Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayers of Thankfulness for the Lows in Your Life

Have you ever had it happen that you're faced with an idea or a lesson over and over again? Like someone - God? The Universe? [insert your influencer here]? - is putting it in front of your brain for a reason. The idea is suddenly everywhere. Or it feels, to you, like you can't turn around or click a link without seeing it or some variation of it.

Has that ever happened to you? Because it's currently happening to me.

My corner of blogland is suddenly full of people who are pointedly expressing gratitude for things that wouldn't normally make anyone feel all that grateful. At site after site I encounter writers saying prayers of thankfulness for the lows in their lives. It's an intriguing idea, no? Like Corrie and Betsy in The Hiding Place, thankful in the end for fleas in their bunks.

It's also something I am very, very bad at.

After all, why should I be thankful for things that are so obviously unpleasant or devastating or painful? The answer, of course, is that no situation or circumstance exists in a vacuum. Almost nothing that happens - save, I think, for the death of a child - will ever be a true black hole of pain from which absolutely no light can escape.

This, my friends, has been a terrible year for me. And yet not nearly as terrible as it has been for millions of people across the world. There have been blessings, too, all wrapped up with the unpleasantness so hard to extricate from lingering wounds. It's been a bad year, but also a confusing one. Even I can't understand everything I'm feeling.

The fact that prayers of thankfulness for the lows are making the rounds might not mean anything in particular, but I do love a good trend. Might as well hop on board, right? Here is my abbreviated attempt to feel gratitude for some of the things it's hard to be grateful for:

1. My miscarriage - Terrible, awful. I still smart in my heart when I see twins. But the blessing two babies would have been in and of themselves would have come at the expense of our budget. No joke, we would have been broke. Like lose your house broke. I'm not kidding. Miscarrying may have saved us from a whole host of other miseries. Can I say that for sure? No, of course not, but it's the only upside I can see so consider this grasping at gratitude.

2. My job - Is a job, which many people cannot find at the moment. The pay is far lower than what I'd make in the city for the same work, but it's pay and it's close to home and to daycare. Not a day goes by where I don't wish I was a hobby-employed SAHM, enjoying the Babby's best hours seven days a week and devoting most of my attentions to the home economy. But since we haven't yet figured out how to make that happen, I am thankful for the job I have.

3. My money worries - Would I like to be richy richy rich rich? Absolutely, but I didn't come from, marry into it, or pick a profession that typically leads to it so I'm kind of out of luck. But in a way I'm grateful because not having oodles of cash has certainly made me more thankful for the things I do have, more sensitive to the plight of the truly needy, more enterprising and resilient, and more creative about how I make use of the resources available to me. In other words, if I could just go out and buy all the things I wanted, I would not have developed many of the (admittedly minor and still undeveloped) skills I have now.

4. My small family - If I had the means, I think I'd want a big family. Provided I could get the BabbyDaddy on board. But I don't have the means, and that's a part of why my family is still a family of three. What's there to be grateful for? 

Well, I can currently devote all of the time I do have to the Babby and the BabbyDaddy. The house is easier to keep clean - as one of seven children, I know this to be true. I have a little time that I wouldn't have otherwise to pursue my own interests and earn some extra money. Travel is easier. Life costs less and our house is still just the right size. Would I like another baby? Oh yes, so much. And secretly twins, though that ship's never coming back to port. But I can be thankful for the benefits that come with a small family, too.

prayer of thankfulness

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. 
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)


  1. It's pretty therapeutic, isn't it?

  2. Love this idea and think you did a really great job of implementing it. I really do think that you can find your are very blessed even in the awful if you go looking for it.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting that scripture! I have tears in my eyes--It's been a rough year at my house and I needed to read that and be reminded to be grateful that God loves me enough to be there for me when He gives me hard things. Thank you.

  4. Awesome post Christa! To be honest I don't think I'd be getting to enjoy your friendship if it hadn't been a difficult year for you and God hadn't drawn me to you in the way he did. We love you and your family and are thankful to have you in our lives- seriously all of us! So as much as I wish this year hadn't been so hard for you, something good came to our Nimon lives because of it!

  5. And just think, more children would cut into your blogging and social media time...see,I'm always thinking! :)

  6. I am so sorry your year has been tough. It can be really difficult to look on the bright side of things. You did a great job in trying to find hope in difficult situations. I hope as time passes, you will be able to find more reasons to be thankful for these difficult times. That you will look back on them as times that helped you to grow and become a better person. Still, it must be hard to see that in what you are going through. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

  7. Great post. I believe it is at the low points that we need to remember that those trials are there to help us learn something and I don't think we would be as thankful for what we have if we didn't have adversity.

  8. What a wonderful post. It's easy to be grateful for the good times, but finding gratitude in the lows shows true thanks.

  9. we all need to go through the low points to appreciate that much more the high points...that is where the most growth happens in your life.

  10. Wonderful post! Though sorry you've been going through such a tough time. In some ways, I'm grateful for my miscarriage too. It has given me a renewed amount of gratitude for the children that I already have.

    My mom was only able to have three kids. She grew up in a family of 9 kids and wanted more, but she was also talking to me about how it was a blessing to her.


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