In which I say more thank you’s to God (141-157)

by Craig on March 21, 2011

… giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Eph 5:20)

Mondays are now for Gratitude. Linking today with Ann’s

Thank You God…

#141 … for this thorn embedded in my side. (here). It weighs heavy and leaden this day.

#142 … not for how it bites and torments, but for how it constrains a proud, independent spirit, that too often has pursued more of me and less of You.

#143 … for how it has tamed a judgmental heart – one that that has, too many times, refused to empathize with the suffering of others.

#144 … that although I hate this thorn, and how it pulls me down piece by piece – I love how You have harnessed it, and are wielding it, to create and sustain in me, a new heart.

#145 … that although the whole universe is racing toward extinction. I’m fortunate to have been found by you, and though I’m traveling alongside it – I’m not barreling toward death, I’m chasing eternity.

#146 … That I’m finding a ton of joy in praying for other people right now.

#147 … that outside are two trees. One is tiny, a slender trunk, with branches that barely reach out to sunlight. It’s like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. And there’s one that towers. And it makes me think…

#148 … that everything in the universe has a biggest, smallest – least good, most good – least glorious, most glorious. And we believe in the biggest, most good, and most glorious.

#149 … for someone providing a piece to the jigsaw puzzle of my faith. There was a missing one – and not anymore. Iron sharpens iron.

#150 … that the man I am now is not the man I used to be. I’ve been so much trouble Lord, thank you for not letting go of me.

#151 … that Spring is never swallowed up by winter.

#152 … that the way I’ve figured out Laska the Love kitty’s language, has been by spending time with him, paying attention, and through trial and error. I smile because it reminds me – that’s how I learned to hear and understand You better.

#153 … For this little experiment I just tried. I took three things about my life that I just flat out despise. And I said thank You for them. The words came easy – but without a smile – and lacking real gratitude. So I kept talking with you about it, and saying – this is good because… this is good because… this is good because…

#154 … that it took some time but I finally thanked you again – this time with acceptance, and appreciation, and yes, even a smile.

#155 … that although tomorrow I might not be able to do this again – mom always said, “practice makes perfect” so I’m thinkin’ that if I put in the time, and effort, I can keep. this. up.

#156 … that today I was able to say “pashaaaa” to the grumpy, and take a dip in the cool waters of thank you.

#157 … that bad by itself is heavy and oppressive, that bad with some good to balance against is better, but bad with Your hands on the balance is best.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora March 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

My first stop today on my journey through the lists of gratitudes, and I’m so glad I’m here. Sounds like this was a very deep week for you and your willingness to share it all meant so much to me. I think #150 stood out with neon lights. I’ve been a lot of trouble too — one of those sheep that needed their legs broken, then carried by the Shepherd for a while until mended. The older we get, I think we can see more clearly the distance He ran to catch us and bring us to Himself. In my youth, I thought it was ME who came to the cross. I’ve since realized that it was HIM who stretched His arms all the way to where I was and drew me in. Amazing list today, Craig! I’m praying for you!

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Craig March 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

Owwww – I’ve heard that about old time shepherds – boy how much I hearted this!!!! The older we get, I think we can see more clearly the distance He ran to catch us and bring us to Himself. Thank you Cora – thank you for reading – thank you for the kind words. And teaching me :) God Bless.

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Christina March 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Okay, I think we’re on the same wave length. I loved all of them and especially related to 144 and 154. It’s so hard to thank God for the thorns! But as we all know, roses have thorns and Rose is my middle name:) Maybe I have that name to remind me that without the thorns there won’t be the beauty:)

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Craig March 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Thorns. Ich. but yay too. If we have them there for a reason – it took me a shile to figure out that this was indeed a thorn – and just to accept it. And then to find out what it was teaching me. Thank you Christina Rose. And God bless.

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Alida March 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

it is so hard for me to say thank you for the thorns… I am grateful for your example.

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Craig March 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Thank you Alida, at first I would think passing things were thorns, but I’ve gounnd as I’ve gone through the many many many many decades of my life that the thorns are the things which stick around. And if they’re gonna be there – might as well learn from them. THank you again – and God Bless.

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Debbie March 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I loved the chasing eternity! Thank you for that and for teaching us about thorns. May I practice with you so that I can give thanks for all of it . . .and mean it. :) You inspire me! God bless you and keep you today!

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Craig March 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

We are running at breakneck speeds right into eternity – it is amazing to think about. The universe will die – we will not. And notice that 155 follows 154 :) God Bless, deb.

