During one of the hardest years of my life, God called me out to be intentionally thankful. The only trouble was, I didn’t feel very thankful at the time. My fourth daughter was only a few months old and no matter what I tried she would not sleep. I was weary. I was numb. You might say, and I certainly would, I was not OK.
Still, His calling was clear. So, even though my heart was not leading the way, I started making a gratitude list and writing down blessings to be thankful for. My Savior. My family. My home. My church. Coffee. I think the first 25 things on the list came pretty easily. Even a worn thin mom of four can have eyes to see the obvious. But, as the days passed and the list grew, the challenge to be thankful in all things grew as well.
I found this to be true: “Gratitude is a lot more than jonquils and journaling pages. Gratitude is a lifestyle. A hard-fought, grace-infused biblical lifestyle.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude, p 29)
God wasn’t just asking me to be thankful. He was using thankfulness to radically change the way I lived. See, weariness had become a habit I was wearing. My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.
He was training my eyes to see grace.
He was giving me the gift of vision.
He was making space in my weary life for His presence to rest.
He was asking me to give thanks on the hard days.
One passage God reminded me of during this time is from Habakuk 3:17-18:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive will fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Let’s face it, we all have days when the fig tree does not blossom and there is no herd of cattle in the stalls. These days may last for what seem like years. We have trouble seeing what to add to our gratitude list. But the hard-fought lifestyle of living thankful chooses to rejoice IN THE LORD. And when we do, our sorrows are replaced with His Joy. I can’t explain it, but I know it has been true over and over again in my life.
Friend, are you not OK with where you are? The easiest and the hardest thing to do today is to live thankful. It will transform your life if you let it. Maybe, we could take one tiny step together and share in the comments what we are thankful for today.
Today, I’m partnering with Dayspring for a little giveaway for three friends of (in)courage:
If you are struggling to see anything at all to whisper thanks for, I’d love to pray for you and ask God to open your eyes wide to the grace He has placed in your life. This is the perfect place to grab hands and walk together as we choose to rejoice in the LORD. Just slip your name in the comments below.
Winners will be drawn randomly and must live in the U.S.
Thank you. I come back to the same two things again and again, whatever is happening, however low I feel, God is good and He can be trusted. Right now I can’t move away from those truths and learning to be thankful for them. I’m in a hard place but I will praise God, He is so so good and totally trustworthy.
Ruth – we could just stay there forever and everything would fall into those too categories!
He is good.
He can be trusted.
I think also I camp out on “He loves me.”
Praying those truths dig deeper into your heart today!
DeAnn Miller says
I have fought to keep my heart thankful also. My dad passed away last month, leaving my 80 year mother and 25 year niece to care for 11-yr old great granddaughter. Its too complicated to explain, my family seems to be in ruins at every turn. Where is her father? Where is her mother? They are alive but too wrapped up in what they want to give her the love and care a child needs. This is an example to me not to get wrapped up into my own needs and keep me thankful that I can help my mom to care for my young niece. It is just so difficult to stay thankful right now. I must trust in the Lord to take care of us because he will I just need to let Him take over. He is good and he can be trusted Thank-you for this post.
Becky Keife says
I love this, Stacey! I can so relate. This especially: “God wasn’t just asking me to be thankful. He was using thankfulness to radically change the way I lived. See, weariness had become a habit I was wearing. My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.” My heart is saying, YES! Me, too! Amen!!
Today I am thankful for the new friend who brought me dinner, the old friend who I got to share my heart with, watching my three boys play in the late afternoon sun, sipping Sleepy Time tea, and reflecting on God’s faithful hand in my life.
There is ALWAYS a reason to give thanks!
Blessings to you on your gratitude journey.
I’m currently in the think of learning this lesson and have already learned so much about myself and God. Something I’m very thankful for. I’m also thankful that He is so very patient with me.
So thankful that God is a solid rock. That He never changes regardless of what each day brings or who might let us down. So thankful for the beauty in the little things. So thankful today for these words to remind me to be thankful! 🙂
So thankful for Gods constant love, faithfulness, and presence in my life and the life of my friends and family. My friend lost her father and mother this past year and a half and just sold her family home at an auction. 7 years ago, her husband was killed in a MVA. By the grace of God, the young man who purchased the home had grown up admiring her late husband as he had mentored him as a young firefighter. My friend was so grateful that a caring person would take care of her family home.
Cheryl we cling to Him in times like this — where else can we go? I’m praying for you friend right now, and for you as you love and walk with her during this difficult time. Grateful both you and she can see God’s faithfulness on the hardest days of all.
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
So true that living thankful is a “hard-fought, grace-infused biblical lifestyle”. I find that my thankfulness ebbs and flows. Some days my heart overflows with thanks and on other days the weariness of my soul wins out. It’s on THOSE days that I need to choose to be thankful. Even if I only eek out a few things to be thankful for, His heart faithfully turns toward mine and He gives me peace and joy. It isn’t easy, but when we do give thanks when we really don’t feel like it, God in His wonderful way, lavishes His love upon us. Thank you for a wonderful post!
Tami Grandi says
I am not a mom (not even married) but I am living this right now with my job. It’s a job I have had for 15 years (well, not in the same place). I am working really hard to come to a place of gratitude- and in so many ways I am thankful but the hardest days are the days where I struggle coming up with something. I am challenged to look deeper to truly have the eyes to see that which I have been blessed with.
Tami – I so get this. Maybe, the gratitude flows from who He is during the hard days and how you are able to cling to Him. Thinking of the hymn that says, “Simply to the cross I cling…” The place where He laid it all down and grace flowed down.
Praying over you Tami right now.
Thank you for sharing the truth of thankfulness. It is hard. I seem to get weary easily these days and being thankful is challenging. I am grateful for your honesty and now the challenge to be thankful for the difficult things in our lives.
I have found in this hardest year, that when I am overwhelmed, He asks me to give the very thing I need. And when I do, it does remind me of who He called me to be and it opens the door for Him to meet needs I have, even the smallest ones. And those remind me that He sees. If He cares about the tiniest of things, then the big things surely have His attention too. I can trust Him. Thankful.
When so much changes around me, and not always for the good, I am so thankful that my God is unchanging.
The refrain playing in my head is, God is good, ALL the time. I try to remind myself daily that His perfect plan is playing out and though I may not understand it, He works all things together for our good. I am thankful that He has never given up on me, no matter how far I have strayed. I am thankful to be living in America, where things are not perfect, but I can worship and praise freely. I am thankful to have 3 healthy children and a healthy husband.
“All the time, God is good.”
Thankful for this blog and coffee this morning!
You are my sister girl! I’m grabbing cup #2 as I read and pray over sweet women here!
Gretchen N. says
Just started your book yesterday and so far it was just what I needed – thank you!
Gretchen I’m so humbled by your sweet words. I’m asking God to meet you in the pages and speak to your heart!
Lisa Derrick says
Thankful for God’s provision – even when we fear – God provides – even when we doubt – God provides. Thankful God can be trusted.
Thankful today that my head doesn’t hurt as much as it could. And that I have diet coke and tylenol to carry me through teaching in an hour! btw, Gretchen N…are you the Gretchen N. married to my cousin Kyle? If so, then “HI!”
Tami praying you feel better soon!
over my 50+ years I have had days I was unable to count any thing to be thankful for oh how stubborn I was. It is so true to count…. today I am thankful that my mind has been renewed and the counting is once again a part of my life. his grace, his mercy, his love. I have been reading the writing of this site for the past 4 years and he has held me, schooled me, and loved me through the pages. THANK YOU lady each and every one of you.
I echo that Sherry! Love how God uses this space to love on His daughters! Thank you for your story and how God does not give up on us!
blessings to you!
Mary @ The Calm of His Presence says
Oh there have been days where I have clung to being thankful for God’s Amazing Love & Faithfulness when everything around me seemed to be crumbling. It was clinging to His Love that pulled me through and when on the other side I could be forever thankful for the strength He gave me to get through those difficult days. Today life is good but honestly I am very thankful for cup of coffee #2 and a garage to keep my car nice & warm on this VERY cold morning.
I am really fighting to get through life right now. I feel like I have been crisis-hopping all semester, and between the busy class schedule and dealing with all these crises, my grades have been going down hill. For years, the only thing I was any good at was school, but now my semester GPA is likely to be an entire point below my cumulative GPA and I am terrified. It is tough to trust that God has a plan for this when all I see is that the one area I could keep up with my peers in is being taken away. School was all I had: I don’t know how to make friends, I am terrible at sports, I am not organized, I am not an artist…I am really struggling with this. I pray that I won’t need to re-take any classes, but what I really want is the grades back that I used to get. It is so hard to see that being taken away.
Oh friend, I get this so much. I am years away from GPA’s and finals, but those of us who loved the approval on our papers still really do live in that space in our hearts. So I understand.
I remember Mrs. Beth Moore saying once, “What is the worst that can happen?” So in your case, “My grades fall.” She would say, “And then what?” She would keep saying it until you are simply at the feet of Jesus and He is everything. Your all. I have walked through this exercise many, many times, with finances, friendships, cancer of a loved one…it applies.
In the end – nothing can separate us from His love. And this is what we rest on. Your grades don’t make Him love you. He just flat out loves you because you are His girl.
I’m praying for you. For peace to flow like a river and for you to swim in the ocean of His love today. I’m also praying you find your footing with your grades, because that is what is on your heart. Know that you are loved — no matter what.
Thank you for the encouragement.
Michelle Sarabia says
Great post Stacey! I find that in the thankfulness my faith grows stronger. Thanking Him reminds me of all the little and big things He has done and therefore my faith can endure the situation.
