Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On Celebrating Thanksgiving and Living Out Thanks

Hello Tuesday...
I am sitting here, trying to jump-start my week, after a four-day long weekend. It was Thanksgiving weekend for us here in Canada and we had an added bonus this year of a day off from school on Friday!

My heart is heavy this morning. Just as we finished our Thanksgiving Dinner last night, Facebook lit up with posts about a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hitting Cebu, Philippines. We have family there and our Compassion LDP student is also there. We have been able to connect with most... and are thankful that everyone is safe, though some have suffered minor injuries, loss of and/or damage to property. We are in the process of seeing how we can send help for this time of need... for such a time as this!

Through it all... all *is* still grace!
Eucharisteo means "to give thanks," and give is a verb, something that we do. 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.
I am blessed. I can bless. Imagine! I could let Him make me the gift!
I could be the joy!
In an endless cycle of grace, He gives us gifts to serve the world.
It's the fundamental, lavish, radical nature of the upside-down economy of God.
Empty to fill.
Here I can become the blessing, a little life that multiplies joy, making the larger world a better place.
God can enter into me, even me, and use these hands, these feet, to be His love, a love that goes on and on and on forever, endless cycle of grace.
{My most favourite excerpt, from Chapter 10 of the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp... thoughts I've been reflecting on over the Thanksgiving weekend.}
Yes! "That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living." Reflecting on these thoughts all weekend somehow prepared me for the news of the earthquake. As I read the Facebook posts and scanned the Twitter feeds, my heart was ready to live out thanks... to extend help as best we can, to be the hands and feet of Jesus!

Speaking of reflecting...
I had much time to do that this weekend as I knitted! Yes... you read that right... I learned to knit this weekend... something I never thought I'd ever do! Because, you know... isn't knitting something only grandmas would do?!? ;)

Here's the proof!

BUT... you see, my girl... she started this thing called Freedom Creations. It is a project that blossomed from her heart as she came to see that "every person is created with a purpose and made for freedom."

As she knitted, fighting slavery one stitch at a time... I became inspired. {Side note: this same girl ;)... inspired us onto the journey of child sponsorship one Christmas a while back by asking for nothing else but a Compassion sister as her Christmas present! Don't you just love how God works through children to change the trajectory of our faith path? :)}

Now... where was I? Oh yes, I became inspired... inspired to learn how to knit, so that I can fight slavery too!

I knitted the weekend away... all the while listening to this All Sons & Daughters album. As I sang along, "You are the Saviour and You take brokenness aside and make it beautiful, beautiful..." and "I will love, love, love with this heart You've made for You've been good always...", tears started to fall as I realized how God was speaking to me.

As I knitted and sang along, He was telling me that...

Just like knitting where it is done one stitch at a time, fighting slavery is a slow process. The battle will not be won overnight... that I need to just keep loving with this heart He's made, for He's been good always!

Just like knitting and how the tips of my fingers hurt bad from the needles constantly poking them, fighting slavery will be painful and will take sacrifice. It was also a reminder to me that those who are trapped in modern-day slavery live in pain, every single day of their lives... and not just pain on their fingertips. That thought definitely encouraged me to keep knitting despite the pain I was feeling.

Just like knitting where I need to keep going if I want to see a finished product, we can not give up fighting slavery. We need to set our eyes on the goal, which is freedom.

Just like knitting and the beautiful finished product that resulted from the many, many, many (!) single stitches, in fighting slavery we will see how our Saviour takes brokenness aside and makes it beautiful! 

Friends, I am happy to report that I helped to create a beautiful slouchy hat just like this one... and that I am officially a knitter, fighting slavery and living out thanks... one stitch at a time! And, please... no grandma jokes! ;)



Interspersed within the knitting lessons this weekend...
We had a great Thanksgiving, gathering with both sides of the family and some friends... celebrating communion with our church family... and enjoying the beautiful Autumn hues outdoors as we were blessed with such beautiful weather for most of the weekend!

A little friend came to visit, outside our patio door!

Chicken from the farm.

Setting up the tripod for a family photo. :)

Asking them to pose... again! :)

Love these two... so much!

:: :: ::

As I continue to live out thanks and give thanks by counting grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who is always good and who always loves... these are the things I am thankful for these past few weeks... #3063 - #3078:
:: The many opportunities to live out our thanks... to be Jesus' hands and feet in this hurting world.
:: Coaching my boy's Robotics Team and the progress they have made so far towards Tournament Day.
:: A boxful of free yarn for my girl... from hubby's cousin, just in time for the launch of Freedom Creations!
:: My boy celebrating 13 candles!
:: The start of another ministry year.
:: Organizing a 1,000-pounds Thanksgiving Food Drive at our church and being blown away by the 2,347-pounds of food that came in!
:: Helping a friend photograph her art work for an Art Sale benefiting a local ministry helping the homeless and the marginalized. Check out the link... you *will* fall in love with Katherine's art! :) 
:: Visiting a long-time Pastor-friend and his wife... and learning about their connection to Freeset bags and the women who make them!!!
:: Discovering the music of All Sons & Daughters! So uplifting and inspiring.
:: Our new Home Church... growing with old friends and some new ones too... and anticipating the things that God has in store for us this year as a faith community.
:: My boy competing at the Battle of Waterloo!
:: Going to the University Fair with my girl. Already?!? Time... please slow down!
:: Access to great medical care... as we continue to investigate the cause of my girl's vision disturbances. Praying that we can finally confirm a diagnosis of migraines sooner than later.
:: New windows for our house before winter arrives.
:: Writing Christmas cards for all of our sponsor children!
:: I am starting to s-l-o-w-l-y run on the treadmill again, after not doing so all summer long. 
Hello shortened week!
As I dive into this short week, I am being mindful of what it says in Psalms 100: 1-5 (NCV) as I seek to continually live out thanks:
Shout to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with joy; come before him with singing. Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends. Come into his city with songs of thanksgiving and into his courtyards with songs of praise. Thank him and praise his name. The Lord is good. His love is forever, and his loyalty goes on and on.
Choosing to live a surrendered life... because Christ's love compels me... and giving thanks for everything that my good God so freely bestows, so lavishly gives and so extravagantly showers!

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Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

2 comments:

  1. Hello! Stopping in from Multitude Monday blog hop. I love how you shared the lessons you learned on knitting, as you knitted the cute hat! I'm glad you had blessed Thanksgiving time. The photos and list you shared were sweet and inspiring!
    Blessings to you!, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds
    http://christintheclouds.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Ann! Blessings to you too!

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