Posted by: minnow | November 27, 2009


When we lived in South Bend Indiana, Notre Dame country and therefore heavily Roman Catholic, we were told by some former RC folks that “they” did not feel comfortable praying with “us” (non-catholics).  To circumvent this situation my family started asking the question of each person at the dinner table whenever we had guests: “What are you thankful for?  It served as our prayer and actually helped us understand that we truly have much for which to be thankful!

As the official Thanksgiving Day arrived I realized my Thank-you list was quite long!  Most immediate in my mind is that we have been blessed with a new house.  My husband and his business partner have put many long carpentry hours in remodeling and repairing much of it.  And, we were able to get new flooring and new paint–everywhere.  We have added a new member–a Golden Retriever puppy named Sadie–to the family.  (The cat is not quite as thankful as the rest of us).  We have jobs.  We have plenty to eat.  We are warm.  My husband’s parents and my Dad are all healthy.  Our cars work!!!  The lights in my children’s eyes are bright.  And, we have a hope for the future.  I am indeed thankful for the good and positive aspects of my life.

All however, is not positive in the world or at home.  One of my children had his appendix out over a year ago and has not been completely healthy since.   The doctors are baffled.  We are frustrated and he is discouraged, confused, tired most of the time, and struggling to remain hopeful.  How does one remain thankful for all things when all the things in one’s life are not good?  Those verses, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Colossians 3:15, have always perplexed me.  No matter how many sermons  I have heard to explain them the concept of being thankful in all circumstances is a difficult one for me to grasp.

And yet, as I think of my son, several things come to mind for which I can be thankful,within this situation.  I am thankful he is able to rest when he needs to do so.  I am grateful he feel free to talk to me about how he feels.  I am blessed by concentrated time with him when he does have energy, time I might not have, were he completely healthy and out and about with friends all the time.  I am thankful, too, that he has friends who check in on him and still like to do things with him when he is able. 

I have not wrestled with God in prayer over my son’s illness.  Some might think that makes me a bad mother.  But the truth is–this is not my fight.  My son has done some of his own wrestling.  I cannot say I know exactly how his wrestling has gone.  We have been in fellowships who pray for miraculous healings and such his whole life so I suspect he has at least asked the “why me, God” questions and the “Why are You not healing me, Lord” questions.  Yet, that has not been what he has talked to me about and I am trying to let him lead in the discussion topics area.

I have watched my son drift a little from his “church” friends and hang out a bit more with his non-church friends.  But I do not believe that necessarily means he is “losing his faith”.  His non-church friends simply call more often.  They do not seem to mind when he tells them he needs to go home because he is getting tired; they just make plans to get together another time.

Maybe the attitude displayed by my son’s friends is the biggest thing I have to be thankful–and my biggest challenge as well.  Dealing with what is.  Facing the moment.  Being with my son, available as he has need.  I am learning, in a new and immediate way, what it means to walk with someone, to BE together whatever the circumstances.  Living today’s moment completely and leaving tomorrow’s until tomorrow.



  1. Praying that whatever it is, you’ll soon get your answers. Facing the moment, as you say, is a huge challenge. I admire that you have the strong faith to do that. Blessings!

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