Thank you for this. I am I a season of being weary. I am thankful that he is there when I feel like I can’t move forward on my own and he is carrying me and continuing to give me hope.
He has placed on my heart the desire to carry our child in my womb and we have been struggling to conceive. We miscarried our miracle baby in May after trying for 4 years. I am heartbroken and everyday is a struggle but I know he wouldn’t have placed this on our hearts if he didn’t have something amazing already in the works for us. Sometimes through all the pain and hurt it’s hard to see that though.
This verse came to my heart as I read your comment, friend:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope..” Romans 15:13
Praying you abound in hope today sweet Shawnda.
Laura Day says
I grew up in a pretty negative, critical house so it is not in my nature to be thankful. Even though I KNOW that this simple act is something that will make me more joyful, it is always something that tends to fall to they wayside. A gratitude journal is a wonderful idea & I hope to start practicing gratitude until it becomes my lifestyle.
Great post and something I battle daily to do, live out gratitude and thankfulness.
I am thankful that God has reignited my love for him and all things pleasing to him. I am trying moment to moment to be, act, think and show love just like HIM.
Shawnda I pray for you that God will mend your heart and allow you to heal from your loss. I pray he will guide you and bless you and he will reveal his plans so that you may be where he wants you to be in life.
I so needed this today. I especially love the image of our thankfulness turning us back to God, allowing us to see how He sees. I have a beautiful family, so much to be thankful for. But I am battling feelings of frustration and resentment in my marriage and work as I try to balance being a wife, working outside the home, and being a mama to twin toddlers. Yet I am thankful to be up in the wee hours right now comforting my precious boy back to sleep, as these moments don’t last forever. It is truly a blessing.
It is so true, there are days when life battles us hard and we need to battle back with gratitude. The “grace-infused” lifestyle is not easy. But it blesses and blesses when we seek to live this way.
Karen – I’m praying for you right now, thinking of you holding your sweet boy and asking God to hold you as well.
Today you are speaking of my greatest struggle right now. How to find thankfulness in the midst of a dark time. I seem to be in a cycle where I get up only to be knocked down again. There are days when I wonder if anything I do matters. I have started a grateful journal and stopped more times than I care to admit to. I keep coming back to it because in my heart I know it’s a lesson God wants me to learn. Thank you for your daily words.
Stella, I remember the day God asked me to thank Him for the gift of my dad’s cancer. Not that I was thankful for Cancer – but the gifts it brought to my family as a result. I wanted to say, “Are you crazy?”
I wrestled, for what seemed like weeks. And then I said, “OK, let’s just consider the gifts…and I asked for His eyes to see them.”
I could not stop crying when He showed me.
I know the struggle. So I’m praying right now that God would give you His eyes to see. For grace to flow in your life. And for you to know how very much He loves you.
Tricia W says
I’m thankful that God has always been with me, even when I didn’t realize it. That He has, and continues to open my heart and my eyes to His love and guidance. That He teaches me how to show His love to others.
This couldn’t have come at a better time. With my mother in law starting chemo this morning. You always wonder why. Thanks so much for being incouraging. I love to come and read what is new each day 🙂
He knows Sherry. He knows.
praying for your MIL and for your family right now.
Joyce J. says
My only child died a number of years ago, my precious daughter who I had raised as a single mom most of her life.
I still struggle every day to find things to be grateful for….but I am working on it. I am thankful that in the midst of my weakness, the Lord carries me.
Joyce praying for the Shepherd to comfort you today, and to keep you close to His side. He sees you and knows every step you take.
Shelli Littleton says
In a often seemingly cold world and 30 degree Texas temperatures this morning, I’m thankful for the Lord’s warmth flowing down on me and inside my heart.
When I find myself in an ungrateful frame of mind, I remind myself to take my eyes off myself, my situation, and put my eyes on God.
Steph @ MomKaboodle says
“See, weariness had become a habit I was wearing. My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.” Wow. Just…..wow. Thank you so much for these words, Stacey. I love how you know just how to speak to us weary moms.
I used to challenge myself to write 10 things per night in a gratitude journal. It’s funny how it forces you to focus on the little blessings all throughout the day ~ I NEED to get back into doing that!
Thanks for this great message! This is one of the hardest things for me to do – but when I focus on gratitude it really does change my outlook. Why is it that even when we have everything we’ve dreamed of having, it can still be difficult to choose gratitude in the day-to-day? Thanks again 🙂
Lisa S. says
Love this! I love the idea that gratitude isn’t just about making a list of what you are thankful for, but a way of living. I have been thinking that this is something I need to make sure my children understand. If we’re not intentional about teaching this, kids today can grow up with a sense of entitlement and don’t develop this lifestyle of gratitude and thankfulness.
“See, weariness had become a habit I was wearing. My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.” These words made me cry. I spent the first three years of motherhood working in a career that was incredibly challenging and unfriendly to family. With the birth of my second child, I am now home with my girls. But though I have so much of what I have wanted for so long, I’m still finding myself unsatisfied. Weariness has truly become a habit for me, and it’s time to break that.
I’m so thankful today for my healthy children, my warm home, my loving husband, my dear girlfriends and internet communities that remind to look to my Savior in everything. Thank you for your words today.
And truthfully, what He wants us to wear is a “garment of praise” -such a beautiful visual for how I was living, and how He wants me to live choosing to rejoice. “the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” from Isaiah 6:3
Praying this over you friend!
That’s beautiful. I haven’t heard that verse in a really long time. Thank you : ) I’m going to put that on a few sticky notes around the house to remind myself throughout the day.
I was had to write a list of 25 things I was thankful for as a class assignment. You are so right – those first 25 were a piece of cake. But I have not challenged myself to go beyond that list. I think I get scared to move out of my comfy place of being thankful for the obvious. Moving into a lifestyle of being thankful is new and unknown and hard. Being a follower of Christ requires a lifestyle change. I love the verse you quoted – “Yet, I will rejoice.” The God of our salvation. His grace overflows everyday. That alone is a reason to sing.
“YET” is a big little word! Right?
Thanks for sharing this today!
Tammy Brouwer says
Sweet words to my soul today – THANK YOU! I need to be reminded to count my joys. It keeps my mind on the goodness of God rather than the daily difficulties of life. He is so good to me – each and every moment of every day! Today I am thankful for how God is working in the lives of my children, even my prodigal. I’m thankful for my loving and faithful husband of 26 years. I’m thankful for a warm fireplace on this cold morning, as well as the steaming cup of deliciousness called French Vanilla coffee.
Kathy Deckard says
My only sister died from cancer one month ago. Struggling to be thankful.
Kathy I am so sorry for your profound loss. I’m praying..
“Lord I pray for Kathy today. Would you wrap you loving arms around her heart let her feel your presence strong at this moment. Remind her you take every step with her — you even go before us to light the way when we can’t see. You follow behind us to pick up our broken pieces and you keep you hand on us to walk beside us.
Today, it is a struggle to feel thankful. But I pray my sister would choose to rejoice only in you and the grace you give in this moment.
I thank you for comfort you give today, sweet Lord.
The Voice (VOICE)
8 And He will be leading you. He’ll be with you, and He’ll never fail you or abandon you. So don’t be afraid”
Tanya Cramer says
I am thankful for family time! I have one in college now (who we get to go visit this weekend
How is that even possible friend?
I’m grateful for you and your constant encouragement!
weariness is so prevalent when you have littles…I too want to be thankful no matter the circumstance or feeling…He is good, all the time, He deserves to be praised, all the time! Thanks for your encouragement!
I’m learning Beth that my weariness attracts His love and tender mercies. He is for you friend, and I’m asking Him to open your eyes to “little” loves and blessings today that add up to overflowing joy.
Tanya Cramer says
I am thankful for family time! I have one in college now (who we get to go visit this weekend
I too have experienced this! The way to true joy in the deepest valley is following the day by day lifestyle of gratefulness. Thank you!
God has been good to me. I am so grateful for having my sisters couch to sleep on! I could be out on the street homeless. Also after more than 2 years of joblessness, God gave me a job last month. The pay is not much, but I am trusting him with every cell in my body that he will meet all my needs through that small pay Cheque. He is GOD.
Rejoicing with you and your new job!
I am thankful that I can rely on the fact that God is in control no matter what, and He loves us. He really is good, totally unselfish, and trustworthy, no matter how dark things may seem. And He keeps giving the precious little “God smiles”… gifts that I know come only from Him in my very challenging situation. :o) My heart is touched by His compassionate tenderness.
I lost my baby 1 month ago through miscarriage and have been finding it difficult to trust God and be thankful during this time. Thanks for the reminder.
Asking Ellie for God to comfort you today thanking Him for His presence.
“Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted.” Psalm 23:4
Shelly Hendricks (@Renewed_Daily) says
I choose to think of thankfulness as my weapon of choice for today. I fight the enemy by being thankful for the very things he has tried to use to crush me. I am thankful for a chronic illness and disability that pull me closer to my Savior on a daily basis.
Love that — thankfulness is a weapon against my enemy!
Truth, it is very hard to be thankful when things are tough. For me I’m so comfortable and safe where I’m at and my greatest fear is changing what has been for so long and be forced to do what I do not want to do. Everyone seems to know better but in the end, I really know better. What I’m comfortable with. What I want and what I like. I try my best to oblige but truly my greatest fear is being made to conform to what man wants and not what I want. I’m good where I’m at. God is good and HE is gentle and kind and HE is with me for all eternity. Is there more than God the Father, HIS Son and the Holy Spirit. In the end, like the worship song, nothing else matters but JESUS. HE is the centre and when HE is, everything will fit into HIS place. Not ours. HIS. What HE has predestined HIS will will abide. Conform to the world and what man likes or conform to JESUS and who HE is. My greatest fear is to please and then I fall into true unhappiness. For everyone else but not for me. Hide me now LORD.
