gifts: this New Thing

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

In 2006, my clothes closet became a place of refuge during  full blown grief attacks.

Hiding in my closet, curled up in a ball, under the hanging clothes:  taking the prayer closet thing literally…   I had cleavage tears.  The tears that persist until you forget to wipe them. They drip off the cheek bones, puddling in the bra base.  Cleavage tears usually are accompanied with groans, sobs, dry-heaves, and random utterances of “help me Jesus, help me Jesus” prayers.

During this particular grief attack and cleavage tear moment,  I suddenly felt God whisper into my heart, “What are you thankful for?”

“What? Thankful for? Nothing.  Nothing!” was my response.

Apparently this wasn’t acceptable, because the question persisted…

“What are you thankful for?” He whispered again.

Eventually, all I could muster was what my eyes could immediately see.

A toilet.  A bathtub.  Water.  Sink.  Clothes.  Shoes.  Socks.  This was HARD work to come up with.   Soon my thoughts reached my children, my husband, my health ….

I noticed my grief attack rapidly resolved, compared the normal routine and recovery time.  While my circumstances of grief had not changed, my spirit was much brighter.

My focus had changed and I was able to see God’s faithfulness to me, in the midst of despair.   It was miraculous.

The days following I found myself listing out the places of God’s faithfulness, thankfulness, and His presence to me,  before and after Tucker’s death.  I began to see Him in the dark places I had not seen before.

This day in my prayer closet, during a grief attack of cleavage tears, I had my first notable lesson in the power of practicing thankfulness.

It works, and it’s scripture.   1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s for you in Christ Jesus.” I learned that while I might not be thankful for my circumstances, I could give thanks IN them.

Spring of 2010, while recovering in bed from my miscarriage at 17 weeks, after the hemorrhage and emergency surgery, I was weary.   God and I talked about my heart’s frustrations.  “I accept the gift of babies, and my baby died (again), and then the miscarriage didn’t go as I expected, and it was scary, not how I planned, life threatening, I almost died, blah, blah, blah…”

As I complained, I heard that same gentle voice, reminding me to practice thankfulness.  I eventually practiced…

Well, God sent my sister-in-law OB nurse, who lives 45′ away, randomly to my home that day… and she arrived while I was stuck in the bathroom tending myself.  My hubby was home in under 10 minutes after being summoned.   I didn’t have this life threatening miscarriage while in Florida the previous three weeks or on the airplane.  I had help post-operative with the kids for recovery.   I still have my girl-parts which were at risk for a hysterectomy.   I’m alive. I was treated extremely well at the hospital.  I had the privilege to speak words of LIFE to my health care  providers, abortionists, during my treatment…

As I practiced thankfulness, I began to see God’s faithfulness, and my focus and attitude changed once again.

Psalm 100:4  Enter His gates with thanksgiving , and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him: bless his name.

I’ve learned this lesson of practicing thankfulness. It has helped me in despair! I’m revisiting these two moments of my faith journey tonight, because I stand amazed.

Yet, as I’m reading this book, 1,000 gifts, I never fathomed the idea that gratitude-practiced,  could help me with my every day issues.

  • Why do I struggle to live-in-the-present moment? Embrace it?
  • Why do I feel numbness?
  • Why do I get so frustrated?
  • Angry?
  • Short tempered?
  • Speak harsh?
  • Why do I live in haste for my schedule and plans?  Get annoyed at those who mess them up?
  • Fears? Anxiety? Loved? Empty?

So much is stirring in my spiritual …. I told ya.

2011, I’m practicing thankfulness in the everyday, not only in despair.  God is at work in me.  In January, as much was erupting within, I asked God for a confirmation that this was all HIM.

He spoke directly into my heart, through His Holy Word:

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

counting gifts:  this New Thing.

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4 Comments on “gifts: this New Thing

  1. There is nothing better I could have read right this moment. I love you and God Bless you and your family. One of my student’s passed away today on top of dealing with Grandpa’s funeral. So the question is “what am I thankful for”

    love you

  2. Rejoicing with you are you beginning to live a daily life of thankfulness! Praying for you, too, in this esp. hard time.

    Just reading the beginning of the book myself…

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