the poison of ingratitude

Yesterday morning there was a shift in my heart.

These few months have been dry. I’ve been stubborn, cold, in one of those phases that no one likes to talk about because they’d rather just hole up and have no one bother them. In the moment, that’s all you want. Leave me alone, I’ll figure it out eventually. Fortunately for my soul and unfortunately for my prideful heart, that doesn’t last. Your loved ones peer in, start to ask, try to help. And don’t you just love them and hate them at the same time.

But then you find yourself glancing up. Walking. Approaching the good things you’ve pushed away for weeks. And you’re timid and you’re scared but you know it’s the best for you. And you find yourself just a tiny bit grateful for their tough but tender love. And you walk a little farther, become a little braver. And then one day, all of a sudden, you have a morning like yesterday’s.

For a couple days, in the back of my head, I’d been thinking about thankfulness. I was realizing how ungrateful I live my days. I walk about and breathe and communicate as if I just deserve, as if I’ve earned, all the incredible graces in my life. And I was gradually becoming more aware of how completely opposite that mindset it. Then yesterday morning, it all broke. Aaron and I read Jesus Calling (November 26, if you want a reference) and we prayed and the tears kept pouring out as I listed person after person, gift after gift, situation after situation that I do not deserve. And the thankful list kept growing. And I felt, deep in me, the kindness and generosity of a God who cares about me, even in times when I don’t give Him more than two seconds of my attention. 

And I realized- He showed me- the danger of ingratitude. It is a poison. A cloak that gradually covers you and lies to you and makes you full of yourself. My thoughts, my heart, if they have anything right to them, ought to tangibly reside in a posture of gratitude. That is the norm, the home base, square one. If there is any erring, it is a quick peek outside with an even quicker return. I want to live in the home of thanking. I want to consider every sight in my life as its true identity: a gift. Aaron, gift. Our home, gift. Our families, gifts. Our health, gift. A kitchen stocked with all the tools and food I could possibly need, gift. The peace and rejuvenation in our home, gift. The ability to love and celebrate and feel, gift. Why should I deserve any of this? These things are so good that they could only belong to my loving King. So I will live in this.

How timely of Him, nonetheless. This is the most celebratory month of the entire year and I love it so much I could burst. I can’t believe we get to join in on partying with the Creator of the concept of celebration. That is literally one of my top five favorite things about Him (we watched High Fidelity last night so I’m into the five groupings right now). But seriously- the thought of that makes me cry every time. And every year at this time I fear that I won’t be in tune enough to feel and understand and experience the wonder of this month. But then He goes and does things like this. He changes my heart and tugs me back and reminds me of What is good so that I can celebrate with Him all over again. That is grace. And it shows up in the coolest of ways.

I’m thankful that I get to be thankful, especially in this merry month.