Sunday, April 3, 2016
sometimes we need a gratitude adjustment
The other day, my son, Addison and I were taking Flash, his new dog, for a walk.
I asked what he thought the best part of his birthday was this past week.
All of his 10 year old dreams have come true.
Or so I thought.
He had gotten to pick out a dog for his birthday present.
(He has been asking for a dog since he could speak.)
He and a few of his close friends had been to see a movie
and gotten candy and Icees.
then gone to eat delicious pizza at our favorite pizzeria
and followed by a trip to Chuck E. Cheese to play video games.
I had made warm apple turnovers at his request for his birthday breakfast.
And on his actual birthday, Easter Sunday,
he got to choose the burger place that we ate at for lunch.
Candy, icees, turnovers, pizza AND burgers?
Food = Love to 10 year old boys in case you didn't know.
Addison took a deep breath and said,
"Well, what I didn't like was that I had to spend some of my own birthday money
on the games at Chuck E. Cheese."
I was floored.
"Really? We did so many amazing things.
You got a dog and got to hang out with your friends and
all you can come up with is what you didn't like about your birthday?"
He started to back pedal.
He could tell that some righteous Mom indignation was about to flare up.
"No, Mom, I really liked my birthday. I did."
But I was stuck at the point of realizing that after all the time and energy,
I had spent orchestrating a super fun double digit birthday,
after all the money we had spent,
after all the coordinating of rides and special treats,
he was ungrateful.
At least a little bit.
And I was quiet.
Because in that moment, I felt one of those convicting Holy Spirit thoughts poke my brain.
The kind of thought that says, "Now, doesn't that sound familiar?"
The kind of thought that says,
"There is so much that I do for you on a daily basis
but when you talk to me all that you can come up with to say.....
are the things you don't life about your life."
I was quiet because I was realizing that this conversation with Addison
sounded a whole lot like most of my prayer times with Jesus.
The ones where I remind Him about all the things He hasn't given me
or all the things that I wish He would do but that He hasn't done yet.
I rarely enter His gates with thanksgiving.
I enter them more with a whine of "Why hasn't this happened the way that I want it to?"
And I often enter his courts with "not-so-much praise."
I unload all my problems.
Like verbal diarrhea.
At His Holy feet.
I walked along with Addison, in silence, put in my place,
fully aware, that I had a much worse problem of ungratefulness than he did.
Because what has Jesus not given me?
Life. Love. Grace. Mercy. Hope. Forgiveness.
A loving husband. 3 beautiful boys. A close knit family. Good friends.
A home. Food on the table. The career that I longed for. Health in my body and mind.
So why exactly am I not freaking out with joy every morning when I wake up,
undone by his loving kindness and over the top goodness?
Why is appreciation for Jesus and who He is and all He has accomplished...
not my first thought?
Life can be incredibly difficult and painful.
It's not that Jesus doesn't want to hear my problems or help me shoulder my burdens.
I think He does.
But I think that when I choose to be grateful first?
It changes my mindset about life.
When I recognize all that He has done and is doing
on a daily basis to love me?
It gives me a much needed gratitude adjustment.
I need to be unleashing some thanks.
Some cheers and hip hip hoorays.
Some grateful leaps of joy.
Some grins and high fives for all that He has done and orchestrated in my life.
It is no small thing that I am who I am today.
That I am where I am today.
It is all because of Jesus.
I was a mess before He took over my life.
He has had to do a complete overhaul on my heart.
He is continuing a daily work of drawing me to Him and shaping my life.
He has gone out of His way over and over again to bless me.
He has bent over backwards to comfort me in times of sorrow and
hold me close when I am afraid.
He has given me joy upon joy in this life with Scott and the boys.
And now He was using one of my boys to give me a pointed reminder
that He is deserving of all of my praise, my thanks, my wonder, and
my marvel at His great works in this world and in my own life.
So I let Addie's comment go.
And I am making the conscious choice to
embrace this day and all my other days with the gratitude that He deserves.
And I asked Jesus to forgive me for being a blockhead.
He says in His word that if we confess our sins,
He is able and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteous.
And for that?
I am grateful.