Monday, December 6, 2010

Gratitude Journal

B and I waited seven years before we had children. Does that surprise you?

I know that seems like a long time, and sometimes it felt long for us, but God knew what He was doing. There was a little matter of grad school for both of us that we had to get out of the way. And then there was the little backpacking trip through England and Scotland that we needed to do. And so many other things to do and work to be done that we just didn’t get around to having children for a while.

But the main reason, I believe, that God had us wait to have children until just the right time can be summed up in two little words: Veggie Tales.

God obviously knew that it would take a village for me to raise my children and that village would have to include such characters as Bob, Larry, and a little asparagus named Junior.

I feel extremely sorry for anyone who had children either pre-Veggie Tales or post-Veggie Tales. If you had kids anytime after 1993 and up until the early 2000s, you probably know what I’m talking about. But if you had kids prior to the ‘90s, you probably didn’t get in on the craze that was Veggie Tales.

A moment of silence for the children of the ‘80s. For so many reasons.

Thankfully, B and I had our kids in the ‘90s and were fortunate to be able to buy into the Veggie Tales craze. And, boy, did we buy into it. I think Phil Vischer has me personally to thank for that addition he put on his house in 1998.

But I digress.

There are so many great Veggie Tales videos, and the impact they have made on my kids is huge. Apparently they have made an impact on my pastor too, because two Sundays ago he made reference to “Dave and the Giant Pickle” in his sermon. Go figure.

One of my all-time favorite Veggie Tales episodes has got to be “Madame Blueberry,” the story of the ungrateful, unhappy lady who wanted to buy all the stuff at Stuff Mart and the little girl she meets along the way who teaches her something about gratitude.

There’s a song in “Madame Blueberry” that I think of so often and it goes like this:

I thank God for this day
For the sun in the sky
For my mom and my dad
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around
That's why I say thanks every day!

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have
That's an easy way to start

For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

A thankful heart is a happy heart. I believe that. And since we just celebrated Thanksgiving I’ve been thinking about thankfulness a lot lately.

Ann Voskamp hosts a blog carnival that is focused on gratitude. She started out simply listing thing on her blog that she’s thankful for—a few every week. Her goal was to come up with 1,000 things that she was thankful for, but once she reached 1,000 she just kept going. I think she’s somewhere around 2,500 now.

I love that Ann records things from the simple (socks) to the profound (grace). I love that she jots them down on scraps of paper whenever she thinks of something to be thankful for. And I’ve been thinking that this would be a really helpful exercise for me.

And so, each Sunday (or Monday, or whenever I get around to it but hopefully once a week), I’m just going to jot a few things from the previous week for which I’m thankful. They will probably be mostly simple (I am a huge Veggie Tales fan, after all), but hopefully some will fall into the profound category.

I don’t know how long it will take to reach 1,000—hopefully not until my first grandchild is born!—but I’ll just keep listing things until I get there. I hope you’ll join me on my gratitude journey. (If you want to link up with Ann, you can do that here.)

Here are my first few:

1. A supportive husband of 25+ years.
2. Three of the most beautiful girls anywhere.
3. A warm house on a cold day.
4. My church.
5. The people in my church.
6. Our families.
7. The friends in our small group.
8. Exercise
9. Amy, who helped me clean my basement.
10. The amazing opportunities I had to share my faith last week and the report I got that one woman gave her life to Christ at one of the events. Praise God!


1 comment:

  1. LOVE this!
    LOVE Veggie Tales.
    I'm blessed as my daughter's best friend's mom (confusing, right) knows the Veggie Tale "peeps" and we actually got a couple of our DVD's autographed.