday School class and feeling well
86- He dipped His brush and painted the sky in every shade of blue imaginable, then added a
few wisps of white around the edges
87- medicine delivered in just two days - a little miracle in answer to prayer
88- the grace and patience of my dear piano teacher
89- windows open to fresh breezes
90- the smell of fresh air filling the house
91- brilliant stars on a black cloth spread across heaven
92- a little bit of rain
93- heavy winds in the night; safely cocooned in the RV
94- evening walks
95- a new knitting project
96- the gift of beautiful yarn
97- taking family to our church
98- dinner with family and friends
99- granddaughters' birthdays
100- discovering a new yarn shop - all the beautiful yarn!
101- eating lunch outdoors at a little restaurant
102- listening to my sister-in-law tell stories - a master story-teller
103- overwhelming need and a God who is sufficient
104- husband doing the vacuuming and power-washing the house to a sparkling white
105- the comfort of home and my own bed
106- devastating tragedy; knowing God is in control
107- when there is nothing I can do - prayer
108- a brilliant sliver of moon
109- new beginnings
110- the Savior who connects our hearts
111- a "real" letter in the mailbox
112- encouragement
113- filling folders with music
114- perfect spring days
115- the way His word speaks to my heart
116- seeing the things that need to change and knowing there is grace
117- a pretty silk scarf
118- love and grace extended when there could have been anger and resentment
119- getting the wrong day for an appointment and being graciously seen anyway
120- sitting by the fire at our favorite little restaurant for lunch
121- colorful little rugs for the kitchen and hall
122- new piano music - hymns!
123- the sun room
124- new cell phone
125- sitting on the front porch with my sister-in-law
126- little birds coming to the birdbath for a drink and a little bath
127- butterflies dancing
128- birdsong
129- the click of knitting needles
130- Mountain Laurel blooming
131- oak leaves raining down, covering the lawn - the old making way for the new
132- blowing my diet (oh those French cookies!); a new start today

Joining the gratitude community at Ann's to give thanks to the One who loves us lavishly.