The Thanks Giving Tree

The Thanks 
             giving Tree
At the end of October I printed the leaves for the thanks giving tree on Ann Voskamp’s site. (You can find it here.)  I planned to slowly fill it with leaves every morning during Bible study, but God willed other things.  Man plans his way, but the Lord directs his paths.  Instead, the kids and I started on November 19.  Thankfulness shouldn’t be confined to the month of November, but an autumn tree all ablaze is such a beautiful way to express it.  Maybe I will do a Christmas one for December because I want to keep counting blessings.  I don’t ever want to stop.  I feel myself changing.  Like the green leaf changing to brilliant copper or ruby red.  I am changing.  
I haven’t turned into a spiritual giant.  I do not have theology on my mind all the time.  I don’t have C.S. Lewis-ish revelations. 
Maybe this new heart that God placed in me all these years ago is beating for joy instead of tripping through  the day anxious with evil forebodings. 
My white-knuckled days are being outnumber by hands relaxed,  reaching upward for my Father-God.  Sometimes, I slip back into old habits, my heart racing, my mind chomping at the bit and I tense heart and hands.  Then I count. Blessings.  A warm bed.  A garnet sunset.  Laughter from my child.  A smile on his face.  A joke that leaves me weak kneed, collapsing on the floor while my children laugh at me. Relief.  Refreshment.  Ease.  This yoke is easy to bear.  It is not heavy with fear.  It is light with thanksgiving.  I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart…. I will enter His courts with praise.  (Psalm 100)
Thanksgiving is the portal to praise. 

Psalm 100

A Psalm of thanksgiving and for the thank offering.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!
Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.<span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>(A)
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!
For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
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