happy friday | 12.2.11

i was challenged in november to write down
something i was thankful for
each day on facebook.

you probably know others who participated in doing the same thing.
it probably annoyed some of you. ;)

overall, it was an interesting process for me.
some mornings i would start the day
and everything would be completely off kilter.
i was angry. or sad. or fearful. or stressed.
i felt the farthest from thankful that i could be.

it is difficult to see beyond that grey cloud sometimes.

but thankfulness changes us.

giving thanks for things in the midst of those feelings
flipped my day and attitude upside down.

and giving thanks, 
lead me to the Giver.

i have air to breathe.
clean water to drink.
freedom in my country.
four healthy children.
and more and more and more.

did i do anything to earn those things?
it's humbling.

well, when my friend ruth posted this video today on facebook.
and it reminded me so much of all i've been thinking lately.

and reminded me of what i hope to showcase and explore on this blog.

that we would all open our eyes just a little wider
to see all that is around us.

"begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open."

to see.

if we really see,
then we will have no choice but to give thanks
and perhaps even find ourselves in the arms of the giver of all good things.

others write about these ideas better than i do.
this passage below is an excerpt written by ann voskamp:

she writes about a central word to the Christian faith: "eucharisteo" meaning thanksgiving.
read this (taken from this article where she shares about a visiting a family in Quito):

I don’t know how many years I have been trying to learn “eucharisteo.” 

It’s only one word.

It means thanksgiving in Greek. My life’s struggling to pronounce it, that word that’s set like the unexpected crown jewel in the center of Christianity, right there at the Last Supper before the apex of the Cross. When Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks for it, that’s the word for his giving thanks: eucharisteo. It’s like a language lesson: in that word for thanksgiving, eucharisteo, are the roots of charis, grace, and chara, joy. If you can take all as grace, give thanks for it, therein is always joy.  Eucharisteo –  grace, gratitude, joy – one word that God in flesh acted out when he took the cup.

Just one Greek that may decode the essence of really living – but who reads this world eucharistically?

Are the people of God losing our ability to speak eucharisteo, speak thanks in all things, live eucharistically for all things?

What happens to a culture of Christians if we don’t speak the tongue taught by God when He took the bread of suffering? If we lose our language, relegate it to one day, a short season – we, the people commanded to give thanks for all things, won’t we lose who we are?

Gratitude, this isn’t a one-day-a-year language, but the mother-tongue of the people saved by their Father. Yet in a world that’s captivated by bad news not The Good News, that sees the wrong in everything, who daily braves the language of eucharisteo, the dialect of doxology?

Who shrugs off the mislabel of Pollyanna and picks up their cross and counts their blessings, counts the cost and counts it all joy?

Forget that making thanksgiving more than a holiday but a way of life by keeping a gratitude list is scientifically proven to 
decrease anxiety, enrich relationships and make you 25% happier. (Instead of buying ourselves more things we think we have to have to be happy, why wouldn’t we write down thanks for things we already have – which guarantees us to be 25% happier? Why is it easier to seemingly buy our joy than to give thanks to God who is our Joy? Pens and grateful perspectives are a lot cheaper – and guaranteed.)  True, you can just forget the overwhelming science behind the daily, intentional giving thanks. But does that mean we are forgetting the God behind it – who has given us everything? 

happy friday all!