Thursday, June 12, 2014

Determined to stay grateful in a thankless world

Things are getting bad in Iraq... again.
Cops were shot and killed while eating lunch.
Kanswer has attacked the friend of a friend.
The Nigerian girls are still not at home.
Malaysia Air flight 370 has still not been found.
She's still looking for work.
His wife died in a paddle boarding accident.
Marriage is hard, so is parenting.
I recently saw a confederate flag in a place I didn't expect to see one.
Our gutters need to be replaced. (Let's hope they don't find wood rot.)
Wild fires. Mud slides. Tornadoes. Severe storms. Drought. (How do all these things coexist?)

This sad list reminds me of one of my favorite passages in the book of Habbakuk.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my savior.

In a thankless, dangerous, confusing, outrageous, anger-producing, fearful, threatening world, where our children hide from bullies and shooters at school, abusers at home, and predators online, where relationships and people are treated as disposable, where telling the truth about my fears and doubts and questions incites criticism and sarcasm, where one tragedy follows another, one terrible diagnosis follows another, I confess that sometimes I wonder if I am being Pollyanna-ish by maintaining this attitude of gratitude. Then I go back to Habbakuk - in the face of all that is negative, in the midst of all that threatens to break my spirit, in spite of all that moves me to weep, I will rejoice. I will give thanks. I will be joyfull. In this gun-toting, road-raging, heart-breaking world, I am convinced that gratitude is more necessary than ever.

Today I am thankful for -

* dinner with Heather last night, just the two of us
* another week of safety and provision of all of our needs
* discovering again and again that I have everything I need
* my husband and father of my children - we celebrated Father's Day today as we won't be together on Sunday
* the post office
* books on cd from the library
* Rodney Yee and Shiva Rea yoga videos
* Coinstar machines at Harris Teeter
* sewer drains that aren't clogged with leaf debris
* road trips
* friends that let us stay at their houses overnight
* handmade travel journals
* packing cubes to help with packing efficiently and lightly
* cars that drive well and don't break down
* sunglasses and windshield shades
* coolers and those frozen blue things that keep everything cold
* hotels with microwaves and mini fridges in the room
* time with a new friend
* meeting an old friend at Harris Teeter to pick up a few things, to talk, and to give each other a warm hug or two
* the wise writing, creativity, and poignant videos here and here and here and here
* receiving words of thanksgiving
* freshly cut pineapple and watermelon
* the time I spent earlier today looking at photos of past trips overseas
* organic blue chips and mango salsa
* dinner with the entire family at the table
* hope and a future
* life itself - I am grateful to be alive and well.

What are you grateful for?


Laura Trott said...

I always appreciate having the opportunity to stumble across your words of grace gratitude from time to time. Hang in there. With love and light, LT

Carol said...

Today I am grateful I read this. Well said Gail.

Nomads By Nature said...

I am grateful for your reminder of a great passage. I needed that. I am grateful that I found your blog and can tell you that you gave me a reminder of hope, all the way over here in Turkey where I am stationed with my family. Peace to you. ~Wendy