A curious thing happened the day after I completed 30 Days of Thankful. I exhaled, let down my guard, and forgot to be thankful. I had a couple of what I can only describe as colorless days. What’s worse, I found myself being a little snarky to those I love. (Check it out. Snarky has made its away into the Oxford Dictionary).
So yesterday morning, I “hitched up my britches,” as my grandma used to say, and stepped back into my thanksgiving mode. I aligned my head and heart, once again, with the mindfulness of my previous days of practicing thankfulness. I was intentional throughout the day to thank God—for the good stuff and the not so good stuff in my life. Straight away I noticed a change. The morning , though grey and rainy, gradually became filled with color.
I headed back to the ICU where most days are spent with my sister who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury. After two weeks here, I’ve come to understand that families don’t just stroll into the trauma unit without a story. But today was different—almost holy—as one person after another told me their stories, mostly in the elevator. A young woman’s husband had been brutally assaulted Saturday night as he walked home from work. His name is Doug. I promised her I’d pray for him as he fought for his life.
A large and loving family from a nearby small town had come to the trauma unit because their 19-year-old son had been hit by a drunk driver. I told his mom, grandmom, great uncle I would pray for the boy. And they agreed to pray for my sister…both still in a coma.
In a more lighthearted vein, I noticed some tiny answers to specific prayers. We’re heading out to our son’s college swim meet in another state. It’s a big football weekend and I waited too late to make reservations. So earlier this week, the rooms were all taken. But just this afternoon, a hotel room became available. What’s more, the reservation clerk said, “M’am, I can’t figure out how, but you’ve been given an upgrade worth twice what we are charging you.” I suddenly remembered I had thanked God for the hotel hassles this morning and put them into His hands. It was as if I could hear His voice: “Just look what happens when you are thankful and give control to Me.”
More things to be thankful for: My compassionate husband. A friend that brought over some wonderful soup. Another who left us an amazing chicken pie. There has been a lifting of my mood. The appearance of fresh hope. And so I stop. Savor. Give thanks. God has got this covered.
Bottom line: I now believe that thankful needs to become a permanent fixture in my mind. And I can tell you this. If I forget—which I’m prone to do—it’s a pretty sure bet that life will again become colorless. Or worse, I’ll return to snarky. So I’ll remember to confess, repent, hitch up my britches, and start being thankful all over again.