Friday, August 22, 2014


This morning I walked my kids to school just like any other morning.  I'd just crossed the street when my flip flop broke. This meant I had to walk the entire way home with one shoe or barefoot. I took a deep breath and threw both flip flops into the stroller. They were my favorite pair. I was bummed. Then it struck me. It could have easily happened on the way to school, which would mean there and back barefoot. It could have happened picking them up that afternoon when the pavement was scalding hot. 

I won't even get into being thankful that I have shoes period and enough shoes that another pair of flip flops waited for me at home, but that is a valid thing to be thankful for, I just think it sounds a tiny bit preachy and that's not what I'm trying to do here.

Later, after fixing baby girl breakfast, I started cleaning the house. The iced tea was left out. I opened the fridge to see that there was no room for it on the top shelf because one of the kids had put the minced garlic there.  So I grabbed the garlic and moved to put the iced tea in it's place. The next thing I knew, there was a splash and I was only holding the jar lid. The entire three-quarters full jar of minced garlic was now at the bottom of my freshly made iced tea. Um yeah.

Then I got to thinking. If I had made the iced tea in the smaller pitcher, it wouldn't have fit. If somehow the garlic hadn't found it's way into the iced tea, it would have landed on the floor. Ever tried to clean minced garlic up off the floor? The kitchen would have smelled like spaghetti sauce for a week. In thinking about this, I almost laughed. I mean wow, there's a lot there to be thankful for. Especially since I'm the one that didn't tighten the garlic jar's lid enough. 

We've been studying Philippians 4:4-9 with the kids for about two weeks now.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Now I realize this isn't the usual scripture one turns to for thankfulness, but in it's in there. Being thankful, or at least polite and saying thank you, is one of the first things we teach our children. But really I think true thankfulness is something of a lost art. It's so easy to take those things we have for granted and to get lost in the sea of things we want. Thankfulness isn't something we do in a moment, or I should say it isn't just something we do in a moment. Rather, it's a state of being. It's an attitude--a way of looking at things. And looking at things with an attitude of thankfulness changes your perspective. But it's better than that because we know Who to be thankful to. We have the promise here in verse 7; the peace of God, which is bigger than I can understand* will guard our hearts and our minds.  

God, like any good teacher, gives us the lesson and then a lab so we can see for ourselves how the scripture plays out in "real life". Today was my lab. Not one I'd like to repeat, but I'm thankful for in anyway. (See how that works?) 

So after the garlic was washed, the iced tea dumped, I had an empty pitcher... I mourned the loss of the iced tea, but I did have to water the plants, so I filled it up and walked to toward the front door. The pitcher slipped in my wet hands and spilled water all of the kitchen floor. . .

I needed to mop anyway. And by the way, this time, I did laugh.

What is your favorite verse or lesson on thankfulness?

*how I read it to the kids.