Love says thank you 1,000 times (#’s 494-502)

by Craig on August 15, 2011


Here’s a first for a thank you list. This list began as an “I hate” list.

Yup – an “I Hate” list.

I wondered if taking an “I hate” list…
and bringing it before God…
and turning it around…
if that could be a useful thing.

I pretty much hate the hard – and only later see the blessing in the bad. I’m thinking that if I could do this consistently and immediately then life would be better.

And so, keep in mind, that this week there is an official “I hate” list behind this official “thank you” list.

I’ll call these particular thank you’s the “better late than never thank you’s”.

Thank You God…

#495 … that You love an imperfect me.

#496 … that so long as I choose the life of faith in You I can never disappoint You beyond Your forgiveness. There’s no one else, anywhere, of whom we can honestly say that.

#497 … that there is this life to live, and grow, and learn, and exist, and that there is a place and time when everything will be perfect, and better, and I, and we, will keep living, and keep growing, and keep learning, and keep existing, and everything bad will be gone and everything good will be better.


#498 …that not having a single restful night of sleep in 15 years has humbled me, and made me much more usable for You, and given me compassion, finally, for others who are hurting.

#499 … that even the most miserable failure, judged by the standards of the world, can still be a success, in You.

#500 … that it took some time to turn this “I hate’ around – but we did. It began as, “I hate that people I know are hurting, and are trapped, and are sad, and there is little I can do to help them.” And in talking with You I realized that You must feel like this. I share a feeling with You. I heart that! Thank You.

#501 … that I don’t need to know all the answers – I just need to know You.

#502 … that You have given me, given us, a remedy for worry. To know that You are Lord over all things, and that Your will is perfect, and in any situation I can, we can, pray for Your will, and want your will, and have peace instead of worry.

I have to tell you guys that there were some “I hates” that I wasn’t able to turn around. Like, “I hate that I don’t have a bride to cherish” – and – “I hate when I disappoint myself.”

Of course, I hated that I wasn’t able to get that done.

And I hate that I can’t do this all the time – immediately instead of after the fact. But I heart that I’m forgiven – and I heart that I’m getting better at it.

And the taking the “I hate” list before God – and reworking it in his presence?


Works like a charm!

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina August 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I love this list, 501 and 502 the best. Oh, I hate worry–so glad He gives us a way out and a way into peace. I guess the the hates and disappointments give us a yearning for what’s to come. Blessings to you!


Craig August 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

that is kind of brilliant Christina – “a way out – and the way in” to peace. I wish I had thought of that! ツ and the thing that got me to want the kingdom of God to come more than any other thing was #497 – everything bad – gone, everything good – better. We don’t lose a thing that we want – but we gain a whole lot more than we think. Whatever heaven is – I am rock solid sure that it is that. thank you Christina, and as always, God bless.


Kris August 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Always such tremendous gifts counted out here by you, Craig….
#499. Oh yes, indeed. How he turns my worldly failures into heavenly successes. ONLY HE can do such a thing….

Bless you, friend.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Kris, thank you – just thank you – that’s it. And God bless you too, my friend.


Kara August 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Craig, I love the honesty here. What a lovely way to see the flip side of the coin. And yes, I agree… if we could just learn the muscle memory to flip that coin sooner than we often do…
In Glory, there will not be two sides to a thing anymore. In the meantime, thank you for the reminder, and the example, of how we CAN have His vision….. perhaps not fully, but enough for peace. What more do we need?



Craig August 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Amen Kara, in heaven only a bunch of different varieties – better, betterer, more beterrer etc…ツ and quicker spiritual “muscle memory” – Amen to that too! and I found that is really the secret to peace – wanting what he wants – and praying for it in every circumstance. When I do it – peace. When I don’t – worry. Silly rabbits! Thank you, thank you, and God bless and keep you.


Debra August 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I love the bunnies eyeing the huge carrot. But the grass is still green where they are too. Maybe they just want bigger carrots?
On # 498. God has allowed me a glimpse of sleepless, so I can now identify with your plight. Up all night last night. And probably tonight. And again tomorrow. Why? I’m afraid of the dark and loneliness. But at least I’m lonely with God.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

the grass is green – because it’s all a metaphor – the green grass is heaven – the bunnies are us – and the carrot – well that’s just a big carrot, because everything good is better. At least that’s my take ツand thank you for sharing what you did. I know the lonely thing – and the good news is that we both know the lonely “with God” thing. take care of yourself Debra – really – and God bless you. I don’t know what the particulars of your situation are – but shoot me an e-mail if you’d like – and don’t let the sleep thing go too far – it only makes things worse. Again, God bless you my friend.


