Monday, April 4, 2011

Thanks: When Life Doesn't Go As Planned

I saw her start to pull out and knew there was no way my husband could get out of her way in time. The car shuddered as her car pushed the passenger side rear wheel out of alignment and mashed in its own front bumper. She and I got out of our cars at the same moment. She, so upset and full of apologies - taking responsibility before I could say a word.

Fortunately it was in a parking lot; we were stopped at a stop sign; she had just begun to pull out; no one was hurt. I was thankful for all of those things. I think I even said so, but then began to make a mental list of all the tedious paperwork and telephone calls that were going to be a part of our immediate future. It began at once, with endless phone calls to report the accident, call her parents, the police and the towing service. My well-laid plans for the evening were fast crumbling to dust.

It is my very selfish tendency to get all bent out of shape when life doesn't go according to plan. However, I have a friend who has written a treasure of a book about gratitude. These days I am looking for the gifts the Father pours into my life on a daily basis. Was this little accident, this dent in my plans, meant to be counted as one of those?

The answer is, of course, yes. It is up to me to view it through the prism of gratitude. When seen in that light, it is somehow transformed. So....with thanks:

151 - for keeping us all safe Father
152 - for the opportunity to show grace to a frightened young girl
153 - for her parents who were more than gracious
154 - for the kindness of strangers who stopped to see if all was well
155 - for insurance that covers the cost
156 - for a gracious, competent adjuster
157 - for a husband who called the adjuster's manager to tell him how much we appreciated his work (the manager nearly fell out of his chair, "No one ever calls to tell us we've done a GOOD job!")
158 - for a Father who is with us every moment of every day
159 - for a lesson in learning that my plans are not the most important thing
160 - knowing that people are far more important than things

and other things:
161 - great message from our Pastor - "Don't Worry!"
162 - a wedding gown for our beautiful girl
163 - children leading in worship, and a little girl who couldn't finish her solo for the tears; how I love her tender heart
164 - stars - and You know them by name

linking to the Gratitude Community at Ann's today (where you can print out your very own gratitude journal).