Thankful in New Ways

Just like everyone else, as Thanksgiving approaches I begin to think of the things that I am truly thankful for. I have claimed and named the year of 2013 as “The Year the Lord Opened My Eyes” and this Thanksgiving is keeping in step with that theme.

Growing up in the U.S. I have definitely had the idea that I am “entitled” to everything that I have had throughout my life. I mean, OF COURSE we live in that neighborhood! YES, I went to the mall and got the latest clothes from the Gap and WHY DO YOU THINK I wouldn’t have money to go out to dinner anytime I wanted?

So, my thankful list looked like:


2. my home

3. family

You know? Just kind of what you’d expect.

Now, do NOT get me wrong. I am STILL thankful for those things. There is nothing at all wrong with any of those and they are still my top three. Hands down I am so thankful for them, and I thank God for them every single day!

I guess this year there are just new dimensions. The thankfulness doesn’t just stop with one word of gratitude on a list that anyone growing up in the U.S. might make.

Along with seeing more than I ever dreamed through Africa and the clothes closet I have also read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp



and I am quite sure that the way that I see things will never be the same. Praise God, they will never be the same!

You see, my list probably looks more like this now.

1.God- in His infinite wisdom and grace who chooses to meet the needs of people whose hearts are hardened to Him and His Word and who never gets tired of loving me in spite of my selfish heart and my sinful thoughts… His beauty that overwhelms me and the way that He is always, always, always pursuing me.

2. My home- with it’s windows of glass and it’s warmth in winter… with running water than I can make warm or cold and indoor plumbing that I can use whenever I might have the need. For it’s beds with blankets and kitchen with food and for the light that shines through by the light of the moon or the warmth of the lights from the lamps at night.

3. family- for love and arms to come home to. For commitment and dreams shared. For smiles that light up your day and for tears that we endure together. For dinners shared and for days that end in prayer. For those we can lean on and for those who love us through the good and bad, and for lives shared when things get hard.

I have seen some things that will forever change me and I pray that it is for the good. God has ways of working in us when we least expect it, and I pray that this Thanksgiving I am able to pass that on to those that I love.

Lord, work in all of me. Help me to see what I need to see and change me for the good. I love you and thank you for loving me! Thank you, Lord. Thank you!


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