Wednesdays with Jillene: choosing to give thanks

It wasn’t that long ago that a new Redbox appeared only a few miles from my house. Too say I was excited is an understatement. Micah can tell you that my gasp/shriek of joy as I spotted the new box as he pulled the van into the Dollar General parking lot had him a little terrified he’d done something wrong. Its the little things that bring the biggest joy, right? We haven’t chosen to pay for satellite tv since we moved and dsl is inconsistent to say the least… so this was big news for me.

Anyway, I digress because this isn’t a post about how thankful I am to be able to rent movies close to home (at least that’s not the main point). But it is spurred on by two movies I rented and watched last night, and while this isn’t an endorsement that you should watch either, they sure made me think.

Which movies: Inside Out  and  The Shack

For all the differences between these two movies,  there was something found in them both that really struck me, kept me up for a little bit last night and had me thinking all day today.

Then I got this package delivered and it hit me why I’d been pondering for hours. Thankfulness. See, tomorrow we are going to use these fun leaves to share things we are thankful for and they’ll be cute decorations while helping us dive deeper into a reflection on our blessings. And there it hit me again. Thankfulness and blessing.

In the movie Inside Out there is this Character, Joy. Her main, self appointed role is to help Riley have days filled with joy, to minimize anger, disgust, fear and sadness and fill her days with joy. But a problem happens and through the rest of the storyline Joy comes to see that joy isn’t actually joy without the other emotions. That sadnesses isn’t the enemy, each emotion has a role to play. I was convicted the first time I watched this move about how we tend to do this as believers. All too easily we hide other emotions and falsely fill our day with joy. And we wonder why we burn out, why even the good things of life don’t satisfy.

Then I watched The Shack. And there was one scene that really got me thinking. The main character, Mack is face-to-face with Wisdom personified and he’s asked if he’d like to to be the judge. Because Mack had already been doing a lot of judging of other people, even of God. Very quickly it becomes obvious that while Mack may be quick to pass judgements and make pronouncements of guilt and what is good/bad for a person to experience… well, as a human that exceeds his ability to do… and I remembered this post I wrote for Mother’s Day, about being Surprised by Thankfulness.

And then God brought this scripture from Matthew 5 to mind.

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And I’ve been sitting with it today. Letting it all sink deep as I prepare for the Day of Thanksgiving. And I’ve been challenged… challenged to choose to give thanks for the things I struggle to see as worthy… choose to find blessing in the upside down situations of life… choose to allow God to show me His goodness in the places I refuse to find it… choose to see joy even in the unexpected places like sadness… choosing to see God’s goodness, plan and purpose in even unexpected ways and I wanted to know if you’d join me?

Tomorrow I will put up a new post and I’d love for you to share your thanksgivings together with me… both Thanksgiving and blessings found in the expected and the unexpected.



One thought on “Wednesdays with Jillene: choosing to give thanks

  1. Pingback: Giving thanks |

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