Food For Thought on Thanksgiving

Our lives are a gift. Our faith is unearned. Our prayer is given to us with no strings attached.

Why does God give us, as ungrateful as we are, so many pleasures, so many graces, so many delights?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that there is joy in giving to someone you love.

What I do know is that when we gratefully receive God and God’s way of life, we give God pleasure.

What I do know is that in gratitude we become more alive, more free, and better able to love others.

{Mark Yaconelli in Wonder, Fear, and Longing.  Emphasis mine.}

When unpacking is an exercise in thanksgiving.

I watched Tim vacuum our living room with a mixture of anticipation and agitation.  Our vast expanse of uncluttered carpet was going to be piled high with furniture and boxes in a matter of hours.

Twelve days ago, we had watched our possessions being loaded on to a large van. Those boxes and pieces of furniture would later be transfered to an even larger freight truck, then hauled North on its way to Idaho.  The next day, we made a much more direct and speedy journey to our new home.  Blueberry, my trusty Honda Accord, was packed with clothes, bedding, and a few other items we had deemed necessary for survival during a week (or so) sans the majority of our stuff.

joy is my best offeringEven after a trip to Target yielded a cart full of items to make our apartment functional, the empty spaces around the place were a bit startling – at first.  I quickly got used to eating frozen pizza on an upturned laundry basket and sleeping on an air mattress.  When we got a couch, I was shocked at the amount of space it seemed to occupy.  In reality, it was just odd to have a large object amidst the nothingness.

After reading Organized Simplicity a couple months ago, God has been reshaping my attitude about living intentionally.  Tim and I went through a great purge before we moved and I’ve enjoyed the beginning stages of pairing down our belongings.  Though this week of simplicity has had challenges – no oven mitt to take out aforementioned pizza, not wanting to buy hangers when we have some on their way, colder temperatures than we were prepared for in the clothing department – I realized I was growing attached to our stark apartment landscape.

So, on one hand, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of our coffee maker (yes, I am a caffeine addict), books, and real bed (oh to be at least a foot off the ground…).  It will be lovely to cook for new friends in an operational kitchen and hang family photos in the living room, but I know that with the delivery of our possessions comes a healthy dose of distraction. I am wary of being consumed by the task of unpacking, by the desire to make things perfect.

My prayer is that the process of unpacking would be an exercise in thanksgiving, an act of praise for His provision.  As we create a home out of our apartment, it is my desire to give joy as an offering to the One who has given to us abundantly in life and love.

Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.  {Joel 2:23}