Monday, November 24, 2014

Full of Thanks

Dear Family and Friends,

Full of thanks, how I hope so!!! If not thankfulness what might we be filled with in the daily circumstances of life?

It would be easy to fall into the trap of being full of bitterness, resentment, and regret. Bitter as in thinking our life is not as ”perfect” as another's that’s looking better, regretful as in thinking our kids don’t… or do…., angry that God isn’t fair. I smile at this, as if we humans could be God’s scorekeepers.

After enjoying many Thanksgiving celebrations now I’ve learned thankfulness is a daily resolution, a mind-set to help us rise up when the not-so-nice or just plain awful stuff happens to us. As well as a gulp of awe when amazing good enters our personal world.

Thankfulness includes my husband’s skin cancer of his lower lip that required three surgeries over the last three weeks including plastic reconstructive surgery. We didn’t like the chill that ripped over us when he heard the C-word, but the blessed hands that ministered to Wayne, the gracious, tender medical care he received were a joy to behold. Thanks be to God, he’s cancer free and looks normal again.

Our thankful attitude was challenged less dramatically by our kitchen sink and faucet hitting beyond repair status. Instead of just being "oh no something else on the list to deal with" this turned into a delightful encounter with the plumber who arrived to install the new one.  Our conversation went like this:

Plumber: “Lady your garbage disposal is old, it’s probably not going to work or be a tight fit after I disconnect it and reinstall. I’m just telling you I can’t warrant it and your counter top looks like it will crack when I take out the old one. I’ll do my best but I’m letting you know in advance plus if I have to enlarge the opening it’s another $75.
Me: “Okay, go ahead. I’ll pray it goes well.”
Plumber: “For this you better go to church to pray. You’ve got old pipes under here.”
Me: Laughing. “God is everywhere even in my kitchen.”
Plumber afterward: “I’m really surprised how well that went.”
Me: Smiling. “I told you prayer works. God cares about everything even my sink.”

But best of all, I also had a chance to talk this kind young plumber briefly about his wife studying to be a nurse and his five--year-old daughter. And give him a paper copy of my Emotional Intimacy Reviver Tool of questions for close conversation so he and his wife can grow their marriage strong. (It's free on my website. Click here to print out a copy. http://www.judithrolfs.com/Dr._Judith_Rolfs/Intimacy_Reviver.html

Would I have believed God was responsive even if my husband’s body wasn’t cancer-free again and the sink install wasn’t so smooth ? Actually yes. Thanksgiving comes from learning to trust God has a plan and purpose in all things which ultimately work together for our good. I’ve had a full lifetime of witnessing this.

WE/I receive huge benefit from being thankful. Is this why the Scripture verse “In everything give thanks to God for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5: 18 is included in the Bible? At first it doesn’t seem to make sense. Everything? Isn’t this a doozy to meditate on. Yes it’s true, accept what can't be changed, yet it doesn't mean we don't take action to right obvious wrong.

Blessed Happy Thanksgiving this Thursday and every day of your life. This is our wish for you, for all of us, as we appreciate God’s creation of turkeys and celebrate being with people we love who enrich our world. 

(Dan's wife Stephanie shot this picture three days ago of a fun Saturday night game night. We do love our board games!)