Tag Archive | thanks

Give Thanks

Whew! What a busy season the past several months have been!

Several years ago, I realized I was taking many of God’s blessings for granted. Quite honestly, I often was not even noticing the numerous ways He was blessing. Noticing and recounting these gifts of grace and joy are not merely for my benefit, but really for God.  You see, God wants us to delight in Him. He wants us to praise Him. He wants us to fully seek Him. By intentionally looking for His blessings and becoming more aware of His everyday presence, I am overcome with humble gratitude and drawn near to God.

God blesses in unexpected ways, and I don’t want to be so wrapped up in busyness that I miss His handiwork! These gifts that bring joy come in all shapes and sizes, some obvious and others minute.

First and foremost, I am grateful for His salvation. I am unworthy of this eternal gift of His grace.

I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.
Psalm 52:9 NLT

The sweet aroma and colorful blossoms of honeysuckle were a pleasant surprise; I don’t recall honeysuckle ever blooming mid November at my home on the range. This was a beautiful bright spot in the mostly brown landscape accompanied by gray skies, a blessing from the Lord.

IMG_0780

Encouragement from a longtime friend, an unexpected email asking “How are you?”, songbird choir filling the air with joyful melody, a smile across the room from My Love, answered prayer, a call from a son just to chat, end of wheat planting and harvest, health and strength to help others, the opportunity to live in a country with hard fought freedoms, flexible schedule to give and serve others, beautiful sunsets, starlit sky, a sweet hug, and the list could go on and on because God lavishly blesses with His goodness to each and everyone of us. Take time to notice and give Him praise and thanks.

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
 Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
Psalm 105:1-4 NLT

Advertisements

Gratitude Attitude

How has your week been so far? Has it been a rough hard week overshadowed with disappointment? If so, how are you handling it? Do you have a gratitude attitude?

We all face problems and difficulties throughout life, and sometimes we feel we are about to be swallowed by the obstacle. When we face these giants, we have a choice: 1) let it ruin us, turn us sour and apathetic, and destroy our spirits, OR 2) let it be a source of growth, wisdom, perspective and patience. Gratitude helps us see God’s presence in all circumstances.

In recent years, there have been two women in my life who made opposite choices in how they dealt with their difficulties. One is a young woman, who has let the results of some poor choices turn her sour and destroy her spirit.  I can’t think of a more negative person. Whenever I see her, I give her a smile and try to encourage her, and I am always met with negative comments. This poor girl has absolutely no joy. The second woman died of cancer. When healthy, she was always a very sweet person, but let me tell you about when she was sick. She was polite and pleasant, thanking the nurses, doctors, and anyone else helping her. She was a favorite among the hospital staff because as they cared for her she cared for them. She would ask about their families, and then pray for them. Next time they’d be on duty, she would follow up on that conversation and again say, “I’m praying.” Visitors would begin asking her how she was, but she immediately turned the conversations to them with sincere love, interest and concern. No matter how much pain she was in, she always had a smile and an encouraging word for her visitors. She was quick to share her love for God with anyone who would listen especially as death grew near.

The second lady had a gratitude attitude. She was grateful for the little things in each day. She did not take them for granted, but saw them as gift and blessing from God.

Whatever your week has been like, it’s time for an attitude check. Do you have a gratitude attitude?

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

 

 

Thanksgiving Table Cloth

Giving thanks to God for His many blessings is something we wanted our children to learn while young.  The week of Thanksgiving we were especially intentional in sharing the many things we were thankful for.  As you can imagine this tradition has changed shape over the years, but none-the-less it is on-going and a very special part of our Thanksgiving holiday.

When the children were real young, they drew murals. This may not display much rhyme or reason to you, but they each contributed to the picture, then shared what it was they were thankful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As each child progressed in school with reading and writing, they joined Hubby and I with writing a list.

We did not want this activity to become drudgery so we changed it up a bit…writing a note of thanks to each family member.

Some years we tried to see how many little papers we could fill with individual blessings.

With teenagers and busier school activity schedules, we again altered the tradition.  I bought a plain table cloth and fabric markers, wrote a favorite verse of thanksgiving in the center, and after each dinner everyone writes something in which they are grateful.   We have been writing on 0ur table cloth for at least 8 years now!  What fun we have re-reading each years thanks and then trying to write new blessings that have not already been written.

What kind of Thanksgiving traditions do you have?

During this week of giving thanks, don’t forget to give thanks to God who has blessed you so abundantly.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercies endure forever.”  

Psalm 107:1