“Thanks-Giving”

Talysa McManusBY: Talysa McManus

E-MAIL ADDRESS:  Talysa@comcast.net

BIBLE TEXT:   Luke 22:19:  “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them…”

 I Thessalonians 5:18: “Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”

PERSONAL REFLECTIONSo often we read this scripture seeing only the obvious problem…one man, five loaves, two fish, and a multitude of unexpected dinner guests asking, “What’s for dinner?” Yet Jesus, God in the flesh, realizing He is on the verge of working one visually spectacular seaside miracle, still paused to give thanks for what He had in His hands in the moment. Even when the situation seemed overwhelmingly hopeless, He trusted that the seemingly not enough in His hands would become the more than enough in God’s.

I struggle with fear and trust. Because people hurt, fail, disappoint, and love with conditions…I am a master wall builder. I am not proud of it, but the majority of my relationship with Christ has been lived out behind walls…searching for Him through the cracks, reaching for Him through the holes. Only letting Him as close as I deemed “safe.” Not trusting fully that His love could be any different, I kept a death grip on the things I was most afraid of losing. Afraid of what He might “allow” in my life, of what would happen if He alone had control of those places my sweaty palms gripped so tightly…because even though He gives, He could also take away. I was terrified that somehow, if I served him with hands completely unclenched, He too may fail me. I had to fess up to the oh- so- ugly truth that no matter how much I loved Him, served Him, worshiped Him even…I did not trust Him. I may have majored in wall building but I minored in heart guarding. Yes, even with God.

Since that confession 2 years ago, I have been challenged through the revealing of scripture, to count {literally with pen and paper} every.single.thing. I am grateful for. Not just the obvious things such as my salvation, my family, food, my home…I am grateful for those things, but to press in further…to let Him in further. To see Him in the hardest of moments, in the moments that can suck the very breath from my chest. To believe that even when I can’t find a wall to grip, solid ground to stand on, or air to breathe…He is still there. To thank him when I have enough and when I am wading knee deep in the circumstances of not enough. Wasn’t this the way of Job?

Why list them you ask? Why carry pen and paper at all times? Because I am counting {literally} all the ways He loves me…and each time pen touches paper it reminds my heart to trust…over and over again. I am leaving a paper trail of remembrance that He is only good. He is for me. And NO MATTER WHAT…He is faithful. Little monuments resurrected in black and blue on paper. Memorials of all He has done for me. When I go in search of  Him, in all things, I find that He is there…just as He promised He would be. He is in it all. I can trust Him.  gratitude

As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to join me in the counting. In fact I dare you. Grab a notebook and pen and challenge yourself to fill it with all the ways He loves you. Watch your perspective change, your faith grow, and your Joy overflow. Below is a website with prompts to keep you going for the entire month of November. You can even print it out. Of course you are encouraged to count more than three a day but this list is a great way to provoke thoughts of gratitude in all areas of life and in all things. Why not start today?

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/11/happy-november-november-joy-dare/

“Can God be counted on? Count blessings and find out how many of His bridges have already held.” –Ann Voskamp

PRAYER: Because this writer says it best I make it my prayer as well.

“Lord may I Humbly let go. Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control, let go of my own way, let go of my own fears. Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy’s fire. Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love. This is the fuel for joy’s flame. Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, and passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.”  ― Ann Voskamp

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Talysa is a thirtysomething Jesus loving, husband adoring, worship leading, photography attempting, coffee guzzling, antique store thrifting, Homeschool thriving/surviving mom of 3. She has an obsession with  color and could eat her weight in Nutella and guacamole {not at the same time} and still gets butterflies when her husband holds her hand. She and her family have been at Life Assembly since May, 2011.

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