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Thanks Giving Is Here

T
hanksgiving is here, I heard someone exclaim. And one might immediately wonder how it came so quickly again this year.  I mull this over (and, yes, I do marvel that another Thanksgiving is already upon us), I think: Is Thanks-giving here? I mean… here, here.  Here in my heart, here in my life, here in my thoughts and in my words.

I stop and take a mental inventory of my days of late. How thankful have I been–or have I displayed thankfulness at all? Is thanks g-i-v-i-n-g a characteristic plainly obvious in my life? Is thanks giving part of my everyday conversation? Is thanks giving the tone my ready reply?

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body;
and be ye thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever you do in word or in deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
Colossians 3.15-17

I was looking through some old photos this morning and it was there that I really got to thinking about thanks giving and what a thankful or thanks-giving life looks like. It’s easy in the moment (when things are going well, supplies are ample and health is strong and full) to be thankful.  It’s another thing to be thankful or giving thanks when things aren’t going so well — when the yets of God aren’t yet (I’ll write on that another day).

It’s also pretty normal to consider one’s current state of affairs when feeling thankful or not. But those photos I was looking through changed my perspective quite a bit.

 

These photos are 10 years old. I’m thankful for this… all this. All the children living at home at the time, gallons of milk, heaps of food, piles of laundry, hundreds of thousands of miles on the fifteen passenger van and on and on. Thankful, really thankful.

Fast forward to today… less and fewer of everything… more and greater of so many other things.   In between the more and fewer are sicknesses, health, losses, weddings, funerals, births, disappointments, achievements, mistakes, graduations and countless other life events that have clearly shown the great grace of God — things for which to give thanks. Much thanks.  Had all these various things not happened, I’d not known the vastness of the graces of God and how to be thankful, or how to give thanks in/for adversity, loss, failure and regret.

So, this Thanksgiving, this time of giving thanks, I’m truly thankful, very thankful. Thanks giving is here for me. I trust it is for you as well. Or, soon will be.

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Drawing a blank

Those shots are blanks. They roar at us or past us, but they’re blanks. God’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is above the heavens. I may feel wounded by the shots of those blanks, but I mustn’t think they’ll destroy me — I must take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

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You can’t afford to not pay attention.

I know. The last entry I wrote was 7 months ago. Hounded by voices that tell me I’ve lost mine, by regrets that prevent me moving forward, and various time/emotional demands that drain creativity, I come to my blog and draw a blank — or am shot with one.

But… again, here I am. I love to write. I love this platform. I love the connections it’s given me through the years. And I love that the Lord has given me a whole bunch more time and has absolutely dumped His great mercy and grace over me every day of

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The Finished Work of The Cross

The finished work of the Cross is profound. It is finished, Jesus said. He had finished the work God had created Him to do, to complete, to finish: Unto us this child was born, unto us this child was given.

“And they crucified Him…” Matthew 27.35 This is the finished work. This is what Jesus came to do. He came to die — die by the will of God, to shed His own blood, to lay His life down. In that moment a great transaction was accomplished. The wrath of God: satisfied. In that moment the rending of the

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Intentional DeCluttering

Over the last month or so, living with less clutter, I’ve experienced some unintended benefits of my intentional decluttering project. Not the least of which has been ease of housekeeping and/or ease of moving from one daily activity to another with very little preparation or tidying. Having been the mother of many children for decades, home organization has been paramount. But even with all my planning and organizing, I still had clutter.

In this process of decluttering over the last couple of months, I’ve mulled over some of the “clutter factors” and how they came to be.

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Tidying. You’re Still You.

The problem with attempting to make dramatic changes, or to carry out new resolutions, or most anything, really, is that we’re still the same people with the same proclivities, habits, personal styles, bents. The tidying, or in my case, the project of eliminating clutter, only lasts as long as the determination/work/project continues. No matter where you are in the project of eliminating clutter or tidying, you’re still you.

You’re still you. I’ve had to repeat this to myself many times in the last couple of weeks as I see myself “dropping my guard” on eliminating clutter. Just recognizing

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Clutter is Relative

There’s a saying, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I kept this in mind from time to time as I proceeded through my month-long activity of eliminating clutter in our home. I also had in mind a couple of other thoughts that sort of guided my process: I’m doing this for me and our family and clutter is relative! After an initial confrontation, I purposely blocked out a couple of thoughts: cost/origin of the item and other’s opinions/style. I kept in mind the goal of eliminating clutter, living in our new normal, gratitude for the past activities/needs/possessions,

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Open Space

One of the challenges I’ve been experiencing as I have been going through closets, cupboards, and drawers specifically — and rooms, in general is newly exposed space: open space! If you’re either a Queen Of Quite A Lot or a Saver Of Quite A Lot, you just might find yourself in a quandary. No, not the first day, not the second day, but a couple of weeks after you uncover OPEN SPACE in your home, your natural tendency will be to FILL it! Fill it back up. Quickly.

Don’t do it. Resist the urge to fill space. Now,

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Eliminating Clutter

Clutter, clutter everywhere and not enough places to put it. That’s how the beginning of this year felt to me. Clutter of things, clutter of thoughts, clutter of concerns. I didn’t know what I needed to do, initially, but I knew I needed to get busy.

I process things either verbally, by writing or by cleaning. So, it really stands to reason that my resolve to clean out the clutter was really a resolve to clean up some other areas of my life, too. I didn’t start with an exact plan or schedule beyond the decision to eliminate

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Why I Write

Browsing Twitter this morning, I noticed the hashtag #WhyIWrite and I decided to click on the link to read why others write. Not surprising, the answers or reasons are very similar—very familiar, albeit with an occasional condescending comment. It’s the occasional condescension that trips me up from time to time, but over time I’m learning to not take negative opinions so seriously (and I sure hope those twitter writers weren’t derailed by some of the rude comments). Insults, along with self-doubt, really have an effect on creativity, so it’s been instructive to me to weigh negative comments carefully, glean

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