Lisa notes... August 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Oh, yes, yes. I love this idea, Craig, of turning your hate list around! I like to experiment with things like that too. It’s so helpful to intentionally work at changing our perspectives and seeing things as blessings instead of hindrances to our walk with Him. Thank you!


Craig August 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Lisa! I think it might just be the easiest way EVER to write a gratitude list. It’s so easy to run off – I hate this – I hate that – I hate the other thing. Anybody could do that – at practically ANY TIME. And then take all the hates – and look at them with better eyes – and say thank you – and it really does change things – especially if you’re feeling grumpy – it did for me at least. God bless you Lisa – and thank you.


Andrea Dawn August 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I love #499 . . . reminds me of a quote by Mike Bickle . . . “I am loved by God and a lover of God, therefore I am a success.” There were periods in my life when this was repeated many times daily just to stay afloat. Thanks for the reminder and all the great “thank you’s” in today’s list.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Andrea Dawn, I think I figured out the spam catcher problem. The thing that kicked it off was that you – like some other silly person we know – have two blogs – I thought I was the only crazy one – it’s hard having two blogs! Anyway – it should be fixed now for either name – for either blog. Thank you!


Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home August 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

funny, I started my list out like that last week… had to turn all my nagging complaints around into gratitude. :-) and found myself caught by my own words when I then later in the week complained outright about one of those listed on facebook…. and immediately was smote by His Spirit that hadn’t I given thanks for that very thing earlier in the week….
So thankful for God’s grace and patience with me as I stumble over rocks and roots on my hike.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Sharon, you know I have prayed for the rocks and roots – their hard not to stumble over – they get in the way – the hurt – and that they are now part of your hike bothers me. I just finished praying for you and yours. That’s all – just that – and thank you – but mostly that – and God bless and keep you and yours.


Ruthiey August 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

That’s amazing! God really is the only one who can change hatred to love. <3


Craig August 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

he really is amazing – just amazing. I think it might be a very good practice if I take every “I hate” and every “I don’t like” or “that bothers me” whatever – directly to Him and turn it around. I think I may have gotten this idea from breaking the wild horses – those stupid negative voices – and turning them into something useful. It’s funny how one idea leads to the other. Ruthiey thank you, as always, and God bless you.


Joy @ Joy In This Journey August 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm

My heart hurts for the hate list behind this one, and for the two that you weren’t able to turn around… yet. But I love your honesty and willingness to work on turning the hate list around. You encouraged me today.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm

thank you Joy – and those two I wasn’t able to turn around – well HE turned enough of them around to make it kind of a miraculous thing. I’m not so bothered by the two. It’s funny how if you take a whole bunch of weight off your shoulders – a little bit of extra stuff in the backpack doesn’t seem so heavy. I heart seeing you in my comment section – THAT encourages ME. God bless and keep you Joy.


Carrie August 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Craig, I love #s 495, 496 and 501! What a fabulous list! It takes a lot of courage to admit that your list began as “I hate…” Thank you for sharing today.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

sometimes thank you lists don’t roll off the tongue – I highly recommend my strategy of beginning with the “I hates” and ending up with the “I hearts” – actually my first draft of this list wasn’t a thank you list – it was in “I heart” list. “I hate” this and that – seen with better eyes – turned into “I heart” this and that. I heart “heart” used as a verb ツ but I figured I better keep it in proper form for Ann. Thank you Carrie, and God bless and keep you.


Andrea Olsen August 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I love #499 . . . reminds me of a quote by Mike Bickle . . . “I am loved by God and a lover of God, therefore, I am a success.” There were periods of time in my life when this would be repeated many times a day just to stay afloat. Thank you for the reminder and all the other great ‘thank you’s.


Andrea Olsen August 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I read your post first thing this morning and have been trying off and on all day to post my comment but it would not post. I had to change me name and my email address to my alternate before it would take the comment. Yay, it posted! I was important to me.


