That was until Sunday night, when I was reading at Starbucks, that the idea came to me. Taken straight from the pages of one of my latest re-reads (yes, I read books over and over and over again), A Thousand Gifts, the following passage resounded with my soul and I was practically bursting with new found insight as the truth of the author's words sank in:
"I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives. Why would the world need more anger, more outrage? How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks" (Voskamp 58).
Gosh, I cannot began to tell you how those words moved me and spoke to the deep recesses of my heart. I felt like I was having an internal revival of sorts and almost shouted "hallelujah"...almost.
Therefore, I shall now be instating my "Thankful Thursdays" series which will provide nourishment of a different sort as it will be dedicated to thanksgiving, the act of eucharisteo, if you will. It might be long, but will more than likely be short. No need to drag out long reflections or attempt to conjure up flowery language that will impress my expansive readership. Nope, this will just be a brief exercise, listing a few things I am thankful for at that time and offering my thanksgiving as a gift to God.
Without further ado, here is my top 5 for the past week or so --
1. Thankful for my girly nieces who are drawn to all things pearly and sparkly.
2. Thankful for neapolitan-style pizza with chewy dough and "leopard" spots on the crust created from the screaming hot flames of the brick oven
3. Thankful for Abbi's stellar gas mileage...she went 361+ miles on less than 10 gallons of gas and STILL had 4 bars of gas to spare. I've never been so proud. Her big sis, andi (may she rest in peace), would have been beaming with pride!
4. Thankful for champagne birthday toasts
5. Thankful for strawberry cakes, covered in artfully arranged strawberry slices and topped with polka dot birthday candles
What, dear readers, are you thankful for this week?