“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 (NIV)

I don’t have a lot of nice jewelry. Usually, you’ll only find me wearing my wedding ring and another ring Art gave me for our 15th wedding anniversary.

Other than those two rings, I only have some other simple things that have been given to me over the years. Little treasures. Not that they are worth a lot of money but special because they hold a lot of memories.

A child’s ring my stepdad gave me the day he asked my mom to marry him.

A bracelet my mom gave me for Christmas several years ago. And another bracelet Art gave me for Valentine’s Day this year.

A legacy ring given to me the day my first daughter was born.

A baby’s signet ring – with the faint initials of my Dad that left and never came back.

Simple, but special.

A week ago I noticed the bracelet Art gave me wasn’t where I thought I left it. I spent several days searching and wondering where I’d put it. Convinced I’d simply misplaced it and would find it soon, I wasn’t too worried.

On the third day, it dawned on me that maybe I’d put it in a drawer where I kept my other jewelry.

When I opened the drawer it took my brain a moment to catch up with the sinking feeling in my heart. Everything was gone. The rings. The bracelets. The one possession in this world I had of my biological father. Little things that held big memories.

My first reaction was to grab both of my ring fingers. Much to my relief I’d worn my wedding and anniversary rings that day. They were safe.

But everything else had vanished as if I’d never had them. But I did. And now I don’t.

I stared at the open drawer, sat down on a little stool in my bathroom and willed my tired mind to start making a mental list of reasons to be…thankful.

Strange I know.

Trust me there were many other lists begging to take up the mental real estate in my brain. Lists of suspects. Lists of all that was missing. Lists of memories and how irreplaceable those pieces were. Lists of when this might have happened and how. Okay, let’s be honest, I wanted to come completely unglued and kick into aggressive figure-it-out mode.

But sometimes refusing the pull to come unglued is the only way to prove to ourselves it is possible to have a different kind of reaction. So, I willed those other lists aside. After all, I’d already had enough taken from me in that moment. I didn’t need to freely hand over my heart as well.

For in my heart I trust, “…we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken…” And because I know, I know, I know that to be true, I can choose to… “be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)

I am thankful for my children who are here and not taken.

I am thankful for my husband who will let me stick my cold feet underneath his legs tonight.

I am thankful for today’s sun that shines and the moon whose light will dance with tonight’s shadows.

I am thankful for the steady breaths I take thousands of times a day and never have to think about.

I am thankful for memories that flicker and ignite on command.

I am thankful to still be able to retrieve those memories.

And on and on I went. Until I could close the drawer and ask God for just one thing. Okay two things.

“First, Lord, the person that took these things of mine, wrap Your hope about them right now and show them another way. They must be in a really bad spot right now. Lord, come near them. And secondly, if possible, might they just return that one thing. Lord, you know what that one thing is. If possible…and if not…thank You still a hundred times over.”

For even in the midst of things stolen, I have been given the great gift of remembering all I still have.

Dear Lord, help me to remember who You are today. In the midst of life’s hard spots, I will thank You and respond to Your goodness. For You always see, know and are in control of all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.