Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spilling Over

Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7 The Message
My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well-constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.


Eight Days until Thanksgiving. Do you have these days counted out and counted down? My guess is not. I didn’t until today.
This national holiday was once a major event in the United States, but now is often overlooked and neglected and relegated as the interim between Halloween and Christmas. It seems to be a token holiday, an archaic tradition that no longer seems quite relevant. Let’s eat turkey, watch football and fall asleep on the couch.
Let me make something crystal clear right now. I have NO problem with eating turkey (it’s not my favorite, but there’s always other options), I have no issue with watching football (it’s not even on my radar, but it is on my son-in-law’s and for him I’ll try to figure out what it means to be on the something-something yard line), and I most certainly do not have a problem with napping on the couch (especially if I am tucked into my husband’s side under a fleece throw and my own eyes are closing).
Hopefully we are clear that I am not bashing some of the “sacred” traditions of Thanksgiving.
But these are by-products of a holiday meant to help people, a nation, to remember. This holiday was a holy day set aside to help us revisit the struggles and provisions of the year past. Thanksgiving is not just a day in November; it should be a statement in our lives. Thanksgiving Day should be a day to celebrate what we have been doing all year—living out thanksgiving for the blessings, the provision, the comfort, the care we have received.
My guess is you will read and hear a great deal about being thankful over the next eight days. You will be coerced and shamed into expecting more out of November 28, 2013 than turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and (God forbid) an uninterrupted nap on the couch.
For the next seven days I want to remember.
In Scripture this word does not simply mean to call to mind. This remembering is a call to action based on your remembrances.  Remember me in prayer many of our older generation asked. Don’t just call me to mind, but pray for me. Ask the Father on my behalf. Intercede for me. Many times I have had friends who have traveled across the ocean. When they did I asked them to remember me—to shout my name at the shore. Or to stand on the Ephesian soil and bring me a stone so I might add it to my own cairn here at home. These friends have remembered me. Returning from their sojourns they come and see me and tell me they whispered my name, prayed for me or brought me something. I was remembered. 
In the next seven days I want to remember what my sweet God has done for me. What he has provided. What he has given. What he has bestowed. What he has poured out so freely.
Please join me. Ann Voskamp has paved the way for us with her beautiful book: One Thousand Gifts. If you haven’t read it I’m sorry. Thanksgiving is the under breath of Ann’s life. She encourages all of us to understand that everything can be filtered through giving thanks. Everything. And when we give thanks, when we choose to be grateful, our hearts fill to the brim.
Once we see three things to be thankful for we begin to see thirty.
For the next seven days I want you to experience the spill over of God’s abundant grace. As I share my spill over, perhaps you will see and recognize your own.
We’ll begin today.  Today’s remembrances are a list.  A list of ten.
Ten things I am thankful for today.

1.      Blueberries and pomegranate mixed in my morning yogurt.

2.      Henry (our dog) being so patient with my grandsons.


3.      Folded laundry.

4.      Ice in my water.

5.      Thursday night date with my oldest and youngest daughters—and the three tickets for the premiere of the movie we will see at midnight.  

6.      My daughter asking me to make her a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

7.      The scent of Granddaddy’s bread baking in our kitchen.

8.      Text prayers.

9.      The phrase “Hey, Mama.”

10.  My corner sanctuary.











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