Monday, March 12, 2012

One More Chorus of Thanksgiving

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you 
and call on the name of the LORD. 
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD 
in the presence of all his people, 
in the courts of the house of the LORD— 
in your midst, O Jerusalem.

Praise the LORD.
Psalm 116:17-19, NIV1984

It's March 12 already, and I've returned to the blog as promised. It was a good thing I heeded God's "leave it," because I'm worn out from the busy of the last two weeks (and change) even without tending to the table here. (Why am I surprised God knew what He was doing?)

The Bible study meetings are complete, and I'm praying about whether to continue with the next five-week book. Dave released me Thursday to continue my therapy regimen at home. (Yippee!) The proverbial ball is rolling in another project that needed some no-excuses time. God is answering your prayers for me in the silent days. Thank you.

It surprised me to discover  that the part of the posting routine I most missed was these simple Monday offerings. Although my practice of journaling gratitude long preceded any knowledge of Ann Voskamp, although incorporating her "counting graces" idea preceded the blog, this Monday practice of corporate thanksgiving adds a unique blessing I didn't fully realize until a fortnight away from it.

As we, the gratitude community, share in lifting words of thanks and praise to God, we share worship and grow in our knowledge of Him and each other. Though of course the lists share common ground from time to time, each stands distinctive as the thumbprint of its author. Through the corporate practice of gratitude, I learn who drinks tea and who hears love in needles and yarn; I discover sister bookworms and sisters in chronic illness; I find out whose homes are in quarantine and whose are bursting at the seams with plans and visitors.

Through hearing your gratitude, I begin to know the community; through the community members, I appreciate the diversity and beauty of God's handiwork in each of us; through appreciating His handiwork, I lift my heart to Him in worship. And worship is not a spectator sport, is it? Nor is it a solo endeavor. It's as if all our hundreds of gratitude lists commingle and rise like incense to the Triune God. May they be a sweet aroma to Him.

Without further ado, let me come off the bench and rejoin the thanking, praising, eucharisteo community with a brief glimpse at ways God has loved me in these recent days. Let us give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever (Ps. 136:1)!

~finishing this second round of physical therapy appointments
~relief of knee pain
~finishing the course (though not all the homework yet) for Mercy Triumphs, the new women's Bible study on James
~happy surprise of tea prepaid by the stranger preceding me in the drive-through
~so many shades of green
~Crayola big-box color returning to the landscape: white, pink, lavender, lilac, fuchsia, yellow in all their variations
~finches returning to the feeder
~honest correspondence
~text message prayers
~grace for the undone tasks
~the instant fellowship of prolonged illness and mutual prayer
~hoping for one another
~change, signs of life and growth
~turning a beautiful new page in a friend-made calendar
~coffee and Spanglish in the home of a neighbor often encountered while walking our respective dogs
~hope and healing growing in a friend's life
~happy writing with a new pen recommended by a friend (such a fine point! who knew?)
~familiar stories, happy endings
~first steps towards a change in medical care
~filling out forms, reviewing the big picture
~Allen ill with cough and cold
~strength to give care and pick up slack
~protection from developing his cough
~back to his old self
~walking into the store from 70F, walking out to 50F (no, I wasn't in there that long)
~a quiet day at home with no appointments or calls after a demanding, busy several weeks
~rainy Saturday
~one last treatment to try for  lupus chest pain
(from the gratitude list, #5100-5127)


  1. Welcome back! I missed you being here, though I fully respect that you followed God's leading to take the time for other endeavors. Still, this morning as I wrote my post I thought how blogging is a lot more fun when you're around. Community and friendship:) Tea paid for as a gift--how fun and well deserved. Also, I wish we'd drop to 50--forecast for 80 this week. No! Guess you may get it warm too. A lovely list and wonderful return.

  2. hi again tinuviel,

    given everything you've had on your plate, i'm glad you took your blog-break, but i'm also thankful that the crumb-fast is over!

    i really liked your thoughts on "corporate gratitude", and the way the exchange of gratitude lists draws the exchangers both nearer to each other and nearer to God. if i remember well, someone giving a talk at my church once said something like, "God isn't simply saving individual souls; He's also making a people/building a church from those individual souls." In so doing, God blesses us with the possibility of giving Him glory corporately as well as individually, and exchanging gratitude lists is a really good way of availing ourselves of that possibility...

    it's great to have you back!


  3. Aw, what a sweet compliment! You make blogging more fun for me also. :) The 50s only lasted a couple of days. By Sunday afternoon, we were back near 80. The mosquitoes are quite happy.

    Grace and peace to you for whatever is on your plate today.

  4. Thank you for your kind welcome and for sharing the remembered words on community. We Westerners need to hear such thoughts; our culture is much more individualistic than the Ancient Near East was and than most Asian and African cultures are still today. Our single English "you" sadly obscures all the "y'all" evident in the epistles in the original language or in modern languages which still preserve distinct singular and plural forms of the second-person pronoun. I've only learned lately to *begin* to grow in valuing that corporate identity and calling.

    Grace and peace to you and yours in Christ Jesus.

  5. The fact that it's taken me a few days to comment here on your post really does not do justice to how excited I am to "hear" your voice again after these weeks of fasting! I am encouraged here (of course! no wonder I missed you!) by your thoughts on gratitude as corporate worship. I hadn't exactly made that connection before and the idea really resonates here in my little corner of the world. Mondays are hard days for me to post (my work weeks begins on Tuesdays) and I've been feeling "disconnected" even when I am able to post my gratitude list later in the week. It makes sense now, thinking of this gratitude posting as a beautiful, glorious Hallelujah Chorus and it just isn't quite the same when I quietly play my little notes all by myself. My brain wheels are turning (however slowly!) to figure out a way to joined the symphony on Mondays.

    So very thankful for His ministering hand in all your days--for the relief of your knee pain especially and the strength to finish your Bible study. And, oh, what joy to be counted *grace* again as you turned the March page in the calendar. It sounds like spring is fully upon your part of the world and I am a bit envious of all the colors. We are still wet, wet, wet and gray, gray, gray for the most part!

    Praying for grace and strength as you ease back into your chair at the table here, Dearest Friend.

  6. Hallelujah Chorus - yes! Exactly! Thank you, dear one.

    As to the timing of posting, Monday is sometimes a challenge for me, too, especially if I have a medical appointment that day. There are a few bloggers I've noticed who post on Saturday or Sunday and just link up on Monday; I've sometimes written the post earlier and scheduled it for Monday. It's not the same, but it does achieve the timing desired. You know, though, "timing is of the Lord." When you can't post on Monday, perhaps that's because someone needs to read (or you need to write) those words on a different day. As Ann V. says, "All's grace." May God guide your posting and not posting and grant you peace to rest in Him about timing. Really, really. Love and prayers to you as well.


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.