Sweatpants and fleece thank-you’s …

A friend and former co-worker made me this neat fleece tie blanket as a going away gift. It’s cozy and comfy. It reminds me of her and of our new Minnesota adventures. It also makes me think a little deeper.

We recently celebrated Christmas. It was filled with family, food, games and travel. It was a “dress shirt event.” Christmas pictures, church programs and services… special times. My dad comments every year about the number of people who appear at the Christmas service. The church is full, there is candlelight and extra songs. It’s a special event. It brings people together and is a reminder of God in our lives. We remember the big gift he gave to us by sending his son. We are more likely to go to church and to perhaps thank God… to pray.

I believe that God loves our “dress shirt” thank-you’s but I think he also loves our “sweatpants and fleece” thank-you’s…The every day prayers when nothing out of the ordinary is going on. It’s easy to remember God when times are tough because we are usually asking for help. It’s easy to remember God when amazing things happen – births,  weddings or other great things because  we are so thankful for the good fortune. It’s harder to remember to be thankful for every day things.

I’m reminded of this each night when our youngest son says his prayers. He’s a kid of rituals, routines and familiar things. Each night we read from a daily devotional book for kids and say the Lord’s Prayer, then we thank God. For years, that was my section. In the past year or so, he has started to do the thankful part. It’s interesting to hear what he says. It’s a great reminder to be thankful for the “every day.” Some days he is even thankful for stuff he wasn’t necessarily excited about. He’s thankful for someone else’s good day or exciting event. He’s thankful for ice fishing even though he doesn’t love it. He’s thankful for my good day at work. He’s thankful for going out for supper. It always ends with “thank you for our family and all of our blessings.”

Sometimes our journeys take us down scary paths. We might not have expected a loss or life change, illness or move. We struggle to find meaning and hope. In those times, but also in the regular “lounge in fleece days” I hope you are able to be thankful. I know some days that is the last thing you may feel like doing. It takes strength but it also takes practice. I feel like our daily prayers make God smile because it means we are thinking of him. What are you thankful for today?

Peace be with you on our journey of enough. May you have some sweatpants and fleece thank-you’s to go with your dress shirt thank-you’s.

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