Yesterday, in his post, my brother (currently serving in Iraq) reminded me of so many things. However, as I re-read it this morning, I saw a theme that was emerging in him. He was convincing himself to be thankful for now. So often, I am not thankful for now. I am looking forward to next, but forget that now is what I was hoping for just a few moments ago, and I need to enjoy it.
As a teenager and college student, I remember taking time at different points in my life to notice "now." While on my first mission trip to Wyoming, I remember standing on a mountain (actually in Colorado) in the snow, in June, and thinking, I want to remember what this feels like. I want to be thankful for now.
As a 15 year old, traveling with the Young Continentals on the West coast, I remember sliding down the banks of a mountain close to Multnomah falls Oregon, and thinking, I want to be thankful for now.
In 2001, my first international mission trip - in Punta Gorda, Belize - I hiked a mountain with people from the village and thought.... I want to thank God for now.
In January 2004, I stepped off of a plane in Frankfurt, Germany - the beginning of a year there, what I had dreamed about - and thought... This year needs to be full of "now." I was NOT always successful at being thankful for now that year - but thankfully, there were many moments that I remember... Hoerselburg mountain with the snow falling beneath me, train ride through the country, trip to Paris with students, trip to Italy with my German sister Lydia... the lsit could easily go on.
In July 2005, standing on the shores of Phuket, Thailand, looking at the ocean that had swept away so many lives just 6 months earlier in a Tsunami, I wanted to be thankful for now.
In December 2006, looking at the Rockefellar Christmas tree in NYC - I was thankful.
In June 2007, looking into the eyes of my groom as I walked down the aisle as his bride, as he placed the ring on my finger, as I promised to honor, love and care for him the rest of my life, over all others, as we kissed...... as we left our families in that Limo - as husband and wife. I was thankful.
All of these moments are etched in my memory for several reasons - first, that they are all momentous moments, second, I believe, because I thanked God for them. I took a moment to acknowledge the giver of all good things - and for that, he allows me a vivid memory of those moments.
I only wish that I would actually remember during the more mundane daily moments to "Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing, in EVERYTHING give thanks..." (1 Thessalonians). I know that the daily moments, that Ronnie and i have together are going to fade in my memory if I am not careful, and yet, so many people say to cherish those moments too since once a child comes along, those moments will fade. I want to be thankful for everything... the momentous occasions, as well as the not so amazing ones - so that in the end... I will ahve been obedient and been "thankful" for everything. The good, the bad, the exciting, the mundane. In my obedience then, I do believe, that my good memories will last much longer!