Friday, October 24, 2014

Give Thanks

I realize now that I didn’t initially put it on my porch for me.
It is the cutest little wood framed chalk board you ever saw, which I added last minute to my front porch Fall decor.
I wrote simply: “Give Thanks”.
Then, I hung it on the back of one of my rocking chairs for approaching guests to admire- amongst my vintage cider jars, an endearing sign about pumpkin spice and lots of burlap….but I digress.
It hung there on the side of that rocker facing toward my steps up to the front door at just the right angle…at least for a while.

Today, as I sat in my favorite chair in my den, I looked out the windows toward the rocker and staring in at me were the words, “Give Thanks”.

My first thought was simple: I need to go turn that sign around. 
A few moments later: Man, I know I am going to forget to turn that sign around. 
A few minutes after that: Stop staring at me, sign! You’re freaking me out!

So I stared back.

And that is when I realized that the words were facing in exactly the right direction.

So many times I only give thanks from the outside in, when I really need to be first giving thanks from the inside out.

We stand on the front porch of other people’s life and circumstances and think how thankful they should be.
But we rarely stand on the inside of our own life mess and give thanks in the middle of it.

We are willing to wear thankful as a logo- a sign hung on the front porch of life for the world to see, yet never knead thankfulness into the fabric of our own heart.

Because somedays, that takes excruciating effort. 
Somedays, it takes looking beyond the crazy of what our eyes see.
Somedays we all need a sign staring at us through the window: Give Thanks.

So today...
Sitting in the middle of your mess, give thanks.
Sitting in the middle of your lack, give thanks.
Sitting in the middle of your loss, give thanks.
Sitting in the middle of your questions, give thanks.
Sitting in the middle of your pain, give thanks.
Sitting in the middle of your loneliness, give thanks.
Sitting in the middle of it all, give thanks.

Give thanks inside out.

Acknowledge Jesus as the Giver and trust Him with what He has given.
Not because it will radically change your circumstance, or even the way the world views it.
Give thanks because it radically changes YOU. 

When Jesus sets your feet on a path, He equips you to walk it with victory.
Give thanks.
When Jesus allows tearing down, He is about to do some building up.
Give thanks.
When Jesus seems silent, He wants you to listen hard for game changing truth He is about to speak.
Give thanks.
When Jesus allows rejection in your life, He is ushering in His protection over your life.
Give thanks.
Give thanks, not because you want Jesus to work in your life...give thanks because He already is.

Give thanks inside out and have your perspective transformed, your life empowered, your mind renewed and joy restored.

Thank you, little chalkboard sign.
When you turned around, you turned me around too. 


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