Angela Wachendorf says
I am in a season of weariness… being intentional about thankfulness is good medicine.
Weariness and discontent as a habit–thank you for pointing that out. I’m a weary, exhausted, new mom who is blessed to be living the life I’ve dreamed of & prayed for. But the physical exhaustion & fear of doing it wrong are making it hard to keep the challenges in perspective.
Today I’m so thankful for my patient, wise husband who stayed calm when I cracked this morning. Then he sent me back to bed with the baby & crawled under the covers to calm us with a lullaby before leaving for work.
I’m thankful for our son, and our tiny home, and the wood stove which warms us on this cold morning. I’m thankful my husband has work. I’m thankful for the food in the freezer & the hot water bottle in the bed. I’m thankful for this post & the word of grace to my heart from God.
Marisa – being honest and inviting Christ into this place in your heart is the first step toward Hope! Praying for you friend.
Keep counting, keep fighting to see grace.
Thankful for God’s immense and mind boggling grace and his impeccable timing!!
Wow. Although I’d been keeping a gratitude list & sometimes it was more of a chore to even do THAT, what you wrote gave me the kick in the pants I needed. I had forgotten that even in keeping that thankful list on the “outside”, that I needed to be grateful on the inside as well. Thank you for this post.
I have a 5 week old baby boy and this morning my weariness causes me to question if I will even make it thorough the next few weeks and months. How???Exhaustion and frustration seem to be in control. And everywhere I turn lately someone is writing a blog post about gratitude and thankfulness. I’m going to put in my garment of praise and let God hold me up today.
Holding you up in prayer Aimee!
These past six plus years have been the hardest, but yet the most rewarding years of my life…I became a mother after 4 years of infertility ….I am now blessed with 2 beautiful children…18 months apart…tough, challenging, amazing, joyful, blessed, I could. Go on…i wouldn’t have it any other way. Prayer is powerful. These two gifts from God are what I am thankful for every night I lay my head down on my pillow.
Viola Erbe says
This is silly, but I was very thankful for a hot shower this morning. Especially with cooler temperatures. Also, for clean water being piped into the house! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this word! I needed to hear it today and it’s given me new perspective on finding joy in the midst of my circumstances. I’m thankful today for my grandaughter who is 15 months old. She came into my life at just the right time to ease the loneliness of “empty nest”!
Spoke directly to me because i am going thru a big storm at this time but being grateful and thankful for that storm.
Thank you – I needed this today. I have been struggling with life in general and I am not okay at this time. I lost my son about 2 years ago, and thought I had been handling the grief process pretty well. I have always been the “strong” one, and right now I don’t want to be strong. I want to cry out with the injustice of it all. I am just coming to terms with the fact that it is okay to not be okay. I started on the first of the month posting what I am thankful for. Some days it has been a struggle, but in reality I have so many things to be thankful for. Even if I don’t win the contest I am going to purchase your book.
Thanks again for such a timely post – just what my heart needed this morning.
In HIs Grace –
It is OK to not be OK — for sure. I’m learning that, too. It is in this space that He works and moves, and makes us like HIm. Gratitude is not easy theology, it is trusting IN THE LORD. When everything in our lives is telling us otherwise.
I’m lifting you up in prayer, right now.
Thank you 🙂
Oh boy, last year’s lesson all over again. Thank you for this great and timely reminder. Last November, I had just finished reading Ann Voskamp’s, “One Thousand Gifts,” when my life and dreams pretty much fell apart. But God is faithful, true, and unconditionally loving, and isn’t it amazing how He uses gratitude to keep us where we need to be–focused on Him and delighting in His love! I’m not okay with being heartbroken, but hey, this is the new me and God is being glorified in and through this new and messed up me, so certainly okay with that. Thankful today for His mercies that are new every morning, and in the simple things: sunlight on a cold day, vanilla candles, mugfuls of hot tea, and words… lots of words. Thank you so much for sharing your words with us!
Kristin Smith says
This morning I was reminded that God cares about the small things to and they matter to Him. Giving thanks that even doing the dishes, running kids to school etc can be honoring to God when we are doing it with a servant’s spirit! 🙂
A timely word! I’m preparing a couple of weeks of devotions on gratitude to share with some women I meet with on Mondays — they are in a residential substance abuse recovery program. Most are mothers fighting for their lives and the restoration of their families. I love them and I’m torn about how to share — I haven’t experienced anything like what they’re going through. Praying for sensitivity yet boldness and an outpouring of God’s presence and spirit as they wrestle for the hard thanks. Prayers appreciated!
“She knew joy was her best accessory so she wore it every day”
My best friend gave me a bracelet with this saying on it…. I love that it reminds me to choose joy! I have to make a conscious effort to choose to be thankful as soon as my feet hit the floor so that I am prepared to handle what the day may bring! If I am thanking God then I am looking to God and my heart and mind will be saturated with the promises of God! For He is love, He is good…He is!
Thank you for being one of my joys today!!
I love that Tiff! What a sweet friend!
Mary Ellen says
I needed this today. I have tried to do this – write out what I am thankful for each day — and I can’t seem to get past a few days. I want to do it, I NEED to do it. I need to find JOY again. I feel defeated and so unhappy and I shouldn’t be. I have SO much to be thankful for. Thank you for the reminder!
I am in a time of transition right now, but I am thankful because I know I am not alone.
Love your posts. I’ve been struggling just too much and I have lost it.
Debbie Carpenter says
I started the ‘days of thanksgiving’ this month. Like you, the first several days were pretty easy, but then all hell broke loose in my life. A dirty little secret between a loved one and friend has been exposed and I’m caught in the middle. Mud slinging has begun with things being said about me. At first I felt defeated, depressed, discouraged, and overwhelmed. I was ready to give up everything I loved doing in ministry, but then I remembered that God is faithful. God is true. God loves me. God will carry me through. God cares. When I think about all He is, all He does, who I am and Whose I am, I am so thankful. It’s not a month of thankfulness. It is a lifestyle. 🙂
My husband and I are in a season like this. When most newlyweds are going through their honeymoon phase, in our first 6 months of marriage, we have battled so many difficult circumstances. My husband was laid off while we were on our honeymoon, and while he was still unemployed I went into furlough for the government. That uncertainty was agonizing and had the choice of fear or faith. Some days I faltered, and some days my husband did. He also has depression, so we constantly know that choosing gratitude is vital to not go into a downward spiral of self pity and wishing for better. It’s difficult not to live in the future- when he will have a job, or when we have debt paid off or when we can actually celebrate being married- but we are both learning to live in the now. The hurt and the uncertainty and the lovely mess and eachother. We know that the Lord will guide us in all of it, that circumstances cannot steal our joy, but we do need daily reminders, to bring our thoughts back to that place of thankfulness. For what we have NOW. Thank you for this blog today.
I remember telling a friend once who was going through a difficulty, “You will never look back on this and say “I wish we were back there” but you will say, “I wish I was clinging to the Lord like I did then.”
This is a tough for any couple especially a newlywed couple! But you are learning to cling to the Lord and each other and this will greatly bless your marriage. You will always remember how the Lord met you during this time. Though hard, I’m praying His sweet grace rises up to meet you today.
colette premont says
even though it is very hard, I am thankful to God because I can help my long time friend in her last day on this earth.
Rachel H says
We have been struggling financially in our family for a few months. I have been trying to be very intentional in giving thanks…in and for everything. Praying for God’s perspective and remembering it’s not about me. It’s all for His glory. 🙂
I have been jobless since June and my husband had been without a job a year before that, but God has seen us through. Since I have been without a job; it seems I am not in such a hurry and I find more time to spend with God. Although I want to go back to work to help support my family I have enjoyed the time I have spent with God, growing closer and not in such a rush to read his word. Also, I have two boys ages 19 & 16 and I have so much enjoyed the time I have been able to spend with them. Mostly just hanging out around the house, but it has been so nice. I am thankful that every day I get up I have another opportunity to let God and his Son, Jesus Christ, shine through me so I can be a witness to someone else. I am thankful for my family and my friends that have supported me through this difficult time.
Thank you God for loving us so much You sent Your Son to die on the cross so we can spend eternity with you in heaven. Amen
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!
Thanks so much for sharing this today. As I struggle daily with a mentally ill son who is constantly challenging me, and the pain of my second son who has gone down the wrong road in life, not to mention financial difficulties day in and day out, I do try to remember that no matter what I am going through, my God is greater and He is still worthy of all my praise. I attempt to keep an attitude of gratitude at all times, even though I am not always successful.
I thought of the verse Psalm 46:10 Be still and know I am God. No matter what we are going through, God is there and He wants us to share our hearts with Him. He loves us as we are messy or joyful, etc. I love that about Him.
Im thankful for my devotionals I do in the morning
Im thankful for family
Im thankful that I found my glasses yesterday 🙂
Sorry was not done. Being the thanksgiving month I’m trying to be thankful even though my aging mother is struggling, my health is taking its toll still I look above and say God even if all is not ok. I still want to praise you. But it isn’t easy.
