Thankful in a Big Way – Psalm 136:1-3

My Facebook feed has been overwhelmed by expressions of thankfulness this week. My friends are appreciating the people they love, beauty they find, and things that delight them, so I won’t add to what’s already been covered on this Giving-of-Thanks day.

Give thanks meme ps136

I’m looking at a bigger picture today, thanking God because he is good. Without his goodness, all the other things I appreciate would not exist.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-3 ESV).

So many of the things we appreciate are not going to be around long, but  the steadfast love of the God of all gods and Lord of all lords endures forever.

This is too magnificent for my tiny brain. If we still lived on our acreage in the country, I’d probably go outside and scream.

Thank you, God! You are God! and Your love endures for ever!

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

It’s my Party and I’ll Play if I Want To – Psalm 126:2-3

I stopped pounding on my hefty typewriter when I heard the screen door rattle and a child’s voice. “Can Terry play?”

As Robert Jack, the neighbor boy, asked mom first for my brother, then each of my siblings by name, she explained we were unavailable. It didn’t matter to him that we were in high school, and our youngest sister far beyond being interested in playing outside with a five-year-old.

Robert wasn’t shy, and we were familiar with his routine. First he’d charm us with his grin full of missing teeth, then he’d sit and wait on our back steps, singing a song he’d learned in Sunday School, until someone in my house became available to play. Sometimes he’d ask my mother, “Can you come out and play?”

Age doesn’t matter

child swim .jonkline free pixabay

Earlier this month I felt conspiratorial when I, with stripes of gray in my hair, stood at the counter at Splash! at Lively Park Swim Center asking for a 10-ticket entry packet for birthday party guests. Who would have thought I wasn’t planning a party for a child?

It was a party for me, a grandma about to turn 60, and I wanted to play. Although he’d be in his 40s now, Robert would have certainly been welcome to join us!

I spread the red tablecloth and covered it with snacks and the birthday cake my mother brought. Sitting and chatting with her on the sidelines, we relished watching people we love enjoying themselves in the water.

Most likely, even as I bounced on my inner tube against the waves with grandchildren in tow, it looked like a child’s party. And when I later pulled out my phone to take photos of my niece and her baby in the kiddie pool, it wasn’t apparent I was the birthday girl.

And it was a blast!

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:2-3 NIV).

It may have been unconventional to plan my own birthday party, but I like the idea of giving gifts on my birthday. I’m thankful for the years, the people, the blessings I’ve been given. After the party, my heart was full, and I sang a happy song like Robert’s as I drove home.

Hasn’t God done great things for us?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

 

The “Thank Dad Here” House

With our tummies full of chilled root beer and the window rolled down on hot summer evenings, I squeezed my bony knees together under my cotton dress, anticipating the moment we’d pass the designated house. I practiced the thank-you-for-the-root-beer-dad speech in my mind, hoping it would sound unrehearsed when I delivered it.

My Mission

As strongly as a 9-year-old could, I’d imprinted the house on the corner of 29th and Washington as the Thank Dad Here house, so I’d remember to thank him every time we passed it. My mission, of course, was to ensure there would be many more frosty mugs of root beer.

child in car .free pixabay

The Unexpected Benefit

How good it felt to escape the heat and let the breeze blow through my ponytail. Anticipating the cold drink helped my brother and sisters focus on what we all loved, instead of bickering. Sometimes we’d watch cars “drag the gut,” parading up and down Willamette Street. The highlight to us, however, was the root beer.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18 NKJV).

There are dozens of references to being thankful in the Bible. It’s clear God places a high value on it, but I didn’t expect to receive any benefit other than the repetition of a pleasant experience. What I learned, however, was that my father appreciated our thankfulness—he loved being with his family and pleasing us. Expressing my thanks blessed him, no matter what my motive was.

Being Thankful Starts with Saying Thankful

Repeated thanks worked on my heart, too, and now I really am thankful for Dad’s love and gifts to us. There’s nothing wrong with practicing what’s good. The motivation for it can become more pure with time.

Do you have something like my landmark that helps you remember to be thankful?

by Kathy Sheldon Davis