Craig August 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Andrea Dawn, I am so blessed by the fact that you would try so hard to get a comment through. somehow you got caught in the spam catcher – I just checked there – and all of your comments are sitting – captured. I’m going to fix the problem – hopefully – so when you come back – whatever it is that made the stupid spam catcher – capture you – it should be fixed. I’ll keep a close eye on the spam catcher for a little bit to make sure it doesn’t get persnickety. It does this occasionally – but I’ll gladly take the occasional mess up – then have the thousands of spam comments. And thank you for your comment – thank you for all your comments! I might have to try repeating Mike Bickle’s quote myself. I know the theology – but, especially for a man, it’s tough not to be a worldly success. It’s tough to have failed so often. But I know in my heart where true success lies – and I’m thankful for that. So thank you again Andrea Dawn, you’re my hero today! God bless you.


Mari August 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

How great that you are able to turn the “I hates” into a gratitude list. I know it must not have been easy. Hmm, this is a good idea!


Mama Zen August 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

#500 – I have never thought of it that way. What a gift!


Craig August 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I think it really is a great thing – that we are made in the image of God. Although it’s true that his ways are above our ways – and his thoughts about our thoughts – we are his kids – and in are better, truer moments, act like it. And so many of the thoughts that we have – the love you have towards your daughter, the devotion you show to a friend, the nice-ness of leaving this nice comment today – HE knows the same feelings – and has them all the time. It is a gift! I heart that! Thank you Kelli, and God bless and keep you and yours.


Nacole@sixinthesticks August 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

it was all good, Craig, but i really liked #495, 500, 501, and 502. i need to be reminded often that He loves an imperfect me, and that one day it will all be better, but in between now and then, all i have to do is KNOW Him and give it all to HIM. Oh how He loves us! Thank you, Craig, for this reminder–because of you, i am now listening to Jesus Culture sing “Oh how He Loves Us” on Youtube! i have yet to read breaking the horses–i have had a rough past few weeks–but i promise i will soon! be blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ.


Craig August 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Nacole, thank you. I didn’t put those all together when I wrote them – the way the you weave them together is beautiful. Together it says more than any one of them does alone. That’s a little bit of brilliance – thank you for that. And I listened to the song – it is powerful – and I can see how it says what YOU said I said. – and what we both know. God is really good that way. No? God Bless!!


Nacole@sixinthesticks August 16, 2011 at 9:43 am

and just btw–check out this version by Kim Walker of Jesus Culture on Youtube if you get a chance: there is an annointing on this song that hits me every time i listen–hits me right in the heart, and im not just listening to a great song, but i feel like God is speaking to me, and He is shouting it. He is saying, “I LOVE YOU, NACOLE!! I LOVE YOU!!! CAN’T YOU SEE?! I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND FOR ETERNITY!!!!!!!”


Crystal August 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

#501 is the best! May you rest peacefully in His arms this week.

I was post #201 at Ann’s this week so I dropped over to say hi :)


Craig August 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

2900 thank you’s on your list – I bow before you – not in worship – of course – because that would be wrong – but I bow in humility before your mighty number – WOW – and thank you for stopping by – “Hi” ƪ(◠‿◠)╯—- and #501 – I used to think I needed to know everything – I know better nowツGod bless you Crystal – and I look forward to reading more of you.


Debbie August 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Well . . .what a list this turned out to be! :) Loved it! And that I can do this too . . .need to. Thank you and God bless you as you share what you discover through thanksgiving!


Craig August 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Debbie, this just may be the secret – Ann never mentioned this in her book! It’s so easy to say “I hate this, and that, and that, and that” then take it to God and turn it around. Garbage to gold! ツGod Bless!


Maria @ Linen & Verbena August 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Craig this is such a powerful gift. I see myself reflected in this list because this time last year I was in a world of semi-hate. Things were going BAD and at times I felt like I was going to go crazy, and in those moments I held on tight to the belief that God would not give me anything I coudn’t handle. And in the end, I learned so much from those experiences, and they broken me down (the old me) but I was rebuilt into a more humble and faithful woman.


Craig August 20, 2011 at 6:03 am

such a big Amen to that Maria – that God will not give us anything we can handle – that’s an awesome thought – thank you for the reminder. And at the beginning you said you saw yourself reflected in the list – I see myself reflected in your last line – “but I was rebuilt into a more humble and faithful person” – I know what you’re speaking of – I know it well – I would not now be the man I am if God had not broken me first. Thank you very much – and I heart your blog ツ God bless and keep you.


A. August 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Craig, i love this recipe for turning hates into loves!!!! that is recycling at its best!!!!! it is like God making all things work for good, another recycling best!

I also was touched, perhaps most, by your observation or comment that you share a feeling with God. That is such a ‘close-to-God’ maker, isn’t it?!


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