I am so Thankful for the Bible in a language I can read and understand any time. I am thankful that God is my Ebenezer..He has brought me This Far. Thaankfulness definitely has to be Learned for me, practiced like any other good health habit, and yes, sometimes this means paper and pen Lists! Thank God we have paper and pens to make Thankful Lists. ;>)
Cathy B*****y says
hmm… last month I found out that the owners of my apt had sold unexpectedly and I had to move out, after it being my home the last 6 yrs.. Living on disability and in 24/7 acute pain, there was no time to raise funds, and still haven’t, to gather together a 1st month, last month, and security deposit to secure a new apt. Thus after several weeks of very painful ( fighting for my life with inoperable spinal tumors and multiple spinal disc herniations, along with fibromyalgia, and a myriad of other things) I had to put my things in storage and move last week. I am grateful that for a couple nites I had the sofa of a friend and her husbands to lay on at night… I am also grateful that a couple of my friends bought some of my belongings, so i could stay a couple nights in a small hotel room with kitchenette so I could have a freezer to store the ice packs I need throughout the night for the pain in my neck and back… Now I cannot afford to stay longer so have to leave the area and stay in a place that isn’t really condusive to rest, but it is better than a shelter.. and grateful that this Christian woman who is also going through her own struggles, offered for me to stay for a week or two there, while i still try to raise funds to get my own apt. It wont be easy as she told me she has cats and mold of which I am highly allergic, but I am grateful!.. and I am also grateful, that though I would not choose this situation in my natural, that because of it, I have had the opportunity to witness the Gospel and encourage a few of the staff here with the Lords heart for them… and they have told me it has been the Lord that I have opened my heart to speak to them of His love and truth and heart towards them… in the midst of my own hard, hard circumstances… We are so blessed, aren’t we?!
Cathy B*****y palmbreezelife at yahoodotcom
PS… truly appreciate prayers at this most difficult time…
Praying for God to move in ways you can’t imagine Cathy and that gratitude will continue to be your song. Others are listening. Keep singing.
kim Johnston says
Finding thankfulness in our hearts when we are going through deep struggle has always been so hard for me, but the longer I know God and his heart towards me while struggling with chronic illnesses, I can look back and see his faithfulness throughout the years. When I focus my eyes on God and His faithfulness in the past, my future looks so much brighter. Thank you for addressing this today. I am thankful that I have a God that will never leave or forsake me, even in my darkest hours!!
When life beats you up from all angles, I am thankful for the loving arms of our Lord.
Rebekah Gundlach says
I love checking my emails, and finding one from incourage. It never ceases to amaze me how God uses something as small as an email from some beloved sister in Christ that I haven’t met, to get a hold of me, and speak truth into my life right where I’m at. Thankfulness and contentment with who I am, are the two things I struggle with the most in my life. I have so much to be thankful for! God is blessing me, despite me, and I praise Him for that. Thank you for your faithful emails full of soul searching, heart bearing, and the one truth.
I am in a tough season right now. I have 2 grown children and both are going through very different things right now. But, I am most thankful today for health and sound mind and for the strength to get up and do it again today. To be there for them and for prayer and the right words.
My gratefulness includes new life in a car seat in my back seat as I read this. A twelve week old newborn. We are blessed to be his foster parents for eleven weeks now. And praying as a family for what paths the future holds as we may be asked to be his chosen earthly parents.
Life changes- occupation, vocation, health, financial, job loss, rejection and loss of intimate friends. All of these dots have been connecting to His plan. These events while painful, broken and mourned in my earthly flesh have been steps He can orchestrate.
Leaving the work force after twenty six years due to health changes I wondered about the next chapter. The Lord didn’t give my illness. However, wow has He used it for His good!
Thank you for your story. I have been going through some really difficult times the last 7 years with a husband who is a wonderful man, husband and father…and also an alcoholic with deep anxiety and childhood PTSD. I feel, in particular the last year, that God has drawn me closer to Him and reminded me I am going to be all right. I know in my soul that I am truly grateful for all His blessings, especially our 3 amazing children, yet I realized through your blog that despite feeling all that gratitude, I am still wearing my weariness. Despite trying to show our kids how I trust God will see us through and lead us to greatness, I still struggle to show them how to not wear their own weariness.
Stacey, I will start that list today. God bless you.
I too find that this is a tough year. When I pray for what I need from Him I find that I am searching for others I can help who are going through the same life lesson.
Knowing that God is at the helm of the ship I’m hold up on gives me peace that surpasses all understanding! This grateful heart is eternally thankful for His love, His wisdom, His guidance, His grace and mercy. These atrtributes of My God nourish me and sustain me despite what threatens to overturn my life.
Thank You Lord for being My Lord and Savior!
I am currently in the hardest time of my life, and the ONLY way that I get through some days is to find His presence, grace and blessings within it all….reminding myself that His promises remain, and He holds us together even when we are broken. Some days, I do fall into the feelings of fear and hopelessness, yet I still choose to HOPE and believe. The past few days have been a constant battle, and it is only in the times that my heart is turned towards His that I find strength at all. So thankful that I can still see Him and hear Him even when all else seems to be covered in darkness and pain. I know He is there, and I know He is working…and I love what He shows me when my eyes and heart are open to receive…and respond with praise.
Yes, Amen. I’m going through a really stressful time and trying not to let depression sink in. Thankfulness to God pulls me through each day… clinging to the little slivers of hope instead of drowning in everything I see wrong. I’m afraid of the long, dark winter ahead, but trying to trust that God will bring renewal. Thanks for sharing hope, Stacey.
For the lessons He so gently teaches, over and over again, until we can finally catch up, see, and embrace what should be… how we should be… thankful.
Very nice post.
I’m currently climbing out of the hardest season I have ever faced. Marriage, children… my future… It was all crumbling & burning. My God, however, is graciously giving me beauty instead of ashes. I am thankful.
Lyndi A says
I’ve had many weary days with children and would love to win this set! Thanks for the opportunity.
Tina Khammao Pama says
So thankful for this post 🙂
Hillary W. says
Thank you for the encouraging words and challenge to be thankful. My mother passed away 3 months ago and am still mourning the loss. It’s difficult to be thankful when the pain is so deep.
I am just so deeply thankful for the opportunity to share Jesus even on hard days. To be able to share Gods amazing character to my children. Blessings loved this post!
Stephanie S says
I have been in those tough places where any kind of gratitude seemed like a foreign concept. I am thankful now that God was faithful and present through those times, and the less dark, but still struggling times I am faced with in the present. He is always there and always good, even when it’s hard to see.
This article was perfect for my life today. Thank you.
I am thankful for: God who loves me as I am in my mess, a husband whose strength carries me through, a God given teaching job that I love, and for this ministry that speaks into my life on a daily basis.
Thank you for the encouraging words. I am also doing a Thankful Journal on my own to help me stay Grateful & Thankful. Also I follow Ann Voskamp & 1000 Gifts. God is good~~
I so needed this today. Must stay before the throne of grace when it seems all is falling apart for me. He is there in the eye of the storm. When I think things could go no further down hill, I am struck by the awareness that I am not in the Phillipines, looking for food or water. I am humbled, Lord, that you consider me, whose refrigerator is full of food and water that You have provided me. Help me to rise to the highest of callings. That of love and service.
You know Tamra I have thought about that too. But even, still He is there and at work and loving people. My greatest prayer is His mercy to fall on the survivors and the workers.
Thanks for the reminder.
The Holy Spirit is so very faithful. Thank you Lord!
Becky J says
Oh my yes, how VERY true..down to the marrow of my bones. It doesn’t come naturally to me AT ALL!! It is a conscious act of saying thanks for everything, especially the hard, disappointing and painful things. Thank you, Lord, for striving with me. I want to put a smile on His face!
Eucharisteo! So hard to go there when you are facing the accusing glare of the enemy of your soul. Thank you for this, Stacey
Your comment about finding things about the cancer to be thankful for really hit me. I am in the midst of walking with my daughter through anorexia & depression. (And some days she doesn’t want me here) We are away from our family much of the time. I must also guard against slipping into my own depression. It’s harder because my husband doesn’t understand, and other daughters are missing mom. what a challenge to find things to be thankful for through this. I’ve been trying, but your comment was an encouragement. I would ask for prayer though, that my daughters heart would be softened.
I am praying Martha…you are His hands and feet to her right now.
V. Higgins says
“weariness had become a habit I was wearing.” – This line really is a nutshell of where me and my husband are right now and it’s hard. We both feel so stuck in our finances, in his work, in our desire to have children. But I have been working on gratitude and being *present* instead of wishing this particular season away. And (my heart be still!!), my husband is showing more and more gratitude for where we (and himself) are at. It’s still a struggle but having something to help us both along would be awesome.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Wow, this is timely. Choosing thankfulness is such an important (and hard) lesson to learn. After a 5 1/2 year journey to parenthood (which includes miscarriage, fostering precious kiddos but struggling with God calling us to be a revolving door rather than a forever family, 2 failed adoptions, and now a precious 13 month old that we’ve been blessed with (from birth) thru the amazing gift of open adoption that we still don’t have closure on because the adoption is being contested…it has been so easy for me to wonder if God really does care (He is all-powerful, yet not fixing this in a way my earthly eyes can see). Satan feeds me lies and draws my attention to others who “God clearly loves, because looks how much easier He’s made this path for them…obviously He must not love you like that.” In my head, I know exactly who sends those attacks, and that they’re lies, but my heart struggles to catch on when circumstances make the lies so believable. This post is all about choosing thankfulness even when we don’t feel like it…SO perfect. My friend has this quote to “fake it til you feel it”…I think that fits this thankfulness challenge quite well. Off to start my list 🙂 Thanks for this encouraging post today!
You know, someone once said that to me — that easy meant God’s will. The Lord was quick to remind me of Joseph, Job, Paul and Christ. Easy was not a word they would have used.
