Thanksgiving Is Most Certainly NOT for the Birds

You know who has nothing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?

The turkey.

It’s kinda a rough day for that dude.

Unless we’re talking about a martyr turkey.

And somehow, I highly doubt that once a turkey gets wind of what gets cut off and where it all gets stuffed and cooked… Well, I don’t much think we’re going to see many turkey’s yelling “Pick me!” for that experience.

All turkey business aside, I know full well how very much I have to be thankful for. And, although I’ve been practicing thankfulness with more regularity since first reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp a couple of years ago, it does me good to purposely set aside time each year for an extra helping of thankfulness.

So, in the spirit of reflection and thanksgiving, this morning I am so very thankful for:

  • You.  Yes, you. I come here and use words to work through things and you come and share right back. I’m so grateful. Flannery O’Connor said that “I write to discover what I know.”  You help me discover that. Thank you.
  • Sweetman and my sweetkids. They drive me batty. But for every new bat-like symptom I acquire, for every new twitch they inspire, I am grateful that they are mine. And I am theirs. I wouldn’t trade anything (You know what I would trade? A cast. I would trade that, actually.)
  • Italians. Si`. My “fache` booka`” loving sister-in-law, who thinks nothing of stopping an 11:00 pm card game of Rumino to call her sister (or one of 4 brothers) in another state to make sure no one is cheating, and my mother-in-law, who will cook up a storm and bake love into every single delicious bite.
  • Freedom. I’m not talking about the freedom that living in The United States provides, although I have no doubt that I don’t even understand how blessed being an American really is. I’m talking about the freedom to write what I want. Post when I want. Think how I want. It’s a gift, tenfold. I am thankful.

I’m going to end my thoughts right there. An Italian is calling from the kitchen telling me that breakfast is served. “Andiamo!”

“I’m coming!!!”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Rip It Off

“Only God knows how many dreams have been killed at the altar of fear.”

-Derwin Gray, Limitless Life

Fear is no respecter of circumstance.  It just isn’t. It will have its way no matter how well prepared one thinks they are.

Like, when I wax my upper lip.  (Yep. I’m going there. Just for a minute.)  I can ice that area.  I can repeat my mantra, “I’ve birthed two babies. I can DO THIS!”.  I can do everything I can do to prepare myself for that rip.

Until it comes time to do it.

And then, it sometimes takes a knock at the front door by the UPS man to get me to just do it, for crying out loud!

There are other things in my life that I let fear keep me from doing.

The author of Limitless Life, Derwin Gray, goes on from the quote I used up there to say, “It must break His [God’s] heart to see dreams He has placed in so many people’s hearts go unrealized because we have more faith in fear than in Him.” 

Ouch.

That quote couldn’t cut deeper into the heart of the fear issue in my life, if it had been written only for me.

But it wasn’t written just for me. This book is a powerful tool written for any of us that are looking for ways to live life unbound by the labels that have no place in our lives, anymore. And maybe, they never had any place in our lives, at all!

This book is helping me to see that I still, after all my blustering on about following dreams and being redeemed, I still haven’t ripped that “Afraid” label fully off!

It’s like that tender little bit of upper lip that’s right under my nose. I’ve already gone and done the whole blasted thing, except that one last area.  But, I can’t make myself rip that last bit off.

And, why not?

Fear.

It is time to rip off that last bit of the old label of “Afraid” and be willing to let God replace it with ones that He deems worthy.

Because He has redeemed me!

He has declared me worthy of a new label!

And I am, finally, fully aware that I need new labels stitched into my heart.

True labels.

I’ve written before about the power that I think words have to help someone sort out the messes in life.  I’ve also talked a lot about the importance of following the dreams that seem to have been planted within our hearts.

And I’ve slacked off of doing either one of those, lately.

Seeing those dreams start to push through the hard crusty fear that took up residence for too long in my heart is a gift. I want to claim the labels of “Worthy” and “Able”. I want to let them propel me toward more of living the life that God has given me to live.

For me, that means that I want to keep writing my story.

For some of us Writerly types, courage comes not in the knowledge that our words will end up out in public, but in the knowing that we finally got them out.  Somewhere. Out of the shrunken heart-shaped prison that held them there. Enslaved.

But I am free.

It’s high time I let my words prove it!

P31_LL_Missindeedy

Yes, indeedy.  I do believe I will.

How about you?  Do you need to move from Afraid to Courageous?  If you’d like some more inspiration to do just that, consider joining in with the newly begun Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study of Limitless Life, by Derwin Gray.  Click the button below to see what others thought about the labels we wear and the community we share!

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