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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Being Thankful

 
by Jennifer AlLee

There are some days when you want to run around, singing praises of thanksgiving for all God has done for you. And there are other days when you wonder what the heck God was thinking and the last thing you want to do is say thank you.

2012 was filled with lots of those days for me. Both kinds.
What are you thankful for?
What I've come to realize, though, is that God's not crazy. Just because something bad happens, it doesn't (a) mean that God made it happen or (b) mean that God stopped paying attention. In his book, Abba's Child, Brennan Manning says this:
It takes a profound conversion to accept that God is relentlessly tender and compassionate toward us just as we are - not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance), but with them. Though God does not condone or sanction evil, He does not withhold His love because there is evil in us.
Wow. It's natural for us to think that, when bad things happen, God is not with us, His love is not all over us. But that's totally wrong. Our condition in no way reflects the depth of love God has for us. He doesn't love the millionaire anymore than He loves the homeless person. He doesn't win the prize-winning athlete anymore than he loves the person who can't walk. His love is indescribable, incomprehensible, and unending.

So what does all this have to do with thankfulness? When we have things to be thankful for, we also feel God's love and attention. When we feel there's nothing to be thankful for, we often feel that God has abandoned us. I decided that, this year, I'm going to be thankful every day, even if I have to try really hard to do it.

Over at my personal blog, I'm putting up a new thing every day that I'm thankful for. So far, it's been the new year and sugar-free Jell-o (because even the little things are blessings). I hope to keep this up every day. And if I do, I can be thankful for that in 2014 :)

What about you? What are you thankful for?


JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her novels include The Love of His Brother (Five Star, 11/07), The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, 2/10), The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, 4/12) and the upcoming A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12). She's thrilled to be working on her first historical series with the amazing Lisa Karon Richardson. Diamond in the Rough is the first book in the Charm and Deceit series, to be released in 2013 by Whitaker House. And... as if that's not enough, her novella Comfort and Joy will appear in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories (Barbour, 9/13) She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.
Visit Jennifer's website at www.jenniferallee.com/

7 comments:

  1. I'm thankful for you, Jen. For the friendship we've found in being Inky sisters.

    I'm thankful that I've shared time with you at conferences and that you put up with me, even in those times I'm not acting like a friend.

    I'm thankful that I can hear your voice and the way you laugh when I read your comments on the Words With Friends chat.

    God, thank you for Jen.

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  2. Anita, how dare you make me cry first thing in the morning! ;) Sweetie, I'm thankful for you, too. You are a blessing and I'm proud to call you Sister. Sending you big cyber hugs until I can give you the real thing in September.

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  3. That is so sweet, Anita!

    Jen, I love that God does not withhold His love from us even though we aren't pure in heart. I need to know that because it's so easy to get caught up in thinking I'm too unworthy of God's (or anyone else's) love. Thank you, Jen.

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  4. I'm thankful for you, too, Jen! And you, too, Anita and Suzie! Group hug.

    I love your idea to post something new every day that you're thankful for. Every so often I keep a gratitude journal but I really should do it all the time. Great reminder.

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  5. I'm thankful for books, reading them, writing them, editing them. I'm thankful that my husband earns a good income and that I have three wonderful, healthy children.

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  6. I wish I knew where we get the idea that God is not happy with us when trouble comes to call. I think it's because we are really so limited in our love. We withhold love when we are angry or hurt and we may even watch others suffer and think...hmmm I wonder what they did wrong.

    We do ask, what did I do to deserve this? Does it all come from the society around us, our parents, our teachers?

    Of course God does hand out punishments -or rather, discipline. To guide us back or prevent further damage, like any good parent, he disciplines us and it's not always easy.

    I know I am learning to be thankful for the bumps in the road.
    I definitely understand more of God's nature as I get older. His love doesn't change. Amazing.

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  7. Yep... God's never-changing love is amazing and beyond my comprehension. There are still days when I forget. Getting to know Him and His nature is a life-long process, one that won't be fully accomplished until Eternity.

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