Bernard of Clairvaux spoke about a "perfume compounded of the remembered benefits of God".
God, I have so many things I am thankful for, but I realize I rarely intentionally and actively thank you for those blessings in my life. Psalm 92 opens with the reminder that "it is good to be thankful to the LORD". Good for what? Good for who? I am convinced that it is good for me to be thankful. It is good for me to be thankful, and I am not so sure it is only good in the sense that a good person is a thankful one. I believe being thankful does me good.
So here is my heart and mind prepared to thank you for so many things.
Thank you for protecting my heart through my leaving the pastorship of SOLAS.
Thank you for Eric Waterbury, Jesse Peterson, Glenda Harr, Justin Wallace, Gary Tangeman, Ryan Masters, Grant Cox, Brandon Farmer, Nicole Farmer, Mark Shetler, Anh Powers, Dan Demuri, Tim Layfield, Jeff Koons, Steve Rodriguez who likely all are unawarely said just the right thing at the right moment when my heart and mind needed it most. This is YOUR doing.
Thank you for Tonya who has been a cheerleader who has been frustrated by frustrating things and also encouraging when it is most needed.
Thank you for the smiles and hugs of my daughters where I find beauty that points my heart and mind to you.
Thank you for statements and notes and "drop bys" from friends just to make sure things are good and okay.
God You are good. You are all together good. Surely goodness is to follow all the days of my life.
* journal entry on Thanksgiving Eve The morning before Thanksgiving, and I am not as grateful as I really should be. I really honor and respect those who remind themselves to make lists of things they are thankful for throughout the year and not just during one week of November each year (if that). I am not so inclined, and I really need to be.
I am thankful to have a job at all these days. Though it is a ministry job at a respectful church who is completely debt free and has all finances in the black via budge and salary cut backs, at least they have never had to cut jobs all together. I am grateful and thankful.
I have a healthy daughter and a healthy one on the way. With so many friends close to me having experienced miscarriages and even more painful loss, it hardly seems right to complain that we were not exactly "ready" for this second child-to-be. I am thankful and grateful.
I am thankful for my wife and our marriage continuing and fighting against any societal norm. Nearly every day in ministry there is reference to another church marriage coming to an end or on the rocks near an end. Conversations reveal one or both are simply unwilling to humble themselves and grow up to be adults willing to do the hard work of maintaining a loving marriage. My wife has stood by me when I have been numbed out of emotion and affection. She has not given up or walked away. We both love one another by learning to love more and better and more humbly. I am thankful for her and our marriage.
I am thankful for God's grace and mercy on me. Though my heart and soul are distant more often than not, I am always brought back to his grace and love. Though my natural heart resists the pure and holy spirit of God and pursues the lies a true enemy would want my heart to be convinced of, my cries to God have been heard. He remains close and near. I cannot help but be thankful for these things.
There is far more to be thankful for in my life, and my heart would do well to actively remember those things far more often than I do.
I married my dream girl I have a daughter I am smitten by I have a family who are vocally proud of who I am I have in-laws I am proud to call family I have 1.5 college degrees from expensive private universities I work with college students every day I have incredible students I have spoken and/or performed all over the country I have a day job that is VERY close to my 'dream job' I have some of the best friends I could ever wish for I lost 70+ pounds a few years ago and have not returned to "that weight" I live within 2hrs of the ocean, the desert, Tahoe, the mountains, SanFran and Fresno I had a hotdog and a coffee with Brennan Manning I have stood front row center at a Counting Crows concert I have seen 6 Counting Crows concerts I have learned life-lessons from homeless men I have jumped from a 100ft pole into nothing I still read and write with these things called pen and paper I have seen Michael Jordan play basketball twice I flush my toilet with cleaner water than most of the world ever sees My friends' dogs dress and eat better than most of the world's people My baristas know me by name (and I know theirs) I have sat in on a Second City comedy school class I was once Retweeted by Adam Duritz I get free books in exchange for writing about them. (win win) I drive a Scion xB I am a devout Mac user named PC I have tested and solidified a faith over time I have been ambushed by the love of Jesus in a way I'll never recover from.
No matter how stuck you feel or trapped you feel, you always have reason for a list like this.