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suzy March 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

It takes courage to say thank you for the thorns, difficulties, sufferings and doubts.
You are right though, these things bring us closer to others and their own unique and particular trials.
In the end the thorns help us love better and draw us closer to God.
Thank you for sharing.

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Craig March 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Thanks Suzy. But not so much courage. but just. I guess, logical and right – If I’m going to consider trials as “pure joy” – and if I’m going to give God “thanks in everything” then everything in my life needs gratitude. Sometimes it means a whole HARD HALLELUJAH – but not this day – it was a grateful thank you. That didn’t come from MY spirit. I’m a complainer. So God gets all – I mean ALL of the credit. So if the thorn is taken from me I thank him. If not I thank him – and in the end it’s all good – even the bad. God is really really 179 shades of awesome with that kind of stuff. No?

Thank you bunches – and God Bless.

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Amy March 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Craig, thanks for this list today. I am continually amazed at how God uses the thorns in our lives to bring us closer to Him if we’ll let Him. I have always loved the fact that one of the most beautiful flowers in the garden is the rose -which also has the most wicked thorns. It reminds me of God’s penchant for taking the one who you would never pick and using them to do amazing things for Him. And loved the comment “I’m not barreling toward death, I’m chasing eternity.” How amazing is that?! Smiles –

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Craig March 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Thank YOU for reading today! And those roses – those THORNS! Laska the love kitty has these really sweet soft paws – but also extremely sharp claws. He doesn’t mean to use them against me – but he does sometimes.

And thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot this day. God Bless.

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A. March 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I loved reflecting on each of these, but #145 especially pulled me in. And Laska…and those paws….so true! Velvet and thorns all in a kitty’s paws…and both have purpose and place (at least in this life). Why is it that sometimes we seem to need the thorns to get our attention or whatever? I can’t wait for the thorn-free-ness of heaven! (I know, every thing in its proper time.:)

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Craig March 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm

A. I know I wrote a reply to this comment once. It disappeared. Hmmmmm.

Anyway I heart how you word things “Velvet and thorns all in a kitty’s paws” that is 5873 shades of awesome. And pain always get our attention, physically and I guess spiritually – we’re just still broken – redeemed – but broken still – – but one day…

God bless you A.

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Donna March 22, 2011 at 6:16 am

It really is a privilege to pray for others…and when we follow His leading and pray (#146), we actually are the ones that receive the blessing!

#151~What a beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness to us!

Have a great day!

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Craig March 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Donna – I’ve prayed for others before – but not like now – I’m doing it ALL the time – and it is actually fun. I liked it too when I wrote it (151) – I didn’t know quite why. I suddenly do know though. It’s because it sounds like “death is swallowed up by victory – death where is thy sting”. Where is that verse…
Anyway that’s why. Thank you Donna – and God Bless.

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Patti March 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm

This is a beautiful list. I especially liked 141-144. It takes maturity to thank God for the thorns. I liked the picture that went with this, too. Any thorns God puts in our lives are for a reason. They are to sanctify us, and remove the dross. We are being made into his likeness. May we, like Paul, be glad for our weaknesses, as we learn to be more dependent on God. Thank you for the reminder.

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Craig March 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I agree Patti – thorns are for reasons. This thorn is doing all you said – your words were good to read – thank YOU – and God Bless.

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LuAnne March 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Craig,

Thank you for sharing,

# 148,

# 149,

and especially #151 … that Spring is never swallowed up by winter.

~Peace,

LuAnne

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Craig March 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm

LuAnne – thank YOU for reading – 151 – spring is my fave season. God bless you Lu Anne – and thank you for being here.

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Courtney March 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I haven’t been able to visit your blog every week, but I think it’s providential that I am here now, to read this. A fellow thorn-bearer giving thanks for thorns. I am not there yet. I realize now I’ve been avoiding this part of the gratitude journey. Thank you for challenging me to give thanks even for thorns. You are now #412 on my Gift List: “Those who give thanks for thorns, find strength to accept everything He gives.” Grace to you, Friend.

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Craig March 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Ann says if we haven’t counted the harder things – we’ve miscounted. There is a kingdom to come where everything will be up – we’ll go from mountain top to mountain top – and we’ll find the adage that says we need the valleys to appreciate the peaks – well that was for this earth – then just all different kinds of goodness – no valleys. And don’t get me wrong – I hate the thorn – HATE IT – but love what God has – and is doing through it. God Bless you Courtney as you wrestle with your thorn. God bless.

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