Thursday, November 27, 2014

letting the hard prompt our thanksgiving

I’ve been a little absent from the blog world as of late.

Short answer – I’m tired.

Explanation – I’m pregnant.

I’ve been living on a tilt-a-whirl eating nothing but gym socks while being forced to listen to Justin Bieber on repeat for more than 8 weeks now. Every time I’ve thought about blogging, I’ve realized I have nothing positive to say – nothing inspiration or whitty or shareable because once you are on there is no getting off the tilt-a-whirl.

And yet when I get like this I’m always reminded of the things I’ve learned from my good friend Ann. I’ve never met my good friend Ann, but I’ve told Jeremy many times that I want to move to Canada to live next to Ann because, well, that little book she wrote a while back – that New YorkTimes Best Seller – has perhaps been the most significant book in my spiritual formation of the last half decade and this makes me want to sell all and become and pig farmer and homeschool and chase moons just to spend time with thiswoman who taught me the discipline of gratitude.

The greatest lesson I’ve learned from Ann and the discipline of thanksgiving is the importance of giving thanks in the hard. To take the things which are less than ideal and use them as prompts for today’s – and every day’s – Thanksgiving. I knew today that I needed to do this for my own sake – to take my laundry list of hard and transform it into gratitude. And when I was all done I thought maybe I’d go ahead and share it with you all, because maybe on this day of Thanksgiving, maybe you need to do the same.

Italicized whiny prompts are followed by bold declarations of thanks. I’m confident you’ll get the idea. May this inspire you to sit and eat your turkey and when its your turn at the table to say what you are thankful for – may you not give a canned answer of “I'm thankful for my family and friends” but may you use the hard prompts to choose transformative gratitude, and be blessed.


I’m tired or being tired. Thank you for naps and that I really am still logging a good number of hours at night.

She's so perky. I'm so jealous.
I’m travel weary. Thank you that we’ve made all of our connections and have had vehicles to use in between.

mmhm. we made it.
I’m pretty done with living out of a suitcase and always sleeping in other people’s homes. Thank you for the true abundance of hospitality we have experienced in the form of food, beds and friendship.

THIS is hospitality.
I’m bored to tears with giving the same presentation over and over… and over. Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive responses we’ve received time and time again.

I like to call this picture "death by furlough" 
I’m sick of throwing up. Thank you that there is a healthy growing baby inside of me, and that I have been able to keep every speaking engagement despite the nausea.

I'm smiling, but I feel like this on the inside.
It’s winter now and I’m part African and therefore freezing cold. Thank you for the kind souls that have given us sweatshirts and/or turned on their heat.

At least it stayed warm long enough for us to play outside!
And a few more for which there are no pictures...

I’m tired of having pregnancy brain and not being able to think. Thank you for grace in the moment – lifting the fog long enough to let me answer a question intelligently or for plugging people’s ears when I clearly can’t think any more.

I’m through with spending/talking about money in this crazy country. Thank you for the money we have raised. Thank you for meeting our needs and giving us confidence in the vision you’ve placed on our hearts.

I’m tired of missing “home.” Thank you for the ability to skype with Zambia and for the amazing fellowship of the amazing people that have loved on us here.

I’m exhausted from worrying about Jeremy’s departure. (This is the hardest one, because I’m still worrying about it. Jeremy goes back to Zambia on Tuesday and Bronwyn and I return to New York and I’m weepy and confused about how we are going to cope. I’m having to dig deep to find any gratitude regarding this upcoming separation.) And still, thank you that there is a work happening in Zambia worthy enough of our time, attention, and even our separation. Thank you for cell towers that allow us to call each other. Thank you for a safe place for Bronwyn and I to stay while I finish growing this baby.


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