In the Walmart parking lot tonight I passed by a husband throwing up his arms yelling at his wife for how stupid she was spending more money on Thanksgiving than she made this week. Ah, and so begins the highly anticipated and equally dreadful consumer holiday spirit. Thank you Hallmark and Target for the unreasonable expectations of a perfect holiday in a broken world.
The last time I got to have Thanksgiving with my mom was 20yrs ago, in her hospital room. The homemade feast we lugged up five floors was cold and the radiation burned in her stomach as we tried to “make the best of it.” That sucked. This year I have friends who can’t escape loneliness, one fighting to live through the chemo that’s trying to kill her cancer, a friend who is losing a job right now along with a few hundred of his co-workers, a customer who’s son got jailed for the 3rd time this year because “he’ll never learn”, etc. “Happy Holidays!” It’s a bit unfitting to say the least.
Earlier this month I read some FB-posts giving thanks for each day in November leading up to Thanksgiving. They were primarily remarks of thankfulness for favorable circumstances which in turn can make any of us less fortunate to feel cursed. So, I challenged myself. I wondered if I could come up with a “thankful” list that didn’t point to warm houses, new cars, good jobs, loyal friends, life long romances, and perfect kids. All of these “blessings” for sure feel good and are worthy of thanks. They are also at risk of a sudden loss and that can make a holiday suck. At my desk, in-between my 50+ phone calls, I jotted some thoughts and ended up with a list of 30 unchanging realities. I really wrote this for my own meditation but after the Walmart episode I thought I’d share. Maybe, if your circumstances suck right now, you’ll find something to be thankful for that promises to never change.
Jesus, Thank You for …
- Your stunning wisdom and revelation insight, You keep me fascinated
- Your prepaid forgiveness for everything, that astounds me
- Your blood, it lets You see me just-as-if I’ve never sinned
- Your looks of love toward me
- Your eternal desires to be with me, I still can’t understand that
- Not flinching at my uglies when I dare to expose them to You
- My doubts and objections never convincing You
- Collecting my tears, that makes me feel cherished
- Hearing me, after all who am I to be heard by You?
- Drawing near to me when I draw near to You
- Resisting my pride, I would have fallen so many times if You hadn’t got in my way
- Helping me to know Your voice
- Making it possible for me to live without offense more and more, BTW this is blowing my mind more and more
- Healing my heartbreaks, where would I be without You?
- Never fearing to tell me the truth
- Making me courageous with Your very courage
- Trusting me with Your mysteries
- Never giving up on my ass
- Liking me
- Claiming me as Your own like You’re proud of me or something
- Holding me out like a light for others to see because You think I’m worth looking at over and over again
- Defending me
- Never letting shame separate us
- Being faithful to me, You’re resilience makes me marvel
- Making plans to always set me up for a good outcome
- Putting me in You; You’ve made me worth good things that I will never deserve
- Staying captivated with my potential in You instead of my weakness
- Singing n dancing over me with delight, I’ve never had that before
- Making my hopes float when hoping makes me tired
- Wooing me to rest in You especially when it doesn’t make sense… oh, and
- Not letting me marry a dude who shames me in Walmart parking lots:-)