My sweet sister, just know this: He sees the way take and He walks with you. (2 Chronicles 16:9a)
Praying for you.
Wow such a good reminder for me today. The Lord has really been pressing this on my heart, to live a life of gratitude. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for reminding us to be thankful in the hard times and bad. I have a friend who in struggeling with a child that has some special needs-she finds it hard to be thnkful with this problem going on. I will encourage her through your post today.
Daily I fight for gratitude, some days it’s an easy fight, but some days it is hard and reminds be we are in a battle to see His grace, Satan wants to blind us to it.
There is an old song that goes “Open our eyes, Lord, we need to see Jesus, to reach out and touch Him…”
Oh Lord, make it so in our lives!
Always can be thankful that He doesn’t change — He is always good, and He never leaves us.
In a time of great difficulty, I am making a conscience effort to look around and be grateful for the things/people/God in my life.
barb from cny says
This was heaven sent today! Thank you!
I have had to face the unimaginable over the last 8 years – we endured a tragedy that led to much loss and has brought us to a place we never envisioned for ourselves. It has been the crucible through which I have been learning the transformative lesson of becoming content in all circumstances. And the key that unlocks that is gratitude. So, I’ve ben intentionally working on being thankful. I’m grateful today that Jesus has sustained us on our journey. He has been with us every step of the way. And that’s made all the difference.
I’m so Thankful that God has gotten me threw the hardest of my depression…He has taught me that even though I have depression, depression does not have me!! Am Thankful for freeing me of the darkness & chains of self mutilation…AM FOREVER GRATEFUL!! =)))))
How timely these words! One of my life quotes is “Wherever you are, be all there” by Jim Elliot. I was just sharing with my mentor yesterday how I felt like a fool returning to his folly as I continue to struggle with ingratitude, discontentment & lack of joy through each season of life. I have allowed the ‘if only’ lie to steal my joy too often and have not chosen to walk in the abundant life He has offered through surrender and repentance. So, right now, I choose to repent of my instant-gratification, self-sufficient, selfish, ungrateful spirit and run to His all-sufficient, fully-satisfying, eternal hope. I choose to remember the gospel, the cost, the power and allow that truth to overflow into grateful obedience and praise!!
Thank you for these words today. For years I have struggled with discontent. The past 5 months have been uphill physically, emotionally and financially as we have been doing a major house repair/remodel. That seems very trivial compared to the problems of others, but I am weary of it. That’s why these words jumped off the page at me:
God wasn’t just asking me to be thankful. He was using thankfulness to radically change the way I lived. See, weariness had become a habit I was wearing. My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.
This post was just what I needed on this day.
renee tjapkes says
I am thankful for wonderful writers and bloggers like you – who remind me to be thankful and to pay attention to all He has done for me.
Chandra Hadfield says
I don’t even know where to begin. Thank you for this. I needed the reminder. God challenged me in this very area in August, just before my 40th birthday. So, I started writing a series on my blog about thankfulness, and I knew that this is what He was working in me. Even when I don’t feel like it, to give thanks. I’ve done well until about 2 weeks ago, and it feels like I’ve hit a wall. I needed this encouragement to continue in giving thanks in all things and through all things. This right here is what I needed to hear: “My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.” Thank you so much, and thanks in advance for prayers!
“Gratitude is a lifestyle.” LOVE that!
Thank you for reminding me to be thankful in all things! Having an attitude of gratitude in all things does make heavy times seem lighter. I know it works! God inhabits the praises of His people!
I am thankful that my husband is being laid off tomorrow. I am thankful that he is of “an age” to retire. I thank God that He is in the center of this difficult transition time, because we/I wasn’t prepared for it. I’m grateful to the Holy Spirit for leading me and guiding me and covering all the mean words that have been exchanged. I’m thankful that my house is a house of peace and love and joy!
Thank you for this very meaningful devotion. I have started and stopped a Gratitude journal after I read Ann Voskamp’s book, 1000 Gifts. Guess I better get back to that journal in earnest now! Thank you!
Julie Sunne says
Great encouragement, Stacey. I’m thankful for each new day to begin again.
Thank you for this — I needed it!! The Lord has been speaking to me about having a thankful heart and praising Him even in the midst of pain and difficult times. He is ever faithful and never changing!
Um… My name is Stacey, and my baby won’t sleep… For real. I’m so done, at the bottom of the heap. Yesterday was my 30th birthday, and it sucked. I can’t enter this giveaway because I’m in Canada (though I do have an American mailing address) but I just wanted to point out how ironic this post is to me.
Stacey my friend 🙂 if you find your way over to my blog, I have some free resources for you! http://www.29lincolnavenue.com/being-ok-with-where-you-are-freebies/
Happy Belated Birthday. I’m praying for you!
Shawn Bensley says
I am thankful for knowing that no matter what is going on around me, God is with me, watching out for me and what He has in store for me someday will be beyond my wildest expectations.
Thankful for finding my way to this website everyday to learn more.
In a rough place right now, just lost a cousin suddenly and unexpectedly. She was much too young and her family is going to be lost without her. Still I know from past experiences that through it all I need to be thankful that God is on our side helping us through the hard times if we let Him.
Babs C. says
My heart is grateful to the Lord for His goodness and love. One way He has been leading me to affect the attitude of gratitude as my daily covering is to sing. In this way, it is easier for me to carry on the attitude of gratitude once I get up from my knees if there are songs of praise on my lips or at least playing in my head 🙂
Tammie Hayden says
I NEEDED this its just so hard to do sometimes when you have had ALOT of disappoint in your life but YES God is faithful!!
I am at a very dark place. I am thankful for my husband, kids, God allowing my husband to be in complete remission, my church, church family, family, and my few friends. I guess I am at the poor pitiful state of dealing with things. I thought my friends would have carried me during this difficult time in our lives–but most have disappeared. Just pray for me!!! I know God is and will always carry me when I am in this deep depression.
Angela I am praying for you and it is true, sometime the ones we really want to come through for us, just don’t. God allows this for different reasons, and in my life it has always been because He wanted my everything to be Him. One of my favorite verses I stood on during once such time was this is this one:
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Praying this for you as well.
Blessings to you,
Robin in AZ says
I was blessed to have received Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts a few years ago. Since then I have been on a journey to see God’s blessings in every day. As I walked through the deepest depression I have experienced, I am so thankful He was with me each step and continued to show me grace in the blessings He provided. Thank you for this post! I will be praying rest over your home.
I love sweet Ann and her words are so gifted. What a blessing she is to me, too!
I needed this. More than you know, I needed this today. Ironically, my husband asked me, five minutes before logging on Facebook and seeig your post, “Are you ok?” To which I replied the truth “no, I am not.”
I am battle weary. I have a four year old with autism, a 20 month old who is in the “fit” stage, bills that won’t pay themselves, a house that seems to be in dissaray no matter how much I clean, and a voicemail received today from the car mechanic saying “you need a new transmission.”
Today I am not ok.
But your blog entry brought me to my knees. I have so much. I have been concentrating on my struggles, and not my blessings.
I am grateful to my Lord for my salvation and His grace.
I am thankful for the health of my children.
I am thankful for my home that may be in disarray, but it is warm and filled with love and laughter.
I am thankful for my husband’s work.
I am thankful that no matter how thick the bills seem, God never fails to provide.
I am thankful for my parents and their loving support for my husband and I.
I am thankful I live in a country where I am free to worship my God, and to home school my children.
I am thankful for people like you, who allow God to speak through you to change my attitude and my “I am not ok” day.
Sometimes it just takes one tiny baby step in the right direction. So proud of you my friend for doing that here with us today!
I went through a season like this a few years ago and can attest to te fact that being thankful does put things in perspective! Thanks for your eloquent words!
It’s not by chance that I decided to visit the incourage.me website. Thank you so much for this precious reminder that we can always find something to be grateful for in the midst of our season. Sometimes I just find that I whine way too much! I can’t wait to read your book.
Kelly Z says
It is awesome to me how God continues to stir up what He wants our focus to be on. Everywhere I look this year, God is saying be thankful! It’s not just the month of November, it has been every month for me this year. Thank you for being a vessel God is using to point His people back to Himself. God bless you!
I am thankful that God makes up for losses and brokenness in our hearts, most importantly, with His personal love shown to us in a personal way when we get into the Word, and also through others, even if it’s not who we were expecting. God’s love is amazing. The more we fill ourselves with Him, the more thankfulness can come out of us without effort. Even when insulted, a gracious reply can be the first thing on our lips when we’re full of Him.
Lori G says
So much truth here. I’m in one of those seasons where being thankful is sometimes tough, and where God seems awfully quiet. So thankful for this message today!
My husband has been chronically ill with Ulcerative Colitis for the last 3 years, gone thru 3 surgeries and many more hospitalizations all while raising 2 little children. The years have challenged our faith and our marriage and it is so easy to feel sorry for ourselves. This isn’t how we imagined our life, especially at our age! My husbands illness has kept him from working regularly and has placed a large financial burden with medical debt and loss of income on us but yet we can look back and say we have no idea how we’ve made it this far except for the Lord! We have hope for his health and a ‘normal’ life and in the meantime we will praise Him in this storm!
I am praising God for your words today, as yesterday was one of those hard, hard difficult days, where I could not see anything but my own weariness and craziness. All I could do was talk to Him and the only thing that my brain could come up to be thankful for was the fact that His ears and arms are always open, no matter what. And that verse from Habbakuk is what He gave me yesterday to push me on through–ironically, it came from Ann Voskamp’s desk calendar I have–and that’s what she has written so much about–eucharisteo even in the mess! Thank you so much!
