“Be thankful for the bad things in life. For they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.”  I saw this quote on Facebook a few days ago.  The photo it was attached to was of Kermit the Frog leaning against a pillar. I don’t know if this is a quote from Kermit or if whomever posted it just thought it was a good match.

Zion 2013 Sunset shadows

It did make me think. At our community Thanksgiving service last Sunday, my husband spoke about a song called, Forgive Us, Lord, For Shallow Thankfulness, which came from a Missouri Synod Lutheran hymnal. It resonated with me because, probably like many of us, I tend to get excited about things like getting fiber optic internet access, my latest hat or earrings, a big night at work where everything goes smoothly and I actually make money instead of losing it, getting to play the piano with my musical friends, and things like having a whole day to myself when I can hang out in my nightgown and write all day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but…

Sherrie and Mark 2013

I take the really good, important things in my life for granted. Shelter, enough food to fill my stomach, a family that loves me, a husband who is a dear, friends who care about me, my nice, blue PT cruiser and my nicely decorated homes and … how quickly I forget to enjoy  and give thanks for these very precious things.

Guest Room

And when bad things happen or things don’t go the way I’d hoped they would, like most of us, I tend to grumble instead of giving thanks.

Zion 2013 Stormy

If I go one step further and look at the really big picture – I am embarrassed that I don’t feel more gratitude for the most important things – the fact that God loves me and gave His son to die for me, and that He is always by my side, through good times and bad. The fact that I am loved by the Lord Creator, Risen Savior of all is certainly something to be thankful for, yet, so very often, I live my life as though the stone, unrolled, still lay across the door.

Zion 2013 Frost Close

When bad things happen, we’re often jolted into realizing what’s really important, and feeling appreciation for what really matters. My husband tells the story of a study about a man who won the lottery and a man who endured a horrible car accident and many months / years of healing and rehabilitation. The study looked at who was happier after ten years, and surprisingly, it was the man who survived the horrific car accident.

Zion - bowed head

I wish you nothing but happiness on this Thanksgiving Day, but the next time your day, week or month is frustrating instead of ideal, and your microwave dies and your glasses break and your blog disappears and won’t post, I hope that we are (I am) able to humbly give thanks with a grateful heart and remember I Thessalonians 5:18 – in ALL circumstances, give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!