Monday, March 21, 2011

When You Just Can’t

Last week was a particularly difficult week in my pursuit for giving thanks and joy. I am not entirely sure why the battle has intensified lately, except for the fact that I whole-heartedly believe that victory, stability of mind and spirit and joy are all the result of ‘giving thanks in all things’. And, I have an enemy of my soul who absolutely does not want these things in my life. The more I pursue it, the more I believe and see the victory to be had, the more intense the battle.

I have two examples of how this plays out in my life. One day was very difficult, increasingly so as the day went on. By right before dinner time, which is when I go for a short walk, I had lost it! I mean seriously lost it! I huffed and puffed (not from exertion) all throughout my walk and came back in worse shape than when I started. The only hope was for the night to go by quickly and to go to bed and look for new mercies in the morning! Been there?

The next day was playing out the same as the day before. I made myself go for my walk, even though all I really wanted to do was storm around the house and rant and rave and pounce on anybody who dared cross my path. As I walked, I felt the Spirit well up in me encouraging me to ‘give thanks’. Right, give thanks?! I literally could not think of anything! Then I remembered a verse that I felt the Lord showed me that I could use for moments such as these when I absolutely was lost for anything at all to be thankful for.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

So I started with that. It was pathetic, ladies, really, my crude attempts at giving thanks were pathetic, at best. I began to thank Him for the smelly cows that I was walking by. Thank You that I don’t live across the street from the smelly cows. Thank You that I don’t live this close to this busy road. Thank You for the yellow chain over there. Thank You for the color yellow. Thank You for the color orange, (orange snow fence) Thank You for cows. Thank You that we get to eat cows. Thank You for the pine tree. Thank You for brown trees that will surely turn green, eventually. (you have to imagine that my tone was not at all sounding all thankful and cheery)

Do you see how primitive my attempt at ‘eucharisteo’ was? You know what? It worked! While I cannot say that I was ‘walking on sunshine’, but by the time I got home I was in a much better place. My eyes didn’t feel nearly as heavy. I didn’t bite anybody’s head off the whole rest of the night. I even had a few smiles. I can tell you, it was a stark difference from the day before, when I hadn’t given thanks.

So, I write all this to encourage you to not give up in your pursuit. To know that any attempt at ‘eucharisteo’ is better than no attempt. And, to give you an example of how God even honors our tottering steps of faith. Oh, and to share my “go-to” verse for something to give thanks for on those really, really bad days!

Beginning at 1,001!

  • morning devotions
  • rooster crowing
  • birds singing
  • Elijah fussing
  • Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
  • spilled sauerkraut


  • Sarah Grace praying for peace for mama
  • recognizing a spirit of heaviness
  • reading to Elijah
  • Isaiah working for me
  • baking cookies and bread
  • the smell of Elijah’s hair after being outside
  • ‘giving thanks’ working!
  • my heart whispering, “Spring, Spring”
  • each little face in this house
  • Brian’s heart
  • Plump robin in tree


Anonymous said...

I've noticed that a lot of us have had a rough week! Your post made me laugh.....cows...moo. :)

Kati Potratz said...

Mine has been rough too. Needed this one too. I wish you could be my mentor, Michelle.

Jenn said...

Love your beautiful honesty, my friend! ♥

Julie... said...

What a wonderfully entertaining (I laughed out loud at the smelly cows part) post, but so true...when we turn our attention to Him our attitude will change, our spirit and His Spirit commune, and we can't help but see things differently.
Glad I clicked over :-)!
Blessings, Julie