Mary Rose says
I am thankful for all the women who have posted comments today. I am going through a very scary time all alone with little money because of no work for several months and no one to turn to in this town I moved to. Reading the comments helps me see that not one of us has a life where we don’t need God. Of course we need him. Of course he is here with each of us.
We live by faith. I was able to pay all my bills this month. Today I have enough food to eat. Do I really need to worry? I am thankful that I don’t.
thankful — for this post!
Rachel Rains says
I am glad to say for right now… I am okay with where I’m at 🙂 but I know – LOVE, someone who is going through a hard season life where change is hard and inevitable and where it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. I would love a free copy to give her but if I don’t win I will still most likely buy a copy:) blessing to all who post today…
Katie B says
Practicing Gratitude has changed my life. I’d love to read your book and hear more on this topic.
So true when I can be thankful in all circumstances I can feel God’s peace and see things through His perspective, not always easy to do at the moment, but slowly becoming easier.
Windy Autry says
Thank you so much for the reminder that our list of gratitude should be 100 miles long, no matter our current situation!
I am thankful for my beautiful son, loving husband and your post reminding me living in gratitude is seeing God as he really is.
Kristin Taylor says
I’m thankful God made our family in his time and his way. There were hard seasons getting here, but I love where I am and thankful for the truth in Philippians 4. That peace that passes all understanding is AMAZING. Love your words here.
Wow, Stacey – I feel like you have heard my own thoughts today. I have let “weariness become a habit I am wearing and my heart is locked in a prison of discontent” .
Life at our house is less than what I’d like it to be. It is just my husband and I, all of our children were grown before we married 4-1/2 years ago. We are both born-again Believer’s of Jesus and we struggle with MANY things… finances, health issues, un-employment, alcohol addiction… I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.
Lately, I have been crying out for God to show me what is causing the financial issues, because this is what I thought was at the heart of my “discontentment”. We are tithers, I have a good job with a steady income, a year ago we seemed to be doing so much better, but this year we do good to get the electric bill paid each month! Other bills lapse and I get them caught up eventually… I’m just tired of it and now with the holidays coming we are both a little down trodden… gift giving to the kids and grandkids is pretty much out of the question.
I know I have so VERY much to be thankful for, how dare I be discontent when there are children half way across the globe in search of drown parents…
But that is the awful truth of where I am today… I am ashamed of myself, yet still, I tell you that I just plain get tired of trying to be happy when I am not.
I would appreciate your prayers. I thank you for letting me spew these evils out in your space today, I am hoping to learn true gratitude, by His grace.
Kristy Byers says
What great insight. Praise and gratefulness really do put our focus in the right spot. I have so many times in my life where I wanted to scream or shout or give up, but instead I decided to find some to be grateful for and to praise God for. Of course it was forced as first, but it does put you in a more receptive attitude toward God and give your a better outlook. You just have to make yourself do it. Eventually, if will become second nature. (Until you have to learn that lesson all over again. 🙂
Yes…that is my life right now. I am thankful for this post. Needed to hear it.
I can get discouraged, because I’m discouraged – if that makes any sense. But how good is God to have so many encouraging things to say to us in His word! He knows us so well (and loves us, anyway!)
Stacy thank you for sharing. Gratitude is certainly a way of life. It hope s are eyes to see Gods abounding love for us as well as others. I was led to journal a daily gratitude list many years a go. During a transition season for my 12 year old daughter, I sent her to school with instructions to be prepared to share at least 10 blessings with me at dinner. We began a daily routine of writing them down in journals each night. The first few days she managed to find 2 or 3, each day I helped her to find more. By the second week she had no problem coming home and writing and sharing them. On some days she would be so excited because she had more than 10. Gratitude works and as we practice it becomes a way of life. Today I am grateful God led my son to the dump and he found a bike. He needed transportation to be able to get to work. Yesterday he called to say he was blessed with confirmation he will begin working on Monday. Tuesday he called to say his feet were warm because someone gave him a pair of good winter boots. I am grateful for these blessings upon my son because two weeks ago he was homeless with little hope in his heart. Today his life is different he has a place to call home and God is blessing him as he makes good choices and does the best he can each day. My son is beginning to understand if he does his part, God does his. And for that he is very grateful and has hope in Hus heart and his life, as all kinds of people reach out to help God rise him up from a place of feeling hopeless and helpless, to a place of empowerment and hope. Again thank you .Shalom, Shalom.
Will I accept the life God has given me because He knows what is best for me? I guess it comes down to that. It’s been 5 years of death (my husband, father, aunt, mother-in-law, niece), divorce (3 of my children), remarriage of 2 children, birth of 2 grandchildren, loss of 2 grandchildren, loss of friends, loss of church, loss of my cat! Days I’d awaken and wonder what else could be taken. I finally decided God wanted me alone with Him. That was fine. I would wait on the Lord. But, 5 long years? There is no other answer except to surrender like Job, “Even though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Thankfulness is a hard practice some times.
I love that Nancy Demoss says we “choose gratitude” and it is a “grace-infused biblical lifestyle” – so not easy.
Praying for you sweet friend.
The last few months I have had a lot of rejection in my life. Its easy to get depressed and lose my focus during times like this. And I tend to focus on what I’m doing wrong and what I can do to make things better. I pray through all of this, but I’m really focusing on me. This morning when I woke up I started thanking God for all His good gifts very specifically. I know that when I do this my attitude changes, my approach to life changes, and the joy returns. And today I feel joyful. Unfortunately this tends to be my pattern. I walk very closely to my Savior, I get distracted by negative things in my life, and then finally realize I am not walking with God anymore. I’ve walked ahead of Him or away from Him. Living a thankful life always keeps me closer to Him and gives me a more joyful life.
Feelings always follow beliefs – if you believe God is good and are looking for His blessings, your feeling will follow. But if you get bogged down you will feel discouraged for sure.
Lord I thank you that Michelle has seen this in her own life and I ask that you bless her with truth from your Word that she can truly stand on, claim, and find her strength in.
This book sounds incredible. It’s definitely been a journey learning to be okay with who I am.
Deanne you can read the first chapter for free if you go here:
Praying for you friend!
I am grateful for the reminder thar no matter which season of life I am in, Jesus is with me. And one of the easiest ways to find Him is in being thankful
I love that Amanda! He “inhabits the praise of His people!”
Terry C says
God is really showing me this everywhere I turn. I am thankful for many things but I sure do need to grow in this area. I need to start recording my gratitude instead of just thinking it in my mind, I believe this is where I’m going to see growth. Thank you, I am blessed.
natalie g says
Thank you for this post. It really touched me. I am thankful for my husband who shows me unconditional love, for my precious children, and for having a best friend who is willing to drop everything when I feel awful and come to my rescue.
Cassie K says
Thank you. This is needed today.
I’m learning to be thankful for the small things, because of my brother’s leukemia diagnosis. It is a really good day if he doesn’t get sick, or when he conquers another round of chemo. He’s got a rough few weeks coming up (lots of travel + a lengthy hospital stay) so remembering to be thankful is really important.
Amy KW says
I’ve started doing gratitudes with my students at school. My 5th graders love it. What a great reminder for ME too, to be grateful at all times!
I love this post! I’m learning to be thankful through obeying Christ’s call on my life even when it isn’t easy. The Lord has called me to host a women’s retreat in the summer of 2014 based on my eBook Mercy Waits. It’s a lot of work. Especially when I have so much going on in my life, but I’m thankful I can serve Him. I’m thankful for the opportunities in the middle of raising children and craziness of everyday life. He is so good!
That is awesome Jennifer! Praying for you!
I so need to turn my eyes upward vs looking at my stumbling feet. Feeling God’s call to live a life of gratitude because there is so much in His love!
Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been going through another valley of doubt and would love some prayer. I know that I need the Lord so much yet my flesh and my pride can get in the way. I choose to be thankful tonight for the fact that I can not be okay and His love will remain.. even if it (and He) seem so far away. Thank you. 🙂
Tara – I love that truth :His love will remain….so good.
Praying for eyes to see His grace.
lynn Miller says
Learning to be thankful in the hard things and in the fun/victorious/good things! Counting blessings everyday is great encouragement as a wife and a mother in the world that we live.
robin freeman says
thank you for the reminder … even when the days go on and on.. that God is faithful.. He is good and I need to work on thankfulness… which I have been doing but, I always need another reminder! I do forget in the weariness of just doing and keeping up with keeping up…
Wow, I needed this tonight. I am thankful for my husband who loves me just the way I am.
Evelyn Rennich says
Beautifully written! My heart agrees–God taught me gratitude last year, and there’s nothing like it to keep your gaze where it should be: on our Lord above. I’m thankful for His Spirit, given for our benefit.
I was reading how to live an authentic life, one of the things we can do is to offer every hour to God as a prayer. I know I need to do this and am thinking I need to do it more often as a prayer of thanks and not just petition. I have so much to be thankful for, but I lose sight of that in the daily grind and the lonliness. thank you Lord for reminders of your awesomeness.
Choosing gratitude. Thank you.
God wasn’t just asking me to be thankful. He was using thankfulness to radically change the way I lived. See, weariness had become a habit I was wearing. My heart was locked in a prison of discontent and gratitude was the key to set me free.
Your words touched my heart. Thank you.
Thank you Janet — I’m so blessed to be here today!
Joanne Viola says
Some days are easier than others to give thanks. I am thankful for His Word which is alive & sustains me & always reminds me to give thanks. Yes, even in the hard days. Would love to read your book.
Thank you for this. I am rarely OK with where I am. I am like the Israelites, constantly forgetting God’s grace. Thanks for the reminder (again!).
