Thankful to Give | cover of Josh Groban’s “Thankful”|

thank you heart text
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Last week our pastor gave a sermon entitled “A Lot from a Little” about the story of the feeding of the 5,000. I appreciated more than ever before the contrast of Phillip and Andrew. Phillip was asking how in the world they were going to feed everybody. Andrew found some food.

At a new full-time job that I started last month, I’ve realized that my propensity to work hard, and be a people-pleaser could totally ruin the integrated holistic way that I’m hoping to balance my family, work, walk with God, and awareness of myself. In an effort to try to find some balance I wondered what would happen if I exaggerated what Sabbath meant for me.

I’ve known for a while that church workers have to Sabbath differently. When you’re working on the weekends in a schedule that is very different from the “normal” rhythm of much of society, boundaries are essential. Instead of working through my lunches like some of my coworkers do, I purposed to not only take my full hour lunch break, but also try something unique.

Sabbath is 1/7 of a week set aside. What if we did the same thing with a day? I split up 60 minutes into 7 chunks and set my timer for 6/7ths of an hour. After working with laser focus for that time, I took a 7-minute break. After 4 days of pseudo-implementing this, I’ve had one of the most productive weeks at work, including a very big daunting task.

In order to give myself the luxury of taking 7 minutes roughly every hour, I had to know what I was giving myself. Andrew found food. I found focus. The food multiplied to exceed any rational expectation of provision. My focus surprised myself and my colleagues alike.

This is a busy season. Holidays to prepare for, presents to buy, and wrap, and send. Meals to plan. Teachers’ gifts. Concerts to rehearse. Costumes to make. It’s very easy to – even in this season of celebrating abundance and bounty – to feel intensely Not Enough.

What I keep coming back to is that I’m not any good for anyone around me unless I understand what’s true in me.

Who am I?

When I understand what I HAVE, when I can appreciate my personality’s strengths and even start to discover my unconscious motivations, I am able to GIVE plentifully from that place of abundance and bless others SO MUCH MORE.

I hope that as you listen to this recording of “Thankful,” originally recorded by Josh Groban, that you’ll be reminded to “find your truth.” May you reflect on the strengths you have and observe a miraculous harvest. May you offer to give what you have available and watch it be multiplied beyond what you could imagine. May you focus not on the immense impossibility of how, but on the amazing potential of whatever you do have.

I am blessed.

You are blessed.

I pray that you will see blessings upon blessings unfold around you this Thanksgiving season.

This is a bonus track for November’s SongNotes from the Birds.   The three new releases, built around the theme of “Harvest,” were “A Time for Everything” by Mark Hayes, the African-American spiritual “Sinner, Please, Don’t Let this Harvest Pass,” and “Take My Life” by Craig Courtney.  On Saturday the 30th of November we will make the MP3s of these songs available to any patrons at $10 or more per month.  Online support options here.  Printable PDF with more info here: SongNotes Subscription and Patron Options.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Birds

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