A Measure of Thankfulness

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It is easy give thanks.  They are words we say, lists our lips speak around the Thanksgiving Table.

Family. Home. Health. Friendships. Faith. Travel. Opportunities. Blessings.

Giving Thanks With A Grateful Heart, however, seems just a touch more difficult.

To GIVE THANKS is to speak.

To BE GRATEFUL is an act of the heart.

It means that we mean our thanks, deeply, truly.  With all of our soul. Maybe that is easy?  The list above is beautiful, sweet, full, joyous.  We can deeply feel the thanks.  But God asks us to give thanks in all circumstances:

Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

So what about the list that comes from that?

Sickness. Death. Pain. Broken Dreams. Loss. Sadness. Loneliness. Unwanted Change.

We are asked to give thanks when things go well, and not so well in life.

We can, possibly, maybe on our best day, do that.

But with a Grateful Heart also?

I ran into an old friend at Costco the other day. We used to teach together and hadn’t seen each other for about fifteen years. She reminded me as we caught up that her son, a junior in high school at the time, died in a car crash shortly after I left the school where we taught.  As she recalled that night she said, “The moment I found out my son had died, I cried out to God, ‘God, thank you for all the years that you gave him to me.”

These were not just words. My friend had a grateful heart.  She meant her thanks.  She deeply meant it because all those moments of his life now were infinitely more precious to her since he was gone.

I think Giving Thanks With A Grateful Heart means we MEAN our thanks….from the bottom of our soul.  In life’s highest highs and lowest lows.  We are deeply, deeply thankful for it all because we believe that God is Good In All Circumstances, and that he will bring healing and blessings out of our trials.

Pain has nuggets of peace within….Gratefulness is the pan that sifts peace to the top.

May we Give Thanks With A Grateful heart today! We have so so much to be thankful for.

xoxo,

Amy

 

 

My 10

My last post (scroll down) was about finding 10 things each day to be thankful for.

Here are my 10:

(in no particular order, but starting with a funny one…)

1. For my dogs.  Someone told the joke the other night: “How can you tell who likes you more, your girlfriend or your dog?  Lock them both up in a trunk for 4 hours and see who is most happy to see you when you let them out.”  Ha ha, but boy do my dogs faithfully welcome me back with leaping and wagging each and every time I have left the house and returned–even if it’s to get something out of my car.

2. For my husband.  I will have been married to my best friend  20 years this January 1st. God has been faithful in growing our marriage through the wonderful and the hard.   Jonathan is such a serving, loving husband and I am so thankful for him.

3. For being able to sleep on a mattress each night when so many around the world sleep on the ground.

4. For the fireplace in our home which you will find me sitting by if I am not grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking or working.  I am thankful for warmth–another comfort so many go without.

5. For my three beautiful children.  Life as a parent is often messy, and complicated, but never dull.  I am so grateful for the three lives that Jonathan and I are responsible for, and how I see God working in their hearts.  They encourage me to be a better mom each day, so that I can love them the way they deserve. They are amazing people whom I am blessed to know.

6. For our extended family.  We are so blessed to have all of our parents and siblings in our lives.  They are amazing grandparents and aunts and great aunts and uncles to our children and the love they give is a gift I do not take for granted.  I do not know what I would do without them.

7. For Wheat Chex.

8.  For knowing God, and Him knowing me.

9. For my friends.  I cannot express how grateful I am for the friends, near and far, that God has brought into my life.  They are my rock, my joy, my laughter.  They encourage me to be a better person, and I am thankful for that.

10.  For provision, although lately catching my self sometimes wishing it was more than “just enough” but so thankful that it is “just enough.”

There are my first 10 and I’m just scratching the surface…..

 

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Being Thankful

Written By Amy

 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our family has been in Texas visiting life-long friends of ours.

Yesterday we feasted on all the traditional dishes of the holiday, stuffing ourselves past comfortable, but enjoying every minute.  After the last busy scuffle to set steaming dishes on the table (which Jodie beautifully set with her grandmother’s china), I approached my chair to take a seat.  I took a brief second to view the overflowing dishes of turkey and gravy, creamed corn and green beans, soft, warm rolls and cranberry sauce.   Around the table, in cheerful conversation, sat my family, whom I cherish, and good friends. I felt very thankful.

The idea of thankfulness is important to God.  He reminds us to be thankful for him, in his scriptures.

David, in the book of Chronicles, actually assigned a job to some of the Levites to thank and praise the Lord before the ark of the covenant (Chronicles 16:4) .  What if your sole role in life was to thank and praise the Lord?  I can’t think of  any modern-day job with that description, but…what if it became even a small part of our every day?

Here is what David asked of a few of the Levites in the book of Chronicles:

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad:

Let them say among the nations, “The Lord Reigns!”

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Chronicles 16: 8-12, 25-29, 33

 

We are given some great tips for thankfulness in these scriptures:

1.  Remember what God has done and tell people of his greatness

2. Look to the Lord to remember who he is, which stirs thankfulness in our hearts

3. Give the Lord the praise and glory  due his name

May God bless our hearts and stir them toward daily thankfulness.

 

Give a Turkey to the Homeless

Written By Amy

This Thanksgiving will find our family with plates overflowing, stomachs stretched to the limit, and a joyful heart as we are surrounded by friends at the dinner table.  I was reminded today that Thanksgiving looks nothing like that for many.  My sister-in-law called me to say that she heard on our local Denver radio that the Denver Rescue Mission needs turkeys for families this year, desperately.  Usually by this time each Thanksgiving, the Rescue Mission has over 10,000 donated turkeys to give to needy families….this year they have only 2,000.

If you feel called, please donate a turkey for $20.  You can click on the link below for online donations, no matter where you live in the country or world.

Please help a poor family experience the joy of Thanksgiving.

 

http://www.denverrescuemission.org/page.aspx?pid=836

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