We all need reminders Beth! Praying for you now!
Thank you for this giveaway.
Becky M says
As a cancer survivor, I’ve know people say they were “glad” they had had cancer. I have not been able to do that though I have learned to be thankful for a Lord who is close to the broken-hearted.
Becky I completely understand. I can’t say I’m glad my dad got cancer twice. That he was so sick and had to go through such hard treatment. My gratitude in his cancer has to do with the grace God brought to our lives as my dad was fighting hard. God sustained. God held. God was so present during the most difficult days. I can see with your words that you know this kind of closeness.
I’m so grateful for you and how God has held you close during your battle. Blessings to you friend.
Karina Allen says
Stacey, I could’ve written this post myself! I was laid off a month & a half ago. It had been SO hard! I am struggling. I feel lost & aimless. I am definitely not OK. I am trying to trust the unseen hand of God. I know that He is good & faithful. I know that He is at work even when I can’t see it.
He has sustained me over the past few weeks in countless ways, and for that, I am thankful.
Mary Beth says
I am thankful that, as the old hymn says, God provides “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” Great is His faithfulness!!
A favorite hymn for sure!
Carol from Farmers Branch says
I am thankful that I have a reason to get up in the morning. I’m thankful that I have a job to go to, and a car to drive to work in. I’m so thankful for – hair. I know, that’s a little crazy, but my hair has been thinning as I’ve gotten older, and it has not been looking very lush and vibrant lately. In fact, it’s just flat and limp. However, these days I have begun blessing my hair and thanking God for the fact that I still do have hair.
Thanks for your very encouraging words, Stacey.
April R. says
I am so thankful for my husband and two sons! God has been teaching me about thankfulness and I desire to teach my sons. Thanks you for this.
Your post really touched my heart today. Thank you. Sometimes you never know whose life you will touch, and today I just happened to be touched by your words. I have been truly struggling recently and this post really brings some perspective. I do have so much in my life to truly be thankful and grateful for. So, thank you.
Praying over you now Mary! God loves you so much, these are His words for your heart!
Abigail Snyder says
Living alone in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I have found myself feeling very alone the last few weeks. Yet I’ve been challenged not to overlook the many things I do have to be grateful for. The fact that I can see the Indian Ocean on my ride to school. The fact that its 96 degrees here when it is freezing back home in Indiana (and I hate cold!). The fact that I have a place to play volleyball twice a week. The fact that my students here are totally awesome. I have so much to be grateful for…
Abigail – I am a born and raised Indiana girl too, so your words made me smile. Who in the world misses snow when the sun is shining? Not us 🙂
Praying for God’s vision for where you are today, and blessings to overflow!
Just exactly what I need right now. Thank you.
Kirsten johnson says
Thank you for this post! I’m beginning to live thankful, not just be thankful!
Being thankful through the hard is the lesson I am learning. My friend suggested I read 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and it has made a tremendous impression on me. I have begun to notice the good in every day life. By sharing with others, I am learning that others have difficult situations as well. Learning tomtrustnour God, who knows all, would seem like a natural concept. Yet, I daily struggle with having faith. It’s been a reality check for me to realize that faith is based on trust and trust is based on love. God is powerfully revealing himself to me. His love is so immense for all of us and that knowledge has allowed me to begin going past my understanding into trusting Him.
Thank you for sharing today. A friend forwarded your post to me and I am grateful for this reminder. We are family in Christ, supporting and encouraging.
Jessica N says
Beautiful words. Choosing thankfulness.
thank you for the giveaway. it is really lovely.
Jen Deitz says
I’d love to read this book and get a new journal!
Thank you for writing this post and offering this giveaway 🙂
Cindy Parisi says
Thankfulness is a blessing to me. It has been a long time coming but I am there and thankful for the hard road I took to get here. God Bless.
Viola Erbe says
God was speaking to my heart on thankfulness yesterday. After this post, later on in the day, I heard something on the radio about things to be thankful for. We always have something to be thankful for.
Cinde S. says
Thank you for sharing!
Aubrey R says
Coffee and the sun rising each morning.
Kendra G says
“weariness had become a habit I was wearing.” This has been a long hard season… not all of it bad, but raising my grandson waiting to see how long his mom will be serving in prison,; taking care of a friends house and matters since her death; my granddaughter following in her mom’s footsteps; my mother’s Alzheimers progressing…. this statement is so me right now. I don’t have the energy or the desire to clean, barely keep things done… so weary. I have been working every day to “see” things I am thankful for. I have been blessed by the people God is putting around me who won’t let me give up or hide in myself. He has been good to me even when I couldn’t find words to pray.
I am thankful that I have eyes to see and ears to hear.
I am thankful I have a car to get to work.
I am glad I have a home I can raise my grandson in.
I am glad for my church family.
I am so thankful that He sees me wherever I am.
Thank you for your post… and to think I was going to delete this email without opening… it gets to be a chore even to read the emails. Blessings…
Beth Williams says
Prayers for your family. I can only imagine how raising your grandson, dealing with Alzheimer’s, and dealing with a friend’s matters after her death can be wearisome. God is right there with you daily. Try to find a minute or so & be quiet & listen for Him to comfort you.
Please comfort Kendra today. She is taking on so much and trying to be thankful for little things. Help her to not get discouraged and to worn out to help others around her. Shower her with your love and mercy. Send hugs her way through other family and friends. Especially comfort her and her mother as they are dealing with Alzheimer’s. Give her the strength to carry on daily!
Helen G. says
My baby #3 was born a little over 3 weeks ago, and I’m thankful to have healthy children in my home this morning. Despite my lack of sleep and wondering if I’ll ever get some “free time” again, I’m thankful that I get to be a mom. I have friends and relatives who have been praying and struggling with infertility issues, and oh… how I wish I could identify with them right now. My children are a blessing from the Lord, and despite my complaints and difficult days, I am thankful!
I went to a retreat 2 weeks ago. I had lost my Grandmother and I was spiraling downhill in depression. The retreat was great and helped me get perspective on everything. Then life interferes and I find myself longing for that retreat again. As I read your post today, I remind myself that I need to journal more and write down what I am grateful for. You came along at the right time. Thank you!
Claudette Nolan says
Just read your post today. O.M.G! – Thanks for the encouragement. Now I won’t stress out because things aren’t going the way I planned. It’s all in God’s hand now.
I am thankful I beat breast cancer. I have incredible joint pain from the medication that I will have to take for another 3 years and some days it really gets me down, but then I realize that at least I am here to feel pain and to rejoice on the days it is not so bad and thank God on the days when it is.
I have been doing a 30 Days of Gratitude on my blog this month. I am halfway through and have realized that by picking one new thing to be thankful for each day makes me realize just how blessed I am.
Michelle Padula says
I would love for someone to pray for me. I used to be the most thankful, happy person after dealing with multiple losses so close together. I worked so hard to get through the grief and not give up. Then I experienced more loss one right after the other and I find myself in that same place of despair and hopelessness. I am finding it hard to be thankful these days because I am very angry at God. Why would he give one person so much suffering? I have been thinking very irrational thoughts when I know the truth but it’s hard to be positive or thankful when you are in the throes of grief…PLEASE pray for me!
Beth Williams says
Prayers are going out to you today! Right now I’m asking God to bless you and show you why all this loss had to happen. May you feel His loving arms around you!
Please hold tight to Michelle right now. Shower her with your grace and mercy. Put your arms around her and help her to feel you and your love. Take these hopeless, despairing thoughts from her mind and replace them with good thankful, positive thoughts!
Lord you tell us in your word you are near to the brokenhearted. I pray MIchelle would feel your nearness today. I ask you to wrap your arms around her and whisper truth to her heart. May she hear you say how much you love her. You are for her. And you will never forsake her.
Give her eyes to see your grace all around her.
Thankful for you and this wonderful reminder! Some days can be so hard. May God continue to bless all that you do to encourage others.
Margarita Cordero says
Thank you so much for the article. It was a much needed reading today
Beth Williams says
My job changed in 2011 and I found it hard to like it or be happy about much. Grumpy was my attitude mostly. I started a thankful journal. I wrote out about 250 items to be thankful for. Since that time I add to the journal daily, by reminding myself of all the little tiny things to be thankful for.
Now I’m a more peaceful thankful person. Yes–it can be a struggle some times, but just list the small daily items and your list can be long!
God bless you all this Thanksgiving!
What a beautiful testimony Beth. Thank you for sharing this.
My daughter didn’t sleep her first few months either! Totally know that feeling. Would love the book!
Wonderful post. As a worn thin mommy of 3 little ones, there are days when I squeeze out every bit of thanks I can come up with to make it through the day. Giving thanks is becoming habit. And boy, has it made a life changing difference!!
Thankfulness has always been a struggle. Only now, the LORD is revealing why and teaching me to step out and thank people who have blessed me. Would love to read your book. Thank you.
I’m thankful that God never leaves me alone. Even when I can’t feel his presence I know he is there. My heart is heavy for my brother and the choices he makes. Please pray for him and his family.
monk5 at charter dot net
After suffering a serious horse accident this summer (broken back, 7 broken ribs, punctured lung and broken wrist, I am so thankful I can walk and all the bones are healing. Yes, there is still pain, but I can deal with it. I have to keep reminding myself of Phil. 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have been down a lot since I was physically broken. That verse keeps me going no matter what. God was watching over me and not letting me fall into a dark, dreary place. He picked me up and said Keep going, you are worth, so I am so grateful He didn’t leave me in my darkest hours.
