Monday, October 10, 2011

On Thankfulness...

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before Him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are His.
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
Go into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good.

His unfailing love continues forever,
And His faithfulness continues to each generation.
~ Psalm 100 (NLT), A psalm of thanksgiving.
We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend. As we gathered with family and friends over food, food and more food... I was reminded of something that was said to me during our visit with Florianlyn, our Compassion sponsor child in the Philippines, this past Summer.

After we had lunch together that day, we offered Florianlyn's mother to take home with them all the left-over food. This is what she said to me, "This is grace... for tonight we will have food for dinner!"

Ever since coming back from the Philippines, each time our family has an over-abundance of food {and quite frankly, that is most of the time!} that one sentence manifests itself in my mind.

And I ask myself... do I consider it grace to have something to eat at each meal? Or is it just something that I have come to expect as a given? If I am to be perfectly honest... no, it doesn't occur to me on first thought that it actually is grace... for I have never had to worry about not having food to feed my family!

Oh, the contrast!
This stark contrast... 
Between we who have and those who have not.

And, oh to have a thankful heart like that of Florianlyn's mom...

So as I reflect on these things on this Thanksgiving weekend, I am made even more aware of the spiritual poverty that those of us who live in the comforts of North America have... a poverty of spirit, more grave than the physical poverty which we saw in the Philippines.

Lord, have mercy on us and help us to realize the depths of our spiritual poverty!
They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. ~ Matthew 5:3 (NCV)
I love this quote by Ann Voskamp, from her book One Thousand Gifts:
God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away. That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living. That our lives become the very blessings we have received.
This is one way in which our family practices thanksgiving... giving thanks away... to those who have less than we do. In so doing, we become more and more aware of the state of our spiritual poverty. We become more and more aware of our need to depend on God for everything, for His daily grace!

And... counting more and more of His grace-gifts that know no end, this week's 1,000 Gifts list continues with #1030 - #1044:

~ Piles of laundry, for it means we have clothes to wear.
~ Broken furnace being replaced.
~ Sipping coffee and sharing a dessert with hubby.
~ Acupuncture for my injured arm.
~ A day at the zoo with my sisters and their families.
~ Talking my boy through some hard stuff.
~ Fighting an ugly spirit of un-thankfulness.
~ Getting together with old friends we haven't seen in years.
~ A busy kitchen, for it means we have food to eat.
~ A lovely Thanksgiving meal.
~ Family and friends to share it with.
~ Rest for my boy who is feverish.
~ My girl writing to all our Compassion children this month!
~ Receiving letters from almost all of our Compassion kids this week.

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Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving. Your words are so powerful. Thanks for sharing.


  2. You always put it into words so well. I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving. I love Psalm 100!