Hey! I’m Reggie and this is my Twenty-third Psalm story:
“Beep! Beep! Beep!” went my alarm. I had set my clock so that I could have a half an hour with God before I had to get ready for school. Jumping out of bed, I and knelt down to pray. I listed off the things something like this:
“Thank You for letting me get some good sleep and thanks another day. Thanks for my parents and even my little sister. Uh, thanks for food I have to eat and that I can go to school. . . . “
So when I was done with that prayer I read from Psalms 23 in the Bible about how God anoints me and my life overflows with blessings. I really have lots to thank God for! So my day began as well as my decision to be always on the lookout for things to be thankful for.
I went to my closet and there were no clean shirts hanging up. Oh, great! They were still in the basket of clean clothes that Mom had stuck inside my bedroom door. The shirts were partially folded but under all kinds of socks and boxers. Yep, I’d have to wear a wrinkled shirt and it would be my own fault since I didn’t put them away. Let’s see, being thankful! Being thankful! Say, at least I have clean clothes or clothes at all!!
When I was dressed I ran down the stairs for breakfast and Tamika’s biggest doll was on the stairs and I tripped on it and turned my ankle. “Hey! What’s the doll doing on the stairs?” I yelled.
My little sister, Tamika came running out of her room. “Well, you better not have hurt her!” She stomped her foot and bounded down the stairs to check over her precious doll.
“The doll’s fine, Tamika, but I got me one sore ankle now! Why don’t you keep your toys picked up?” Oops, being thankful!
“I guess it could have been worse!” I rolled my eyes, being thankful was hard sometimes. “Please take your doll to your own room. Don’t leave it there again!”
“You’re not the boss of me!” She yelled and stomped her foot.
“Whatever!” It wasn’t worth fighting over. The doll remained, but I limped to the kitchen to fix some hot cinnamon-apple instant oatmeal in the microwave. My ankle didn’t hurt too badly. Little sisters can be such a pain! Hmm, let’s see, I can be glad at least she’s not sick or something. Hmm! I was feeling pretty good about myself for finding even something about Tamika to be thankful for!
Jasmine and Simone
As soon as I got to school I went toward my locker and saw that Jasmine, nearby, had just dropped her books everywhere. Now Jasmine is about the prettiest girl in school. She’s got long black hair and long eyelashes over her big brown eyes. I leaned over and started helping her pick up her books and pencils.
When we were both standing again she looked up at me with the biggest smile and I was thinking I had something else to be thankful for when Simone came up from behind me and jabbed me in my ribs. I was caught off guard and went sprawling across the floor. Now my ankle and my rear end hurt! I guess my pride got a little hurt, too, when other kids laughed at my fall. Jasmine looked away and went on to class.
Mr. Rawlins, the gym teacher, came around the corner in time to see Simone knock me over and yelled out to both of us to do two laps around the gym and then head straight for class. I guess he thought we were fighting or something. Let’s see, what to be thankful for while you are in trouble for something you didn’t do, and you have to run while you are sore in two major spots! Uh, well, at least I can run!
Figuring out something to be thankful for made it seem like I felt better after running instead of worse. That was cool. Another thing was that Mr. Rawlins had seen Simone knock me over so he had to do the laps, too! I was thankful for that and even had to laugh about it.
“Hey, Reggie, what you laughing at?” Simone yelled over his shoulder at me. He’s a faster runner than I am.
“Awe, nothin’,” I wasn’t about to tell him what got me laughing or about my “being thankful” game.
Pretty much after that, the day went on about like it started.
Thanks for Raining Blessings
After school Dad picked us up in his Hummer with his new girlfriend. She was a reminder to my sister and I that our parents were not planning to get back together. Hmm, I could be thankful I still had both parents, I mean, they were both still alive, but that didn’t make me feel any better. It was fun to ride in the Hummer, but I decided that sometimes you could be sad even when you were thankful. I tried not to think of Mom coming home from work to an empty house since we kids were at Dad’s. Yep, I was thankful for my parents, but sad we were not together as a family.
I decided to stop thinking about that. I wanted to enjoy the ride in the Hummer. Enjoying what you were doing is really part of being thankful.
It was raining as we were pulling into the driveway and Dad said, “Since you told me you don’t have any homework, Reggie, you can go right in the house and put on some old clothes so that you can help me clean all the gutters out around the house. I’ve been saving it for when we can do it together, but it hasn’t been draining right and we’re getting a lot of rain. We should have done it some months ago.”
I groaned, but said nothing. There’s no arguing with Dad! I went in the house and changed my clothes and we got right to work. We both had our rain coats on, but we got wet anyway. Dad swept out the gutters and I picked up what fell and put it in a big plastic garbage bag in the garbage pail. It was loads of fun! Yeah, right!
We worked as fast as we could and we were almost done before I even remembered anything about being thankful. Hmm, I’m wet, cold, tired, and I hate this job, I thought. Why didn’t Dad just do it himself when it was a sunny day? But, hey, I’m thankful we are almost done!
When I thought of that one thing, being almost done, I kind of felt like I’d just made a slam dunk in a basketball game or something. Wow! I’d actually thought of something good at a time like this! The rain was still coming down and splattered on my cold face. Yes, I was very glad when we were done!
Finally inside, I got a shower and that warmed me up. Then, Dad’s girlfriend, Brenda, made some delicious hot soup and it was really good after all the work we had done. I wasn’t cold anymore! So I had three more things I was thankful for! At dinner, I was extremely sleepy.
Before long the day was over and I had thought of many things to keep my thoughts thankful. God had really come through again with the blessings just like it says in Psalms 23. He helped me find the blessings and think about them.
In my room I checked to make sure my alarm was on and set for the right time. I pulled my pajamas on and jumped into my big, soft bed. Oh, yeah! I stretched out and pulled the covers up as I sank my head into my feather pillow. The last thing I thought of as I fell right to sleep was that I never was so glad to climb into bed! That was one more thing to be thankful for! Yep! Soon, I was on my way to dreamland.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.