Laura Brown says
Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for putting my heart on paper (computer). While reading this I truly felt like surely you were writing this knowing me. Our third born, a God given surprise in every way, was very unexpectedly stillborn when I was 40 weeks five days on June 10, 2013. Whoa, I begin to sob just typing now because I have only “said” that out loud a few times because usually my husband is saying that for us on the rare times we are out over the last five months and one week. Friends are constantly telling me how strong I am and that my faith is amazing but the truth is if I weren’t “strong” and/or “amazing” I can’t imagine where I’d be with out my faith. My faith and my other two beautiful children are what’s getting me out of the bed right now. I am thankful, I am so thankful because right now I am so weary. I don’t need to win anything, just wanted to let you also know that I’d be grateful for your prayers. My husband, five year old and three year old, we’d be grateful for all of your prayers during this season. Today I am thankful for the friend who tagged me on your blog post and was thinking of me. God Bless
Stacey Thacker says
I would be honored to pray for you. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I am thanking God with you for your husband, your children, and your sweet friend who reached out to encourage you today.
You are our compassion and our comfort and you know the depths of your pain. I ask you for my friend Laura that your grace would strengthen her today. I pray that she knows she does not have to be amazing — because you are the source of all of her strength. I pray that she is able to lean into your arms this day Lord and find rest for her weary heart.
I believe that your eyes search the whole earth for the hearts of your sons and daughters so that you can strongly support them. I pray in your name, that Laura and her family sense that strong support today.
I’m claiming this promise for my sister today “When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close and revives him in his pain.” (Psalm 34:18)
I thank You for your nearness.
I thank you that you move even closer when we are brokenhearted.
Thank you for the promise of healing in our deepest pain.
Mark Turner says
Three years ago she took everything. My stuff, our children…. she even tried to take my life. God removed me to the mountains, He sent people to feed me, shelter me, love me. I am so grateful for the fire that removed the dross in my life. I would not be where I am today if He had not stood in that fire with me . Thankyou Jesus. Thankyou my friends, my family and Elle.
Great blog – thank you for the inspiration! I have been in one of the toughest seasons of my life for the past 3 years. Even my health has suffered from the stress and I have been hospitalized twice. I need to change my focus and count my blessings instead of my pains. I need to remember that The Lord is always with me and I am never alone in my suffering.
Blessings to you,
Gratitude (in)courage’s me! Cindy-loo
Great reminder to look for things to be thankful for even on those hard days.
I appreciated the scripture verse. Gratitude should not be based on our circumstances. God is good even in times of difficulty.
Being thankful is a choice and a discipline. We can wallow in self pity, doom, gloom and dispair or we can stand up, look to heaven and choose an attitude of gratitude. Oh my yes it is hard when there’s never enough money, when the car breaks down, when we lose a job, lose a loved one, or get that diagnosis. Life is hard. He never said it wouldn’t be…but He did say He would equip us. He did say He would never leave us. He did say He would comfort us. He did say He would supply all our needs. He did say He is the Healer. He did say He would give rest to our weary souls. That He would pick us up, turn us around and place us on solid ground. Its at that point the ball is in our court! Its what we do with all these promises from Him. Do we believe? Do we step out in faith and praise the One who is able? Do we trust the One who cannot lie? Its when “I” chose to BELIEVE His Word, BELIEVE He is Sovereign, that He is merciful and full of grace that I am able to get through. That I am able to put on my garment of praise and be thankful to the God who deserves, who is worthy of ALL my praise…in the good and bad! Afterall, He has done so much for me…He laid down His own life for me! And for that, I am eternally greatful!
I struggle with thankfulness, wondering why God gave me difficult relationships. Thank you for your encouragement to choose to be thankful, I know I need to be better about this. God gave His Son for my sins and I’m whining about things not being like I want.
Jeanette A says
I am even thankful for my trials. They certainly bring me closer to Him and that is something I need to do more often regardless.
Teresa C. says
I’m thankful for the chance to stay home with my baby boy. Sometimes it feels like I’m not accomplishing enough, and I’m tempted to never be satisfied with the here-and-now, but my son helps keep me in the moment. I thank God for my son each day!
I’m reminded when trials come that Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble, but to take heart because he has overcome the world. (John 16:33). How grateful I am that in times of trial he is with me. I would not want to through life without him.
Marcia Mehlman says
I’ve supposedly been a believer for almost 40 years but, because of rejection, loneliness, depression, and physical trials, have ALWAYS struggled with believing God loves me, that He is truly good, and that He is in control. Of course, this all results in an ungrateful spirit. No matter how much I try…I’ve started “gratitude journals” and have given up after a month or so…I can’t seem to develop a grateful spirit. I really need the Lord to open my eyes to see Him as He really is, to BELIEVE whether I feel the Truth or not, and to learn to thank Him that He IS in control, that He IS with me, no matter how much I don’t feel His presence…Would appreciate your prayers!
This post was a timely, much needed reminder. God has been teaching me in the last year especially to be obedient when he says, “be thankful in all things.” It’s not about my circumstances. It’s about who He is. Thank you.
Today I am thankful for so many things! I’m thankful for friendships. Even the new ones that can be awkward and take a while to find the commonality. I’m thankful for bonds that are made especially when they have been made through shared laughter! I’m thankful for family, both my immediate and the one I married into. I’m thankful that God’s mercy and grace is new every morning, and that He is for us! Even when I don’t feel like being thankful, just by being obedient to what HE says to do, my heart (and attitude) is changed.
Thank You God!
The incourage weekly emails always have something that speaks to me, and none more keenly than this right here.
I need the kind of break that only comes from God. He is the Source of joy that I long for; the joy like warm sun, lifting my thick fog. The fog feels so blindingly cold and wet that it has reached even my heart, and it messily drips emotion like a heavy, soggy sponge unable to hold another drop.
God, let thanksgiving be the door that opens to Your light, and give me the courage to turn the knob and open wide to it.
Joan Davis says
Such an encouraging post. Thank you – I’ve not felt “ok” for a while as I’m going through a trial. However, each day I look to Him. I know that He will walk with me as I go through this challenging time. He always takes my “not ok heart” and transforms it into one of joy when I look to Him rather than at my troubles. It can be a difficult thing to do, but with God’s help, I’m managing it! Focusing on my blessings rather than my difficulties is the best medicine…and God is definitely my #1 blessing! I am so thankful that He cares enough to walk beside me…
In His grip, Joan
Teresa R says
I am so thankful for a God who is personal, who loves me, and wants the best for me. I lost my daughter 2 years ago and my mom last year. God has been my anchor through all the ups and downs. I am thankful for a supportive husband.
Stacey Thacker says
He truly is the anchor that holds. I am praying for you right now!
Thank you for this post – I always need this reminder. My family is walking through a challenging season and everyone has been really discouraged and worn lately; I ended up putting up a piece of poster board on the wall and we’ve been intentionally seeking to write things we’re thankful for there where we can all see them. It’s amazing how life-changing something so seemingly simple is!
Stacey Thacker says
Leah what a great idea. It really can be simple to remember to be thankful!
Blessings friend. I’m praying for you.
This morning I’m thankful for the Tues. morn. Ladies’ Bible Study @ our Church, First Baptist of Laredo, TX ! I’ve been involved w/it for about 10 mos. now. When I moved here 20 mos. ago, the only people I knew were my Son & his Family. From the very first time I went, I felt loved unconditionally & accepted as a Sister in Christ : ) We’ve steadily grown together spiritually & physically as we’ve studied God’s Word. It’s one of the major blessings in my life – Thank You, God !!!
Tammy Eros says
Yes, I need prayer for open eyes…I believe that God has told me many times that thanksgiving is my therapy. Lately, it is so hard to find the words. Even then,I have to be purposeful and use the thanksgiving of others and trust it will give me back the words of my own.
Stacey Thacker says
Tammy that is a good word, “Thanksgiving is my therapy.”
I would love read this
Thanks so for this reminder. Gratitude is easily recognized and expressed when all is well, but not so obvious at most other times. I purposely strive to recognize God’s presence in my life daily and offer thanks for the smallest of conveniences – a close parking spot in the middle of a down pour or just enough milk for my bowl of cereal. But I am most grateful for the creative mind He blessed me with. It helps me see humor where others don’t, create whimsy and/or beauty from others’ discards, write verses that can soothe or ravage, or hear a symphony in a silent room. It allows me to imagine and hope and dream and pray for so many simple or magnificent moments. It is the gift He shared with me as the Creator. It is personified joy.
Thank you for bringing this idea back into my head and heart. Recently, I have been struggling with my job situation and it is amazing what happened when I started being thankful to God for my job and stopped thinking about all the other junk that was going on surrounding it. It also has made me so thankful for my friends and family, who have been praying and supporting me as I consider the next step in my career. I knew that God had something for me to learn through this struggle, and it was to find Him in it, beside me, helping me focus on working for Him and taking pleasure in His creation.
I am still in a high stress situation and would ask for prayers that He comfort me in the times of anxiousness and help me to focus on enjoying things outside of work to help keep my eyes and heart focused on Him.
I have found this to be true in my life and soul as well. I clung to that passage in Habakkuk during a very hard season of my life – and it is probably my most favorite passage to this day. Gratitude is so eye (and heart!) opening. Thinking, processing and giving thanks for things in my life, even the little things, reminds me that God is with me. Long term, it shows His faithfulness to me.
About a year ago I bought a cute little notebook and started writing lists of what I call “mercies along the way” and sharing them on my blog. It helps me breathe and find joy in my days.
Stacey Thacker says
Don’t you love how when you cling to a promise it becomes “yours” and you tuck it in your heart and keep it forever?
Praying for you Sharon.