Three Thankfuls for the Price of One.

I am sorely behind on my month of gratitude.  I think that not blogging on the weekends may happen more often than not, so... let's all just start being fine with that, shall we?

So, Day 3: I am thankful for lightheartedness.  I know that sounds cheesy, but I have had a pretty heavy life (if you read my blog last month, then you know what I mean... that was just ONE month of all my baggage people!  Can you imagine 12 of those!?!?)  Anyways, life is hard.  We are all faced with adversity, challenges and the limitless shortcomings of people around us.  Okay, okay... it is possible that my own shortcomings also make life a little touch and go at times.  That being said, I am deeply thankful for any moment that is not just "easy," but truly joy-filled.

I am most thankful for the playful moments... jokes, laughter, affection, friendly banter that may seem a little like verbal abuse, but are really just fun jabs at the expense of your loved ones.  These are the moments that I treasure.  I am so thankful that I can honestly say that the people I am related to, are people that I would actually choose to be friends with.  This is miraculous.  My life is so filled with heartache at times, that I can't help but rejoice in every drop of dry humor, sarcasm and hilarity that each day offers up.

My challenge to you:  Make somebody feel lighthearted.  Give a really specific and genuine compliment to cheer someone up, be more affectionate than normal (not like heavy petting, just a non-pervy hug or maybe just a high five if you can't control yourself.) Or make somebody laugh really hard.  Just email somebody with a word or phrase that will trigger a hilarious memory or inside joke.  I just sent a heytell message to my step-sister that only she would understand, and it will surely make her laugh until she pees a little.  And isn't that the point??

Day 4: I am thankful for pain.  Weird right?  But, try and follow... I once saw an episode of Oprah, where a little girl could not physically feel any pain.  She was constantly injuring herself, because she never really learned to not run directly into the corner of a coffee table.  Without pain, our brain never receives the signal to avoid danger.  Pain is a really important part of survival.  It is also the place where we become so aware of our uselessness and weakness, that we are forced to look for something bigger than ourselves.  If I hadn't had a heavy dose of pain at a very young age, I believe that I would have been susceptible to believing that life is good, people are good, and I am pretty good.  Instead, pain has taught me that actually, life is hard, all people are capable of heinous sins, and I am as sin-sick as any of us.  Pain has taught me that God is the only source of good.  Pain is where I first met Christ, and through His pain on my behalf, I am freed from my sin-sickness and will actually be equipped to do or be something good.  Without pain, we would all need to wear helmets, and we would think we could handle this life on our own, and we might even feel like we could escape this life unscathed.  What a preposterous and ridiculous perspective.

So, I am thankful for pain.  It keeps my kids from touching fire, and it keeps me from buying shoes too small, and it keeps my heart desperately seeking the only One who offers any relief.

My challenge to you:  Thank someone who taught you a painful lesson that you needed to learn.  That, or punch someone really hard and make them thank you.  (Only kidding.)

Day 5:  I am thankful for the country I live in.  I am thankful that I have freedom to say whatever absurd things I want.  I am thankful that I have a voice, and that I have enough guts to speak up, even when it is scary.  I am going to use my voice and my freedom later this month, to speak out against the atrocities that are happening at the hands of LRA leader, Joseph Kony.  While many have found Invisible Children and their efforts somewhat controversial, some friends and I have decided to take the opportunity to join them at the global summit in Washington D.C.  Whether you agree with the organization's methods in stopping war crimes, child sex-slavery, and children forced to become soldiers or not... this is a way to bring this issue before important law-makers without giving to Invisible Children as a cause.  In my opinion, it is the perfect opportunity to use our small voices to collectively speak up for those who have suffered at the hands of Kony and the LRA.

Here is My challenge to you: consider the country we live in and how blessed we are to have the freedoms we have, and consider speaking up and DOING something on behalf of those with no voice.  This is just one opportunity.