Cool, crisp air awakens my senses as I open the door to the outdoors and welcome a fresh new day. The early morning blue jays and warblers are chattering, no doubt filled with energy as they flutter from oak tree to pine tree and back again. Palm fronds rustle to a grand crescendo with each sweeping gust of wind. I have been anxiously anticipating this day as I do each and every year in this tropical climate, and I can’t brew my coffee fast enough so I can retreat to my favorite spot in the patio garden and soak up the gifts a morning like this brings. Peeking over the trees is the full moon, glowing like a beacon through the darkness. The sun will be up soon, but I have to get a picture; I have to capture this perfect, thankful moment. How many of these moments have passed me by in my fervent yet empty search for significance? Too many to count I’m afraid.
Comfortably tucked within the worn cushions of my wicker chair, I gaze through the array of colors in my garden. I have chosen the flowers carefully, tended to them regularly for such a moment as this. The red, fuchsia, orange, yellow and purple make me smile. I am reminded of how much I adore color and how the palette soothes away my morning tiredness. The wind chime dances and plays a happy, off beat tune today, completely surrendered to the movement of the breeze. It is chilly, and I wrap my blanket around me, making sure to leave enough drape for my dogs to curl up in the folds at my feet. A sense of contentment for this moment fills my soul. I breathe deeply……ahhhhhhh…….in spite of all that has threatened to frighten and destroy in the past year, for this one fleeting, solitary moment, my soul is at rest, content and filled with hope. I am more alive in this one fresh, untainted moment than so many combined. It occurs to me, that it is these profound and peaceful moments of grace which help to usher us through the difficult and heart wrenching moments of life. Pondering over my blog topic for the month, I realize the gift this moment is granting me, and I wonder if I am up for the challenge it brings.
The question rolls around in my groggy mind. What would happen if I spent the next 30 days ThanksLiving? What gifts would be waiting for me on the other side? What healing discovery would be unearthed in the depths of my heart if I were to yield to such small, intimate and personal moments of each day? How will the eyes of my understanding be opened? I keep a ThanksLiving journal, but my soul is longing for something more visual, an accounting of moments which extends beyond the written page. I am reminded of what an avid scrapbooker I have become through the years, and how crucial it has always been for me to remember so many moments with my children, when so much of my own childhood cannot be accessed through my memory. Remembering these precious moments has kept me rooted in my purpose and calling as a mother. Keeping a visual accounting of even the seemingly smallest and simple moments has created a masterpiece of the graces of God within my life. This visual accounting within the scrapbook pages helps me to be still and remain rooted and grounded in the promise that God is the creator of and works through each and every one of my moments, and I find rest and security even if for just a moment.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
With this thought, the challenge becomes clearly visible, and I extend the same challenge to you, to join me in creating your own 30 Days of ThanksLiving Wall. The challenge is first to commit to being aware of each singular moment of the day instead of flying through them as if they are invisible and void of individual recognition. As these moments are recognized, snap pictures with your phone or camera (it doesn’t have to be professional or take too much time). At the close of the day, choose one which stands out as the most significant moment. Designate one wall within the space of your home which will be most visible, relaxing and reflective for you to see over the next 30 days. Lastly, create your personalized ThanksLiving Wall by arranging your pictures with or without mats or frames. If space is a premium, use a bulletin board. Add quotes or captions to remind you of why you chose each picture.
I have created a 30 Days of ThanksLiving Challenge Facebook page for all of my readers to post their pictures and share as we build community through giving thanks for our moments. Invite your friends to join the journey and share your moments. Let’s partner together for the next 30 days and truly live with thanks through the gifts God has waiting for us as He creates those intimate and personal moments throughout our daily lives!
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparable great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18,19