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Thankful 30: Day 8–Refrigerator Art

I joined (belatedly) Emily’s* 30 Day Challenge:

I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful.

Day 8, November 8

Thank you, Lord, for photos, drawings, clippings, invitations, and cards that amass on my refrigerator.  I put the newest items on the front and then retire them to the side when I add something new to the gallery.  I am sometimes irritated by the clutter, but I need to remember it means I have family and friends, as well as church family.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy . . . It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart . . .  Philippians 1:3,4,7

Thank you for the niece who drew the illustration for an idea shared at a retreat.

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I thank my God every time I remember you.

Thank you that this letter “F” now reminds me more of friends and family than failure.  (The full story of the letter “F” magnet is here.)

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I thank my God every time I remember you.

Thank you for the many friends who encourage me, like the one who generously shares photos like these for me to use on this blog.

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I thank my God every time I remember you.

These refrigerator art images jog my memory, which prompts me to be thankful and to pray with joy.

What’s on your refrigerator, and how does it encourage thankfulness?

Day 1, 2, & 3 Oak leaf, sunrise, shelter

Day 4 Pumpkins

Day 5 Rain

Day 6 Vegetables

Day 7 Clean Water

See Thankful 30 page for every day’s entry.

* name changed

Refrigerator Magnets or God’s Alphabet

Preparing for the delivery of a new refrigerator, I removed all the magnets and photos from the old model before its scheduled removal.  I carefully placed photographs of children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews in a cardboard box and dropped the variety of magnets beside the photos:

plain round magnets,

wooden hearts painted in long-past VBS crafts session,

business cards,

picture frames,

and  a lone “F,” all that remained from a set of magnetic letters given away years ago.

I have long since forgotten who the child was, but they must have struggled to learn their  alphabet.printable-alphabet 1

After the side of the new refrigerator was redecorated with magnetic smiles and frozen-in-time moments,  the “F” remained on the front.

It became, however, less a child’s educational toy and more a graded evaluation of a time in my life, “F” for failure:

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I hadn’t thought of “Sandy”  in years, but one day a sudden flood of memories of my cruel words drowned me in remorse.  I’d been happily chatting a moment before, but blue skies had turned to emotional storm clouds in a moment.  I wished I had never hurt her, and I wished I could forget this long-ago, confessed sin the way God had.

 

 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)

I don’t know whether it is a gift of God or a product of a middle-aged memory, but as I write today, I can’t recall my cold-hearted offense toward “Sandy.”  I have removed the “F” magnet from my refrigerator and placed this photo there instead to remind me of God’s abounding love.

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photo by Barb Briggs

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8-12 (NIV)

I am grateful that God’s love is so great that he can remove and forget my sins. He does not write red-inked and large across the papers of my life:  “F” for failing.  Like my gifted magnetic letters, God’s alphabet now has no “F.”

Photos by Barb Briggs

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