Thursday, September 16, 2010

Give Thanks. Give.

Over 18 years ago I attempted to make a Thankfulness Scrapbook: a small book of photos, magazine pictures, captions, and drawings to serve as a visual reminder of God's faithfulness to us.

At that time, George and I were newly married, and in the Seminary years of our lives. I remember that season as one where we received a bounty of unexpected blessings. God, through the hands of people, provided for us in incredibly unique ways.

One of my fondest blessings was learning that God could choreograph musical theater.  Ask me about that one.

The journal, however, was never completed.

I simply couldn't keep up with documenting the downpour of giving poured out upon us. The gifts and blessings were not unlike a never-ending rain shower.  They came too many and too quickly for me to keep up with sharing them through a craft project.

There have been other times when I've attempted to keep a log of God's blessings towards us.  During our move, for example, friends in both states provided for us in ways we never imagined possible.  While I always planned on writing an incredibly eloquent Thank You Letter to each person, I just never got around to it.  I had intended to make special cards, which turned into a New Year's Thank You, which then morphed into a Love Letter of Thanks as February rolled around, and then, finally, out of sheer exhaustion and guilt . . . I sent an email.

It's not that I don't want to thank people.  Truly I prefer to do so in person, rather than through a note (Emily Post is cringing), but I realize that many enjoy receiving a note of thanks.  Sorry for letting you down.

I just can't keep up.

It's actually a great problem to have.

Cash, TV's, furniture, two grills, food, clothing, pens (seriously, it's the little things), coffee, a laptop, the use of a car for almost an entire year, gift cards for meals, blankets, coupons, washing machine and dryer time (when ours were being repaired), books, appliances, toys for the kids, lodging, plates, crates of organic produce, spa treatments, a coffee tab at the local joint 'cause I forgot my wallet.


It's almost as if God is saying "Jo, really.  Don't try and keep up with me 'cause I'll smoke you every time."

But, Lord, I do want to keep up with you, and until yesterday, I didn't realize that there was a way to do so that didn't involve cropping pictures, gluing captions, or, frankly, any type of craft project.  It would still involve tracking, which I love . . . and, respectfully, kind Father, you made me a list-maker, so I kinda, sorta, feel compelled to to track my progress with what I'm about to attempt.

My 2x4 moment of the week?

Rather that attempting to make note of every blessing God showers down our way, I will, in response to those blessings, make a conscious choice to give something of mine away to someone else, 
whether that be a tangible item, or a service or some kind, 
(as long as it involves having to stretch myself) every day.

Yes, I said, EVERY DAY.

I have much.  Rather than keeping a coffee table reminder book of all the jazz God has chosen to hand our family, (I think the Bible covers that) how about I simply respond by actually giving to those who have need, from what I have so generously been given.

It's not profound.

More like, "duh."

While I had planned on starting this on January 1, God nudged me about this today, while investing my time watching my neighbor's son.  What did he tell me?  There's is no better time like the present.

I've not yet worked out all the details of how I will make this conviction a reality, but I do know that I won't be writing about all the goods and services I'll be giving away, for then, whose horn am I tooting?

This has to be a God-thang.  Not, a Joline-thang.

So for the record, no need to send a thank-you note.  Just turn around and do the same for someone else.

Details forthcoming if you would like to join me.

Anyone interested?

1 comment:

Rachel said...

love ya! I was gonna tweak you about the waiting thing .... but God took care of that for me. Motivation: Easy. Click click. Just for the tracker in you.